Aspen property: What to buy, where to buy it in the St Moritz of the Rockies

The billionaire’s playground of Aspen boasts magnificent scenery, perfect snow and world-class shops and restaurants. And owning a property there needn’t be out of reach for those on this side of the Atlantic, as Liz Rowlinson explains.Aspen, the Rocky Mountains’ answer to St Moritz. It’s the high-altitude ski resort where American high-rollers head for the winter season, renowned for powder snow, high-end boutiques and sophisticated restaurants. What was once a Victorian silver-mining town is now home to the properties of 50 billionaires, including gaming mogul James Packer, News Corp co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch (son of Rupert) and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

My favourite painting: Sarah Sands

‘One last reason I love this painting: at Today, we’re all starved of sleep. This painting feels like sleep .’
Sky Above Clouds IV, 1965, by Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986), 8ft by 24ft, The Art Institute of Chicago, USA. Credit: Scala

Sarah Sands says:
I love Georgia O’Keeffe for her bold and expansive view of the world. I did think of choosing one of her floral genitalia pictures, but the feminism seemed a bit raw. This painting is from a later period and has a visionary quality. I think it was the journalist Keith Waterhouse who recommended: “Only look up.” His point was that, even

Six stupendous properties in Britain and beyond, as seen in Country Life

We take a look at some of the finest houses to appear in Country Life over the past few weeks – both at home and abroad.Cheshire – Price on application

The most important classical house built in England in the 20th Century at the heart of a beautifully landscaped historic estate dating from the 17th century.

For sale with Savills. See more pictures and details about this property.

Northamptonshire – £1.45 million

A beautiful Georgian farmhouse, Listed Grade II, set in a lovely rural setting.
For sale with Jackson Stops. See more pictures and details about this property.

Algarve, Portugal – Price on application

This elegant and

The practice of landscape: 10 great gardens by Humphry Repton

Humphry Repton was the leading garden-maker at the turn of the 19th century. Here are 10 of his best-loved gardens in Britain. Blaise Castle

A great estate near Bristol redesigned in the 1790s for the banker John Harford. Repton’s dramatic carriage drive exploits the Picturesque scenery to advantage. John Nash worked with George Stanley Repton, our man’s son, on a series of architectural decorations including an elaborate model village.
A holiday home in ornamental grounds created from 1810 for the Duke of Bedford on his Devon estate. Jeffry Wyatville’s cottage orné, now a hotel, looks out over Picturesque scenery dotted with ornamental

The Maytime Inn review: ‘A tranquil, hidden gem off the usual beaten track’

The Maytime Inn promises an indulgent night away in the charming Cotswolds. Emma Earnshaw paid a visit.Nestled in the Windrush Valley, the Maytime Inn is situated in the picture perfect Cotswold village of Asthall, the original home of the Mitford sisters. Although this sumptuous retreat is only a short spin from Cotswolds hotspots of Burford and Oxford, you won’t have to contend with the crowds of tourists that these honeypots attract. This is a tranquil, hidden gem off the usual beaten track.
It was taken over in 2012 by Dominic Wood – and Alfie (his springer spaniel) – who renovated it

A glorious mansion in the Borders with turrets and an artist’s studio

In the village of Walkerburn, roughly half-way between Peebles and Selkirk, a baronial mansion has come to the market which is the sort of fantasy home you’d expect to find in a Victorian novel.Kirna House was built in 1867 by Frederick Pilkington, a renowned architect who created Edinburgh’s Barclay Viewforth Church and the Marine Hotel in North Berwick, among other places.
Given that pedigree it’s no surprise to see that this home is a grand, gothic building full of lovely period touches – and it’s on the market at £875,000, barely enough for a decent flat in nearby Edinburgh.

It’s also lovely

Ince Castle, Cornwall: A country house risen from the flames

A serious fire can be the end of a country house, but, on occasion, it can also offer the opportunity for a sensitive and thoughtful reworking of a building, as Roger White discovers. Photographs by Paul Highnam.The main front of the castle, with the front door at first-floor level. it is approached down an avenue. To the left is an account Turkey oak. Set in a delectable position overlooking the estuary of the Lynher River, Ince is architecturally one of the most unusual and interesting country houses in Cornwall. It belongs to a group of Jacobean houses that seem to

Seven glorious country houses for under £1 million

You don’t have to be a millionaire to live in a grand country mansion, as these beautiful homes across Britain demonstrate.Yorkshire, £725,000

Local folklore has it that Whernside Manor may have provided inspiration for Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë and her sisters went to school in nearby Cowan Bridge). Set in tranquil Dentdale, close to the Dales Way, any ghosts of former residents have long since been banished.

This nine-bedroom gentleman’s residence has previously been run as a B&B and, with a little modernisation, could become a fabulous private home or boutique hotel.
For sale via Richard Turner & Son – see more pictures

How to light a fire perfectly, every single time

The business of lighting a fire, straightforward in theory, can be a tricky one – just ask anyone who has ever wrestled with damp logs, broken bellows and an absence of kindling or tinder. Matthew Dennison spoke to a natural firebug to get some top tips.‘Give me… a good book, or a good newspaper, and sit me down afore a good fire and I ask no better,’ says Joe Gargery in Dickens’s Great Expectations. This sentiment is still widely shared today.
Once, open fires were a simple fact of life, their purpose strictly practical, and, for many country dwellers, an open

Humphry Repton: How the legendary gardener embodied the spirit of his age

The leading garden-maker at the turn of the 19th century, Humphry Repton (1752–1818) was a man of feeling, as well as business. On the eve of his bicentenary, Steven Desmond charts the fortunes and misfortunes of one of the best-loved luminaries of English gardening’s history.Views of the south from of Wimple Hall, Cambridgeshire, as it is today. So well-known was Humphry Repton in 1814 that he made a cameo appearance in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, published that year, as the adviser of choice to improve the grounds of bumptious but clueless landowners such as Mr Rushworth:

“‘I must try to do