Our very own A Girl About Country, Harriet Edwards, has taken the reins for this feature and chats about all the things she loves as well as her style picks for the season ahead. Harriet has been a Hiho fan for a long time and, latterly, a brand ambassador. She has three horses, she shoots and she’s a really lovely lady who we’re proud to work with.
Hello! For everyone who doesn’t know me, my name is Harriet Edwards and I am the person behind country style and lifestyle blog, A Girl About Country.
So who am I? Well let’s start from the top...I’m at least a fifth generation (that’s as far as I can trace back!) Farmer’s Daughter, born and raised on a farm in the Heart of Rural England and it’s fair to say that I’m a true country girl, happiest when I’m in the middle of a field with my horses, dogs or shotgun for company. I’m also a bit of a nerd, working full time in the Pharmaceutical Industry whilst studying for my second Master’s Degree (I know, I am crazy!), this time in Regulatory Affairs – what I do for work.
When I’m not working, I can usually be found on the farm with my three best friends who happen to also be my horses; Ali, DD and my old pony Panda. My horses are my world and have been ever since I got my first Shetland pony at the age of 3, although I don’t spend as much time with them now as I’d like. I am an eventer, or at least I try to be! I used to compete my bay horse, Ali at British Eventing events, now just to be clear - I’m not talking 4* level or anywhere close to that but we had a blast and I was so lucky to have such a wonderful (and sometimes very interesting!) ride. Ali is taking some time out at the moment as I’m currently training my youngest horse, DD who I also hope to compete later in the year – although being the only person ever to ride this horse as I broke her in myself, it could be a big ask! She’s a total sweetheart though, kind brave and genuine – the total opposite of Ali! – so I have high hopes for her.
If I’m not riding, I am trying to find the time to partake in my other passion –shooting. Having grown up on a farm, I have been exposed to shooting from areally young age. We are part of a local farm shooting syndicate, which my brother and uncle have been members of for many years. I used to think of shooting as a man’s sport, a Saturday morning annoyance when I wanted to ride in the woods but risked getting shot because the shoot were around doing something! However, my view has completely changed since having a go myself - don’t get me wrong, those Saturday morning woodland diary clashes are still super annoying! I started going along to the local clay shooting ground with my brother, but feeling a bit deflated because I was the only girl there and I was also pretty rubbish. That’s when I decided to attend my first all ladies clay shooting day, with the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club and I haven’t looked back.
I am now a regular at such days, particularly with my favourite group– the Femmes Fatales, who have not only improved my shooting, but also my social life! I have been to some of the most amazing shooting grounds across the country and been lucky enough to be part of some amazing experiences – this year I got the chance to head up to Yorkshire on an all ladies game shoot which was unbelievable. Most importantly though, I have met some of the most fabulous people, who I am lucky enough to call my very closest of friends. For anyone who is thinking of giving clay shooting a go – I urge you to attend one of these days, you will not be disappointed!
So as you can see, my life is a little busy to say the least, but when (or more accurately, if) I have any spare time, you’ll find me writing my blog – A Girl About Country. I can’t take the credit for the idea of starting a blog, in fact when I did start it, I was completely sceptical and never thought for a minute that it would take off the way it has. I am a scientist and so stereotypically, I’m not that creative. However those who know me well will tell you that I have a mildshopping addiction, my friends and family refer to me (rightly or wrongly) as the style queen with one too many pairs of shoes or handbags! I’ve always been really passionate about country style, but it’s often seen as dowdy or unfashionable although I completely disagree. Done properly, country style is not only practical, it’s timeless, elegant and classy and so I have always been an advocate. But back to the blog, with the shopping addiction in mind, it was actually my friends at my favourite brand, Fairfax & Favor (possibly friendsbecause of the previously mention shopping addiction!) who persuaded me to give blogging a go, after the success of sharing my photos of their beautiful products on Instagram. The rest, as they say is history.
