Last week, I briefly joined the half light world of breakfast television (see clip here). As early starts go, it puts the average herdsman to shame. We were filming at Eyford in the Cotswolds, winner of the COUNTRY LIFE/Savills England’s Favourite House, and by the time the sun had poked its first rays across the gorgeous parkland, satellites, cameras and microphones had been primed for action. Rupert and Serena Prest’s house is a dream, and, primed by espressos and croissants, Serena and I ploughed our way through six separate interviews. By the end, we were quite good, breaking all sorts of conventions in promoting the magazine (me) and Eyford’s forthcoming plant sale on May 22 (Serena). Driving back to Petersfield, I passed wonderful banks of dandelions-have they ever been better?-snowy blackthorn bushes and the first bluebells. These next two bank-holiday weekends demand a walk to appreciate the countryside’s wonders.

The other wonder is [the Royal Wedding] issue. It is rather large and, for that, I need to thank all the team at COUNTRY LIFE, who have worked all hours to complete it. It was only appropriate that the night before it went to press, COUNTRY LIFE won magazine of the year at IPC’s editorial awards.