450 Years

THE EDIT: COUNTRYSIDE ESCAPE

With day trips and domestic holidays on the horizon, spruce up your rural attire and accessories for a long-awaited stylish getaway

06 April, 2021

LIFE’S A PICNIC

Fortnum’s 2 Person Canvas Picnic Carry All, £85; The Fortnum’s Foodhall Hamper, £125, both at Fortnum & Mason

OK, it may have felt for the past year that life is certainly not a picnic, but with refound freedom being bestowed on us all, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate being reunited with friends, family and the warmer spring weather than with the informal joy of a picnic. A Fortnum’s hamper is the ultimate picnic accessory, of course, with a wide range to choose from. The Fortnum’s Foodhall Hamper is packed full of delectable delicacies. Elevate your alfresco dining to encompass style as well as substance by investing in some of Fortnum’s eco-friendly reusable picnic accessories.


LAZY DAYS

Scott’H Blanket in gris, £720, Hermes

A stylish blanket is quickly becoming another must-have accessory for our increased outdoor rendezvous, instantly transforming any patch of grass into a comfortable seat and doubling up as a cosy wrap should the weather take a turn. Hermès’ Scott’H Blanket is crafted from 100 per cent Scottish lambswool, woven on a jacquard loom to create a double-sided pattern with plaid on one side and a Hermès ‘H’ motif on the reverse.


BRAVE THE ELEMENTS

Botanical ‘A’ Silk Scarf in Meadow, £125, Aspinal of London; Emma Col.1724 sunglasses, £295, Tom Davies Bespoke Opticians

Whether cruising along country lanes with the top down or enjoying the fresh breeze and horizon views on a coastal walk, sunglasses and a silk scarf will add a touch of Hollywood glamour to any and all springtime activities. Offering protection from sunrays and blustery days, add them to your checklist of essential items you never leave the house without.


STOMPING GROUNDS

Chocolate Hurricane Hide & Earth Green Suede Collar ‘Ross’ Boots, £500, Crockett & Jones

If getting a stomp on and heading out on a good hike is your idea of fun, then a decent pair of walking boots is a must. Crockett & Jones’ Ross boots are a rural explorer’s dream, crafted from chocolate-coloured hide leather, with a durable Vibram sole and padded suede collar for added comfort. Just don’t forget to pack your hiking socks.


NATURE-INSPIRED JEWELS

L-R: Woodland Earrings with peridot and rhodochrosite cabochons and yellow beryls set in 18ct yellow gold, £13,500, Boodles; Lumina Rising Sun Round Pink Sapphire Staking Ring, £980, Vashi; Wild Flower Necklace in Rose de France amethyst and 14k rose gold plated sterling silver, £450, Tateossian

An escapade to the countryside doesn’t have to be all wellies and wax jackets. With rural locations home to some of Britain’s finest foodie pubs and restaurants, there’s ample opportunity to add a little sparkle for dinner time. These nature-inspired pieces of jewellery will work just as well to jazz up a cosy cable knit sweater as they would to add a finishing touch to an elegant evening dress. Ask for a table next to a flickering fire to add to the dazzle effect. 


JUST THE TIPPLE

Fortnum’s English Single Malt Whisky, Cotswolds Distillery, £52.50 for 70cl, Fortnum & Mason; Double 6oz Leather Hip Flask in smooth cognac & espresso suede, £85, Aspinal of London

A quintessential piece of countryside kit, the hipflask has long kept walkers and ramblers company on a day out, providing a warming and invigorating boost of energy to go the extra mile. This beautiful leather and stainless-steel flask from Aspinal of London contains two separate decanters, which is perfect for if you can’t decide which tipple to take with you, or there are two of you with different tastes. We recommend filling at least one side with Fortnum’s English Single Malt Whisky, which is crafted in the Cotswolds from locally grown barley.


LONG WEEKEND

M_Gram 4810 Duffle, £1,060, Montblanc

Montblanc’s smart and durable M_Gram Duffle bag makes packing for the weekend a breeze, with plenty of room for all your kit. For a limited period of time, Montblanc is offering complimentary personalisation of all leather goods purchases. Have your choice of monogram hand painted onto the item by two British artists, Emma Allen and Philippa Walker. Choose from a number of lettering styles, sizes and colours to make the customisation uniquely yours. For further information about this bespoke monogramming service, please contact The Royal Exchange Montblanc boutique at city@montblanc.co.uk.


FRESH AS A DAISY

Jenny Walton X Pretty Ballerinas collection ballet flats, from £199, Pretty Ballerinas

These daisy-speckled ballet flats from Pretty Ballerina’s new collection, created in collaboration with designer and illustrator Jenny Walton, were made for skipping carefree through wildflower meadows. OK, they were actually created with exploring Jenny’s home town of New York – the city that never sleeps – in mind, but we think they are perfect for frolicking around the English countryside in. And if they’re comfortable enough to take a pounding on the streets of New York then they should have no problem navigating a few country lanes and grassy trails.

The Royal Exchange celebrates its 450th anniversary this year. We look forward to welcoming you back, from 12 April, for a considered shopping and dining experience in spectacular and historic surroundings. Please visit our boutiques page for regular updates on our retailers’ opening information and hours, as well as details about virtual appointments and click and collect services.

Visit our heritage page to learn more about the history of The Royal Exchange, and keep an eye on our specially created 450 Years site, journal and Instagram for more fascinating facts and insights about The Royal Exchange’s past and present as we commemorate this special milestone throughout the year.