My blog is not exclusively about country style, I also write about my life in the countryside. I am so passionate about the countryside and everything it has to offer, it’s a perfect place to grow up, raise a family and grow old – as well as everything in between. Give me a muddy field over a bustling city street any dayof the week. The country side has often been viewed as boring by those who have not really experienced it before and I’m really keen to change that perception. I’m also really keen to spread the word to fellow countryside dwellers. The countryside can be a lonely and isolated place at times and so I think it’s really important to encourage a sense of community and spread the word about various social events to bring people together. It’s definitely been harder writing about my personal life and experiences, it makes you feel quite vulnerable to put yourself out in the open on the internet, but I actually think these blogs are the ones that have been the best received and it makes it all worthwhile when I hear back from my readers to say they have been encouraged to give something new a try.
So my plans for the next few months...
More of the same really! Trying to balance all of my spinning plates and also enjoy some much needed downtime. I’m looking forward to heading to some social events over the summer months – I love attending the big Horse Trials such as Badminton and Burghley (for the shopping as much as the horses!), I’m also heading to the polo, attending some more shooting events and country fairs.
I’m also looking forward to spending some time at home, sometimes I am rushing around so much that I forget to appreciate that. I have a gorgeous little kitten, who goes by the name of Oscar – an exotic shorthair who is the biggest character out there – I’m sure he thinks he’s a dog! I’m going to try and fit in a little seaside break too for some proper rest and relaxation because my wonderful partner James is just as busy as I am and sometimes it feels as though we are passing ships in the night!
In terms of A Girl About Country, there’s so much to look forward to there as well. I am celebrating a huge milestone and anniversary with my blog so I have a huge competition to thank everyone for their support, because without that theblog wouldn’t be a success. Aside from the competition, there’s lots of exclusives, behind the scenes and exciting things to come, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled!
With so many exciting events to attend and things to do, I’ve picked out my summer country style essentials that are guaranteed to smoothly transition from mucking out to going out, picnics to polo and walks along the beach to evenings out.
HIHO CHERRY ROLLERS
The exclusive collection from Hiho epitomises equestrian style, which is only to be expected from the best country and equestrian jewellers around! I love everything in the cherry roller collection, because they are so effortlessly stylish and elegant – I’m never without my cherry roller bangle or bespoke pearl and rose gold cherry roller necklace. What I love so much is that you don’t have to be equestrian orientated to appreciate or love the collection, it looks just as amazing adorning the slickest of city slickers as it does on horsey people. I have my eye on the new long chain cherry roller snaffle necklace because it’s a little bit dressier whilst remaining true to its equestrian heritage, definitely something to wear on a day or evening out and I think would look particularly lovely with a plain summery dress.
FAIRFAX & FAVOR DRIVERS
Fairfax & Favor has something special for every season and unfortunately for my (Fairfax & Favor) purse, so now does my wardrobe! I love everything that is on offer, from the signature Regina to my new crush – the over the knee Amira – who knew that country style could take inspiration from the city and produce such an elegantly stylish result? But my top style pick, that can take you effortlessly from long summer days to wintery ones, has to be the array of loafers that Fairfax & Favor have to offer. The Apsleys are gorgeous as are the Henleys and they are both super comfortable –perfect for long walks or out shopping. I wear mine to work as well as casually and quite often wear them in between changing out of my riding boots!
A TAN BELT
It’s probably an understatement to say that I am a Tan Fan. All of my accessories are tan and for very good reason. Tan is a classic look, it goes with everything and in my opinion adds a touch of elegance to any outfit. It’s less harsh than black and so is perfect for any season. A good tan belt is the perfect finishing touch to casual and smart outfits alike. One of my favourites is the Badminton belt from Mackenzie & George because it’s so beautifully made and the attention to detail is exquisite – the small brass snaffle bits are a stylish addition – equestrian style is a thing this season even for non-equestrians! It’s also thin enough to make the perfect waist belt and looks great paired with a summer dress.
A GOOD SHIRT...
...can elevate any casual outfit to something more. I think a well-fitted shirt styled with a good pair of white jeans and the previously mentioned Fairfax & Favor drivers is an outfit fit for so many different occasions from an evening in the local pub, out to dinner, a country show or point to point. I really like the Teddy Edward Morpeth shirt, it’s classically crisp white – perfect with dark or coloured jeans and has a beautiful femine cut that will flatter any shape. I also love the Oxford Shirt Company frill shirts, which have a subtle frill along the button line and are super soft.