Country Life 19 June 2024

Country Life 19 June 2024 looks at Buckingham Palace, natural iridescence and discovers Jeremy Clarkson's favourite painting.

Jeremy Clarkson’s favourite painting

The television presenter and farmer immerses himself in the age of steam by selecting a 19th-century masterpiece that really stokes the imagination

Venus was her name

Michael Hall lays bare the story of the art world’s enduring love affair with the alluring goddess Venus, from the 4th century BC right up to the modern era

Tripping the light fantastic

Iridescence is one of the natural world’s greatest special effects. Laura Parker showcases the shimmering, jewel-like hues that can take your breath away

The good stuff

It’s the final straw for Hetty Lintell as she picks perfect summer accessories crafted from raffia

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‘Makes Buckingham Palace seem rather dull’

The London homes of the British aristocracy were often grander than their country counterparts and perfect for entertaining, says Lucien de Guise

Native herbs

Mugwort is connected with child-birth as ‘the mother of herbs’, but John Wright prefers to focus on its many uses in the kitchen

Having the last laugh

Why are beaming faces such a rarity in our portrait galleries? Claudia Pritchard seeks out the grins among the grimaces

‘The oldest Old Thing in England’

Puck has been causing mayhem and misery for a millennium and more. Ian Morton traces the story of the mischievous sprite

Bend it like Beckham

Scotland’s only furniture school is keeping alive the old crafts of upholstery and marquetry, doing justice to its Chippendale name, as Mary Miers discovers

Coward on a mission

Michael Billington finds a depth of emotion behind the laughs in a rare revival of Noël Coward’s last work — a welcome antidote to mind-boggling technology

Opening the shutters

In the second of two articles, John Goodall applauds the remarkable revival of Wolterton Hall in Norfolk as a modern home equipped for the 21st century

The legacy

Victoria Marston hails Douglas Bunn, whose desire to test top British riders to the max led to  the drama of the Hickstead Derby

Bourne to run

Kathryn Bradley-Hole finds no end of reasons to stop and stare as she explores the dramatic garden created from a flat water-side site at Emmetts Mill, Surrey

Kitchen garden cook

Melanie Johnson conjures up a trio of dishes to demonstrate the versatility of the courgette

And much more