Country Life 5 July 2023

Country Life 5 July 2023 looks at fossil hunters, mermaids and beautiful coastal properties.

Preserving one’s modesty

A symbol of the British seaside, the beach hut had royal beginnings, explains Kathryn Ferry

A shore thing

Michael Prodger examines the seashore as artistic inspiration, from Constable’s wild skies to Gormley’s lonely figures

Oliver Spencer’s favourite painting

The founder of Favourbrook picks an evocative cricket scene

Meet the parrots of the sea

The colourful puffin inspires amused adoration in everyone, but the big-beaked birds have a tough side, finds Ian Morton

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What an old fossil

Where Mary Anning led, hunters in search of ammonites and kamikaze ichthyosaurs follow, discovers Simon de Bruxelles

Tripping the light fintastic

Sinister sirens who lure sailors to their deaths or beautiful beings who drag men from watery graves? Carla Passino combs history for mention of mermaids

Native breeds

Kate Green praises the seaweed-eating North Ronaldsay sheep

The good stuff

Hetty Lintell greets Wimbledon with sparkling tennis bracelets


Sociable spaces and the bright art of lighting kitchen islands

A world within a world

With views to the sea and 18th-century design set on ancient bones, the garden of Encombe House, Dorset, takes your breath away, says George Plumptre

London Life

A cabbies’ haven-turned-café, the man who built the capital, denizens of Zone 1, Fleet Street unwrapped and London’s arches

Bucket, spade and barbecue

Nothing tastes better than when it’s cooked over coals in the open air, believes Jack Adair Bevan


Rosie Paterson relaxes in Mexico and Justine Picardie follows Coco Chanel and Eileen Gray to the Riviera, as Pamela Goodman encounters the king of beasts

Speak, memory

Carla Carlisle reflects on Russia’s reach, on the page and in reality

Kitchen garden cook

Melanie Johnson tastes the sweet joy of cherry tomatoes