My Favourite Things

Country Life Every Week - - Contents - Edited by Hetty Chid­wick

Jon Snow tells us about the es­sen­tials he couldn’t live with­out and Hetty Chid­wick finds out what’s new in lux­ury

BORTHWICK CAS­TLE, just 12 miles from Ed­in­burgh, has re­cently been re­fur­bished and trans­formed into a hide­away for hire that’s per­fect for fam­ily gatherings, high­land flings and hun­ker­ing down to en­joy some of the fine ho­tel cui­sine. Mary, Queen of Scots is be­lieved to have lodged in the cas­tle and al­legedly es­caped from a win­dow dressed as a page. Fur­ther­more, Heli Air Scot­land—the coun­try’s lead­ing pri­vate he­li­copter ser­vice—now of­fers the chance to ar­rive in style with con­nec­tions be­tween Ed­in­burgh Air­port and the cas­tle. There are also ex­cur­sions to en­joy, such as whisky and gin tast­ings, ban­quets in the great hall and fal­conry and archery. £7,500 per night for ex­clu­sive hire (01875 820514; www.borth­wick­cas­tle.com) I F you’re get­ting hitched this sum­mer (or per­haps plan­ning for the fu­ture), don’t miss our cel­e­bra­tion of the clas­sic English wed­ding in the April 26 is­sue of COUN­TRY LIFE. It will be­come your bed­side bible for ex­actly what, where and when (we as­sume the ‘why’ is cov­ered, hav­ing got this far) is re­quired for a per­fect wed­ding. Fol­low our very own News and Prop­erty Edi­tor An­nun­ci­ata Wal­ton’s en­ter­tain­ing blog about her own forth­com­ing nup­tials at www.coun­trylife.co.uk Pre­dom­i­nantly known for its ex­em­plary gen­tle­man’s ac­ces­sories, Et­tinger—the very Bri­tish leather com­pany—also makes beau­ti­fully crafted, el­e­gant ladies’ ac­ces­sories and its new brand am­bas­sador is the 2016 Olympic re­serve showjumper Jes­sica Men­doza. Newly avail­able at Fort­num & Ma­son on Pic­cadilly, these bri­dle-hide purses and key rings can be per­son­alised with mono­grams— the only way to go with leather ac­ces­sories these days. Purses from £150, key rings £75 (020–7734 8040; www.fort­nu­mand­ma­son.com)

I can’t think of a more fit­ting way to end Lent and fi­nally break the choco­late fast on April 16 than tuck­ing into Clar­idge’s deca­dent Easter egg. Adorned with an elab­o­rate de­sign in­spired by the ho­tel’s fa­mous che­quered Art Deco lobby, just 100 of these eggs will be made from the finest Val­rhona dark, milk and white choco­late. They’re also filled with a se­lec­tion of home­made dainty choco­late eggs. £50 (www.clar­idges.co.uk; 020– 7409 6232) Game for any­thing Lead­ing chef James Dur­rant is back in town to head The Stafford ho­tel’s new restau­rant, The Game Bird, in St James’s. Mr Dur­rant’s new­est ven­ture cham­pi­ons Bri­tish din­ing with a con­tem­po­rary edge, in a bid to cel­e­brate the very best Bri­tish pro­duce. There’s also a nod to the chef’s Cheshire child­hood with a se­lect-ion of pies, pud­dings and stews and spe­cial treats in the shape of two spe­cial ‘at ta­ble’ trol­leys—one serv­ing be­spoke smoked fish and, on Sun­days, one serv­ing tra­di­tional roast din­ners. Meal for two with wine, about £200 (020–7518 1234; www.thestafford­lon­don.com/the-game-bird)

Last year, I chan­nelled my in­ner Brigitte Bar­dot and made my way to Saint-tropez to im­bibe some of the nat­u­ral style still ooz­ing from the fish­ing vil­lage it once was. The place to be is the vi­brant Hô­tel By­b­los and, this year, the ho­tel will cel­e­brate its 50th birth­day with a re­vamp of its night­club Les Caves du Roy and a host of new part­ner­ships with like-minded brands such as Rolls-royce, Dom Pérignon, Aude­mars Piguet and Go­yard. If you don’t fancy danc­ing the night away, I highly rec­om­mend din­ner al­fresco at Le Rivea, where twin­kling lights will dis­guise any well-known faces at the next-door ta­ble. The ho­tel opens on April 13 and May 25–28 marks its main cel­e­bra­tion, when the part­ners will re­veal their ex­clu­sively cre­ated prod­ucts for the ho­tel. Rooms from about £300, din­ner from £60 (www.by­b­los.com)

What a range

As part of the on­go­ing part­ner­ship be­tween Range Rover and Zenith, the new­est Chrono­mas­ter El Primero Range Rover Ve­lar time­piece is as slick in its de­sign as its new all-wheeldrive name­sake. The watch fea­tures a ce­ramised alu­minium case, a brushed­grey dial and a rub­ber strap coated with per­fo­rated calfskin (the same high-qual­ity hide used in Range Rover’s in­te­ri­ors). This piece is func­tional with­out be­ing flashy, which stays true to both com­pa­nies’ style ethos and her­itage. £7,200 (01204 424051; www.zenith-watches.com)

Shirt-sleeve or­der

This new col­lec­tion of vi­brant linen shirts with contrasting de­tail­ing will keep you cool, both lit­er­ally and stylishly, through the sum­mer months. These are shirts to live in—as suited to the beach with trunks as they are to smarter even­ing din­ing. One in ev­ery colour might be sen­si­ble. £75, Frangi­pani (www. frangi­pani-style.com)

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