I Just Got Back From This English Countryside Hot Spot—Here's What the Fashion Set Were Wearing

Woman wearing Kurt Geiger Floral Couture collection Kensington handbag.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Kurt Geiger)

Although I'm American, I've always had a penchant for the British countryside. Maybe it was because I grew up re-blogging photos of Kate Moss on Tumblr at Glastonbury. (That photo of the model in mud-soaked Wellington boots altered my brain chemistry.) Or, perhaps, it's my slight obsession with the characters on The Crown (and, later, Saltburn) and their sprawling estates with rolling hills and wildly grown fields. So when I got the invitation to celebrate the start of the summer with Kurt Geiger and Tattie Rose Studio at Babington House, a stone's throw away from Bath, I was completely sold.

In celebration of the wildy unkempt yet chic nature of the countryside and nostalgic summer memories in gardens, London-based accessories label Kurt Geiger and creative floral design house Tattie Rose Studio teamed up to create their take on a floral print. Enter Floral Couture, a limited-edition, hand-drawn collaboration that feels more like a piece of art than a printed handbag. Featuring bags, shoes, garden accessories, knitwear, and even dog accessories in a rainbow oil pastel arrangement, Kurt Geiger's floral-inspired capsule might look like it was the product of heavy deliberation and hundreds of hours. In reality, though, Creative Director Rebecca Farrar-Hockley and florist Tattie Isles made the decision to work together in a matter of weeks.

Photo of Rebecca Farrar-Hockley and Tattie Isles in British countryside.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Kurt Geiger London)

After stumbling upon Isles's impressive floral design portfolio on Instagram (and falling in love with her handpainted Christmas cards), Farrar-Hockley approached Isles to create a print that felt quintessentially British and could reflect their love of the outdoors and the charming countryside. After an initial round of sketches with an incredibly light creative brief, Isles had carte blanche to create a rainbow-colored hand-drawn print that would feel fresh, modern, and, most of all, uniquely her. "We decided to be adventurous about it. And you wanted something that felt like a painting rather than a computerized upgrade, which is how a lot of prints nowadays happen," Isles explains, nodding to the overwhelming amount of sameness that exists in stories come spring and summer. Instead of relying on digital means, a hand-drawn print meant that Isles and Farrar-Hockley could really get into the nitty-gritty of the design, constantly tweaking until they had a perfect final print that felt more akin to a painting than something you'd find on a T-shirt.

"I'm very passionate about women of all ages being able to buy and enjoy things, so I try and make sure that I have things in mind for our much younger audiences, as well as those of us that are more mature," Farrar-Hockley explained, alluding to all of the physical products that came into play. Truthfully, there's something for everyone: Cozy pullovers, avant-garde jewelry, hiking sandals, and resort-worthy swimwear all get the Floral Couture treatment.

While there's a plethora of style inspiration when it comes to the Floral Couture collection in the city or on vacation, let's be honest: I was more excited to give the shoes and handbags a test-drive in the British countryside. Below, see all the other fashion essentials stylish Londoners swear by when heading to Somerset, the Cotswolds, and beyond.

Rugged Rainboots

Woman sitting down on floor taking mirror selfie wearing black deep V-neck lace top, black satin skirt, and black rainboot wellies.

(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

Whether or not you call them "wellies" like Brits do, this pair of classic countryside shoes has long served as a cool status symbol for long weekends away. While I'm partial to black and navy tones, colorful, patterned, and printed pairs are perfect to reflect the wild, unkempt nature of the countryside and British gardens.

Antique Jewelry

Woman wearing black tank top and colorful gold, vintage and antique stone rings

(Image credit: @emnitta)

According to Farrar-Hockley, there's nothing quite as chic as a shabby jumper with a pair of dramatic, passed-down earrings. Vintage and antique jewels are often staples among the the British countryside's stylish set, and it's not uncommon to see family heirloom pieces and classic, Georgian-set pieces on casual hikes or worn while drinking nightcaps.

Lived-In Knits

Blond woman wearing white t shirt under fair-isle J.Crew cardigan sweater.

(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Like most aspects of British countryside style, cozy knits and lived-in sweaters and cardigans rank high on the list of packing essentials if you're heading to summer in the Cotswolds or Babington House in Somerset for the weekend. "It's all about really timeless, laid-back pieces you can wear in the daytime or to dinner," Isles explained.

Colorful Palettes

Woman wearing colorful floral dresses and knits, sitting at table with coffee and smiling

(Image credit: Courtesy of Kurt Geiger London)

A shocking fact you'll find in contrast to the built-up tweed and stuffy velvet images that are so intertwined with the British countryside in the eyes of Americans: Quiet luxury is not the be-all and end-all. While, sure, there are workhorse pieces that serve as the backbone of someone's minimalist wardrobe, it's important to remember that most people want to have fun with their practical clothes. "I think the amazing thing about color is that you can mix it with quiet things and make it spectacular, right. So I would urge people not just to live in everything neutral and bland, but put something that's like a firework on your outfit," Farrar-Hockley explains. "It could be a fun pair of shoes, a colored bag, or a great top. You'll find you'll feel better, emotionally and mentally."

Assistant Shopping Editor
Ana Escalante is an award-winning journalist and Gen Z editor whose work ranges from dissecting size inclusivity at fashion week to discussing how American Girl Doll meme accounts are the the answer to society's collective spiral. She's covered it all: Queen Elizabeth II's corgis, Roe v. Wade frontline protests, and the emergence of jorts (or jean shorts for the uninitated). At Who What Wear, Ana is responsible for delivering smart, insightful, personality-driven shopping guides and trend features for a digital-first generation.Before joining Who What Wear, Ana was Glamour magazine's editorial assistant, where she focused on daily news and special packages, including leading the brand's 2022 Met Gala coverage. For more than half a decade, she has covered style, beauty, and digital culture for publications such as Paper magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue Japan, and Allure, among others. Ana has been called a rising star in media by publications such as Nylon and Teen Vogue. (Her mother, meanwhile, calls her "the coolest person" she knows.)