Let me fill you in on a little secret. Since I was a young, I’ve always wanted to be English. As a child, everything I did had to be very English. I would only read books by British authors – Rosie Rushton, Roald Dahl, Louise Rennison, Sophia Kinsella. Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver were the only cooking shows I would watch on repeat. Trinny and Susanna will forever be the true hosts of What Not To Wear. I was the only girl who hated Backstreet Boys and N Sync because my favorite groups were Spice Girls, 5ive, B*Witched (I know they aren’t from the UK, but…..). My love affair with this place went so far, I requested applications from all girl boarding schools in the UK to transfer to for 8th grade and beyond. Come on… who couldn’t fall in love with a place that has given us so much – the royal family, Royal Doulton, AbFab, Hugh Grant, accents, Paddington Bear, men who dress well, David Beckham. So when VisitBritain, the national tourist board for England, Scotland and Wales, unveiled a new GREAT Britain campaign initiative, The Countryside Collection, you know I was tickled pink!
Hosted by Her Majesty’s Consul General Danny Lopez, this intimate celebration included a performances by Katherine Jenkins, OBE, and a DJ set by model and daughter of rock legend Keith Richards, Alexandra Richards. By promoting their successful GREAT Britain campaign, The Countryside Collection look to increase the tourism in the rural areas of the country.
And believe you me, the United Kingdom has some of the most beautiful and sought after countryside the world has to offer. I’ve only been to London and Glasgow and would have traded both visits to a more rural area in a heartbeat, but the way Tatler (the obsession with wanting to be English is still prevalent obvi) showcases truly enchanting homes. My goodness, look at Downton Abbey. Which happens to be a real home for those who were unaware.
And though the weather in England is typically god-awful, a temporary countryside escape filled with storytelling and memory-making was welcomed with the weather we’ve endured in New York recently. Upon entering the “GREAT room” guests senses were overloaded with all things GREAT. Think Farrow & Ball wallpaper, Brora products, HUNTER boots, Welsh Rarebit bar, fish and chips, sticky toffee pudding, and Jasper Conran.
“Our research shows that Britain’s beautiful landscapes are often overlooked by our overseas visitors,” said Joss Croft, VisitBritain’s global Director of Marketing. “With this campaign, we want to re-energize Americans’ perceptions of the British countryside and encourage visitors to explore different parts of Britain. The ultimate aim is to increase the revenue international tourism generates for the rural economy.”
Well, Joss, we are packed and ready to visit this overlooked landscaped of Britain. Just let us know when and where!
For more information on VisitBritain please visit, visitbritain.us.