Kindred Spirits: Rural and Rustic

Rural and Rustic is a story about seeking a new life in the country … but it is also a place, a gorgeous shepherd’s hut in rural mid-Wales … most of all though, it is a spirit of calm, peace, restoration – it is a haven from the day-to-day, a release from the burdens of deadlines, technologies, travel. It is a place to slip away to. A place to emerge from uplifted and refreshed. Serendipity allowed Mr and Mrs Deli a short escape and this is what we found.

You don’t always need to travel great distances to find a moment of calm in an otherwise busy Deli life. This weekend, Mr and Mrs Deli found peace, inspiration, rest and renewal just a few miles down the road.

A clear night, starlit skies, a local Wagyu beef steak grilling in the eerie lamp light … red wine all but breathing frosted breath as it got to ‘room’ temperature (which involved a little more chilling than usual!) … star gazing, our rudimentary knowledge of the Dark Skies barely taking us beyond The Plough … this was the perfect evening of discovery, a peek into the world that near-neighbours Maryline and Peter Leese are creating in the mid-Wales hills between Bettws and Berriew.

The idea of relocating, becoming self-sufficient and ‘building a new home in the country‘ is a dream which fuels many an inspired break from the norm. But few people see it through and bring their vision to life. Maryline and Peter have made their ‘Escape to the Country‘ and in doing so they have created their own little bit of heaven on earth.

Every detail in and around the shepherd’s hut has been carefully thought through and gorgeously delivered. Handmade, up-cycled, handpicked pieces combine prettiness and practicality. The wood-burning stove toasts up the hut, rosy-red faces breeding quiet contentment … thick bed clothes stave off the morning chill of a first frost of this most balmy of Autumns … the book selection nods to a life in the hills, a respectful guide to sheep, farming and wildlife. James Rebanks’ tales of farming the hardy Herdwick flocks in the Cumbrian hills feels like the perfect bedtime read.

On a frosty morning, warm porridge topped with pecan nuts, apple and toffee sauce is a luxurious, indulgent, hand-delivered treat to lift the spirits and to evoke a deep-seated contentment with life. A day can unfurl beyond the last warming spoon of porridge …

Everyone’s experience in such surroundings would be different … and that is the way life should be. Take a break for a while, go and discover Rural and Rustic and dream of your own ‘escape to the country’.