Fab fashion on a Farm
When I moved out to the countryside, a lot of the clothes I’d worn in the city weren’t really suitable for my new laid back, rural lifestyle although it took me a while to realise this. For years I persisted in wearing an elegant but very thin, cream *eek* felted swing coat I’d bought in Paris out on very muddy walks, instead of slipping into a cosy Uniqlo down jacket or even a Countrywide fleece. I sometimes feel I’ve gone to the other extreme now; I’m almost never out of the same jumper and jeans – so, how to look casual but good in the country?
The recently opened shop Allotment seems to have got it just about right, selling beautiful, wearable British and European clothing, footwear and accessories that work together and are perfect for the mud-dogs-mud-school-mud-work-mud-pub-mud aspects of country life. It’s also a brilliant place to look for gifts for friends, your mum, your daughter – or little ol’ you.
Allotment’s based at Prockters Farm at West Monkton, just outside Taunton. It’s a working farm (check out the goats and sniff the air) but what did you expect? This is Somerset! You can grab a coffee and cake or even have lunch while you’re there, as there’s an excellent cafe (Silvers Pantry) at Prockters, too. In the meantime, let me give you a tour of the shop.
OK, so this is the farm (spot the goats in the foreground?)…
…this is Allotment…
…and this is Kirsten, who’s put the Allotment collection together.
Come inside and have a look around…
At the heart of the collection are the beautiful luxury knitwear brands Cove, Needle, Wyse and Ile de Coco. This Cove ‘Florence’ 100% cashmere swing poncho (loving the orange trim) costs £135 (normally £175); there are reversible cotton/cashmere mix Cove ponchos at £99 (normally £120).Needle’s ‘Emma’ is a merino and silk mix straight-line jumper in petrol and cream (£109).From Wyse, there’s more cashmere: Juliet, metallic star slouchy with leather star (£165).Team up one of the jumpers with a beautiful scarf by Dutch designers POM-Amsterdam (around £50) or glitzy Danish Markberg belt (around £45).
Allotment stocks footwear by Ash and Seven Boot Lane. Try these Ash taupe satin trainers (£95) on for size…
You can say goodbye to that cagoule: there’s outerwear from the Danish label RAINS: stylish, lightweight and waterproof parkas and belted jackets – with hoods that actually cover your hair – in great neutral colours and all under £100.
There’s some pretty, reasonably priced jewellery by designers including Nordahl and Olia (£10-£80).
Oh and there are bags, lots of bags – love this embossed clutch bag (Markberg, £79)…… this silver beauty bag (Katie Loxton, £15)…
…and this giant tote, which would be great for the gym or a weekend away (RAINS, £45).
Allotment’s got oodles of gifty type stuff too – Nathalie Bond Organics, Parkminster candles, stationery, keyrings – and feel free to treat yourself to a nice big bar of organic Welsh Nomnom chocolate.
If I’ve whetted your appetite, pop in and see Kirsten and Allotment, Tues-Thurs 10.30am-2.30pm; Sat 10am-4pm.
Allotment, Prockter’s Farm, West Monkton, TA2 8QN. Tel 01823 410605.