Candles make an English Country Cottage…ok, fine, they make pretty much anywhere a home. Their fragrance, the ambience created by their flickering light as well as their original purpose to actually light a room. Our cottage can be rather dark (hence the variety of off white shades on every wall, I tried embracing the darkside and painting everywhere glorious dark shades of colour and frankly rampant joy. Unfortunately I had forgotten that I am a sunshine creature who requires maximum light at all times (if I could strap a sunbeam to my head, I would) so I repainted the sumptuous reds and blues and after many, many coats of different whites I felt less mole like. Candles light up nearly every room in our house.
In the old days when we entertained people known as ‘guests’ I would ensure that at least one scented candle was burning in the kitchen near La Aga (to cover the smelly welly smells…ok. burned food smells) and numerous candles burning around the rest of the room, on the dressers, on shelves, anywhere that wouldn’t be knocked by a small child and make us homeless.
I would also pop a room diffuser (or candle if grown ups only) in the hallway to mask any more of our unpleasant country ways (let’s call it that rather than simple slovenliness). Guests would enter, inhale, exhale, relax and ask “What is that heavenly smell?” (they would not have asked this after the many episodes of La Aga murdering the ham, beef, drying the chicken and firing the vegetables).
Then, I would lead the guests into the kitchen, to be welcomed by more glorious fragrance and restful glimmering candles. More exclamations of relaxation and fragrant divinity. Finally I would hit them with more booze than they could shake a stick at (difficult when you can’t see straight) feed them well done food which they wouldn’t remember the next day and send them home only with the memory of how beautiful it all smelled and our beautiful home and hosts (another plus of candlelight – less cleaning and far more flattering to the mascara smudged being at 2am than glaring electric lighting).
The brilliant and beautiful Home County Candle Company have asked me to become an affiliate: I got to sample their wares and then if I liked them, I could sign up to help sell them and earn a million pounds. I think this is how it works. I was a bit scared at first, obviously my new career as a hard hitting journalist has given me a taste of the business professional world but I wasn’t convinced that I could sell, then I opened the box, swooned and agreed immediately. They truly smell incredible.
Finally the straddling of three counties works in my favour and I was given Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to try. The Cambridgeshire is inspired by memories of homemade blackcurrant jam. This was a damson jam household only until I smelled this but I fully intend to jam lots of blackcurrants this year now.
“It is beautifully scented with Cassis & Black Vanilla. Bergamot, cassis and mandarin give way to the beautiful floral mid notes of Neroli, Jasmine and Rose on a base of vanilla and patchouli”. They had me at Cassis…actually they had me at the box it is so beautiful!!!
Suffolk is “beautifully scented with Amber and Sweet Orange. Velvet-like amber, incense and musk are heightened with sweet orange in this seductive scent”. It is truly heavenly and I am carrying it around with me from room to room! No guests? Doesn’t matter. All for me.
I have also just bought (I suspect I might not become a millionaire with this venture) The Essex (our third county) – Champagne and Pomelo, The Norfolk (just next door) – Lavender fields in a room diffuser for our bedroom , the Northumberland (my childhood home and where my parents still live) – Earl Grey and Cucumber and The Midlands (I lived in Cheshire for a few years) – Damson and Bramble and then a sneaky Cornwall (memories of countless happy seawashed summer holidays) – Rocksalt and Driftwood. I expect that I will be able to find a reason to acquire every county’s candle by the end of the month (that’s when my discount code runs out!!!)
We may not be welcoming anyone into our home but by gum I feel better for lighting a luxurious candle and inhaling deeply (I could almost believe that the house is tidy and I didn’t burn the chicken Souvlaki yesterday). Please do click on the link to read more about this gorgeous company and look at their beautiful collection.
Get The Look
Fireplace: Wall paint “Off White” from Farrow and Ball, Hops Garland from Hukins Hops, Mirrors from Cox and Cox, lampshade from Kate Forman, Mercury candle holders from The White Company, Wicker trunk from Debden Barns Antiques
Kitchen Dresser: Walls painted in Farrow and Ball Clunch , Painting by Muriel Pemberton, Dresser Painted in Annie Sloan Chateau Grey, Bowls and mugs from Amanda Banham Ceramics, Wicker lampshade from Kalinko, Sofa from Laura Ashley, Cushions floral from Kate Forman and Pheasants from Milton and Manor.
Hallway: Walls painted in Farrow and Ball Lime White, Essex eggpackers crate from Ebay, Straw bag and Antique pots from Clare Antiques and Interiors
Kitchen table: Linen Tablecloth and Runner from Sainsburys home, Candlesticks and pots from The White Company, Large vase from Bloom and Wild, Plates from Nkuku, glasses from La Rochere, Silver Cutlery from Sambonet. Mirror from Laura Ashley, Chairs painted in Farrow and Ball Pigeon, Mizzle and New White.