Born in Denmark, as a young model Kirstine, co-founder of M.A.B.E was once a regular on the Paris catwalks. Now in her forties and mother to three boys – Victor, aged twelve, Oscar, aged ten, Magnus, aged eight – she leads the busy wholesale department here at M.A.B.E. After dropping their three boys at school, Kirstine hops on her scooter and heads across town to the design studio and head office. “With three boys and a business to manage, it’s a full-on week!” she says with a smile.
Tall, striking and ever-so-chilled, several years ago, Kirstine and her husband John found a small cottage to rent in the Cotswolds. “It was a conscious decision to leave London each weekend. Choosing a simple life for our sons over the hustle and bustle of London felt right – for all of us.”Accessed by a mile-long dirt track, the cottage is surrounded by fields. “We wanted the boys to run around outside, to roll around in mud, to play football, to do simple things not involving a screen or too much stress”. Encouraging the boys to play outside, whatever the weather, the humble cottage provides a break from fast, central London living.
Since the arrival of Soho Farmhouse and the recent expansion of Daylesford Organic and Bamford Wellness, which boasts an Olympic sized swimming pool, the Cotswolds has boomed. However, according to Kirstine, there are still so many traditional places to be found and discovered. “Back when we rented the cottage, there wasn’t much here, but we now have access to so many great shops, pubs and places to eat. We purposefully don’t have wi-fi or a television, so it’s easy to get the boys out and about. You can’t miss what you’ve never had, right? And anyway, there’s plenty of time for TV in London!”A Weekend With:
1. I truly adore Whichford Pottery. It has a gorgeous little café called the Straw Kitchen where the food is spectacular, and we can eat out on the lawn. Our favourite thing to order is a light, healthy green vegetable soup.
Whichford Pottery, Whichford, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 5PG2. For fresh vegetables and eggs, we head to the Bruern Farm Shop. It now has a café that feels more ‘restauranty’. Serving fresh produce and delicious food, the café has a view over the vegetable garden. My sons love to order the sausages, mash & kale!
Bruern Farm Shop & Cafe, Bruern Enterprises, Bruern, Oxfordshire, OX7 6QE3. The Station Mill antique shop in Chipping Norton is a huge treasure chest of goodies. Although my natural style in terms of both clothing and interiors is more on the minimalist Scandinavian side, we love to look at wonderful (and often weird) antiques.
Station Mill, Station Road, Chipping Norton, OX7 5HX4. Two years ago, Katie, founder of Pom London, set up Pom-on-the-Wold. A beautiful clothing store in Stow-on-the-Wold stocking our collection plus many others, I sometimes pop by and check-out who’s buying our clothes. I love meeting our customers and find Cotswolds summer style tends to be all about a wafty midi-dress and floral top to wear with jeans.
Pom-on-the-Wold, 9 Talbot Ct, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham GL54 1BQ
5. Cotswold Sweet Company, Stow-on-the-Wold. One word: fudge. What else do I need to say?
Cotswold Sweet Company - 1, Crossways House, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold.
6. We can walk to Chequers, but I must also mention Vincent, the pub manager. He is GREAT! It’s always a fun evening at our local pub, and you never know, you might catch Jeremy Clarkson playing darts. Ha!
Church Rd, Churchill, Chipping Norton, OX77. Rise and Flour Bakery is, rather obviously, a bakery but also a coffee shop. Originally from New Zealand, both Joanna’s bread and the coffee she serves is excellent. Located in Milton under Wychwood, which is where every Saturday, our boys play for the local football team, you can imagine where we head for a post-match coffee! I finally found the perfect flat white!
The Elms, Shipton Rd, Milton-under-Wychwood, Chipping Norton, OX7 6J8. I’m a huge fan of gardening, plants, flowers etc, adore rummaging around Burford garden centre. I say huge fan, I find very little time to do any gardening! However, after a busy week at the office, nothing relaxes me more than meandering down the aisles of this Cotswolds garden centre. From rugs, to books, to M.A.B.E did I mention it sells absolutely everything? Walking along the aisles is how I decompress.
Burford Garden Centre, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4PA