Country houses for sale

Quilted gilets and Barbours

Dear Mrs Danvers,

I have lived in the antipodean colonies since 1999. On the plus side, I have been able to avoid listening to Tony Blair for the past eight years. On the negative side, I am seeking to replace my Husky quilted gilet and jacket both of which have been stolen (I decry the morals but admire the taste of the perpetrators). However, my quest to find a Husky of Tostock website has, so far, been fruitless. Have they gone the way of Rover and the House of Lords? If not, where can I purchase the company’s products online?

I am aware that Barbour has several ranges of similar quilted gilets and coats and, as an owner of many other Barbour products, I’d be only too happy to have one of their quilted coats. However, sentiment for all things British makes me want a Husky as well. As for Barbour, is there a good UK online retailer that shows the full colour range of Barbour products with colour swatches? Australian retailers are less than adequate for the most part, and I like to support British retailers when possible, even from 10,000 miles away.

Dear, dear, it does sound as if you are a yabby out of water. Why not come home? Mr Blair is safely gone and, as you know, the British never steal padded gilets. In answer to your questions, we fear that Husky of Tostock has vanished, as no investigations have turned them up. Barbour, on the other hand, is very much with us and, as you say, making padded jackets and gilets in the Husky manner.

The only Australian retailer seems to be Mulders of Melbourne (00 61 3 9571 7544), although we don’t know how adequate they are. Really, it’s best to buy from Barbour direct, however hopeless its colour charts. The website ( is easy to navigate and, if you email the firm, it might be able to help with proper colour swatches. You prob-ably don’t realise that retailers in Britain are not the shining beacons you remember, and the chances of them sending out real swatches to Australia are as remote as running over a kangaroo in Suffolk.