Country Life June 21 2017

Country Life June 21 2017 is our fabulous France number which explores shooting Reeves’s pheasant, drinking Armagnac and buying property; plus extraordinary love letters, building an elegant pool house and big questions for the Royal Astronomer. Find out more:

ARCHITECTURE: The magnificent Château de Lassay in the Mayenne département has a remarkably colourful history, as Desmond Seward explains

GARDENS: Kirsty Fergusson discovers how one man’s passionate vision created the luxuriant gardens of le manoir d’Eyrignac

SHOOTING: Mark Hedges heeds the purist’s call of la chasse when walking-up Reeves’s pheasants in France

MY FAVOURITE PAINTING: The crime writer Peter May found a French port to be familiar and then realised it had been on his wall for years

WILDLIFE: On a warm June afternoon, John Lewis-Stempel is taken back to his childhood by the sight of a weasel washing itself in the yard

COOKING: Melanie Johnson’s combination of fennel with cod has a distinctly Japanese flavour

ART: Huon Mallalieu profiles the Groam House Museum in Rosmarkle, Ross-shire, dedicated to this country’s Pictish history

INTERVIEW: Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal, talks to Roderick Easdale about God, robots and the origins of life

SUNSETS: Jay Griffiths explores our timeless desire to capture sunrise and sunset in words, music and paint

LOVE LETTERS: In years gone by, great men poured out their feelings on paper. Victoria Marston peeks at their love letters

INTERIORS: Rose Uniacke shows us how to create the perfect pool house

FRENCH PROPERTY: Arabella Youens seeks out the pick of French properties

ARMAGNAC: Nick Hammond visits the land of musketeers, foie gras and a superior brandy that’s painstakingly crafted

UK PROPERTY: A little-known house by John Nash and an ‘urbe in rus’ come to the market says Penny Churchill

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