You may remember back in the Spring on my capsule wardrobe wishlist I included two bags from Village England. What appealed to me was their ethos and distinctly English sense of style with bags that are practical whilst still managing to be luxurious too. You wouldn’t expect anything less than the perfectly designed bag from founders Eddie, who was formerly head of accessories for one of the UK’s biggest department store chains, and Julia, previous UK head of a major luxury fashion brand.
Designed from beautiful full-grain natural leather which is hard wearing but also tactile, I love the engraved brass studs but what really caught my eye was the stirrup detailing. If you’ve been a reader for a while you will know we own a horse and have a second on loan so anything equestrian goes down well.
So I was beyond thrilled when Julia sent me a bag to review. It’s always exciting to get a new bag but I didn’t realise until I received it how much I actually need this one! Since it arrived I have used it every day and it’s been amazing how many of my clothes it goes with – khaki being a great neutral to add to this season’s capsule wardrobe.
My bag is the Cranleigh in soft khaki green, which is bigger than I had expected it to be (for some reason I thought it would just fit money, a phone and lipstick and that would be it) and therefore incredibly practical. It’s actually big enough to hold my large wallet style purse, phone – which has it’s own leather trimmed pocket – and a small makeup bag with space to spare. Despite being deceptive as to how much it will carry it’s neat enough to wear across the body or over the shoulder. There is also an internal zip pocket and it’s lined in 100% matching cotton.
And I should mention when you open the box it arrives in that wonderful smell of leather hits you!
Where better to try out my new bag than at the yard for daughters’ riding lesson, with Cal helpfully joining in the modelling too.
The Cranleigh comes in Jet Black and Raspberry Red too if Khaki isn’t for you.
There are plenty of other styles to choose from named after English villages like Datchett, Benson, Burton Agnes and Much Marcle.
With prices for bags starting at £115 and purses for £65 Julia and Eddie have done what they set out to do; created “something different – beautiful yet practical accessories inspired by a uniquely English sense of style, all at a real world price”.
Now, don’t you need a new bag?