Last weekend, I followed NET-A-PORTER and Purdey‘s invitation to go to the English countryside for a day of clay shooting – something that I had never done before. Being a very good customer at the online shopping destination means you get invited to very special experiences and this one was one of them.
As you might imagine, I was very excited about this trip and what to dress. I googled «Duchess of Cambridge in the countryside» and this inspired me to this country style look. As my house is still a big construction side, it became pretty challenging to find the boxes with my wellington boots and rain coats in storage. However I managed!
It’s important to dress appropriately, to make sure you stay warm, and dry throughout. You won’t have fun if you’re soaked through on the first drive, nor will you enjoy yourself if your swing is being hindered by your Mackintosh. I really liked my outfit that I put together with many layers that were comfortable and warm. A detailed post will follow.
Founded in England in 1814, James Purdey & Sons, or simply Purdey, is a British gunmaker based in London, specialising in high-end bespoke sporting shotguns and rifles. Purdey holds three Royal Warrants of appointment as gun and rifle makers to the British and other European royal families. The company also produces ready-to-wear and accessories.
Twinning with my lovely Alli from the Net-à-Porter team.
Being always at the forefront of advances in the design and building of guns and rifles, Purdey took out several patents for technical innovations over the years, of which many were adopted by other gunmakers.
In 1882 the company moved from Oxford Street to new premises on the corner of South Audley Street and Mount Street, where the company remains to this day.
Whilst James Purdey & Sons is best known as a maker of shotguns, it also produces rifles, both double-barrelled and bolt-action. The guns are custom-made, largely by hand. They are extremely expensive. A new Purdey shotgun starts at around £89000 and can be customized with special engravings. This one in the photo above costs around £120000.
In 2018, Purdey acquired the Royal Berkshire Shooting Group, which includes also the The Royal Berkshire Shooting School where the event took place. Located around 1.5 hours from Central London, the Shooting School is recognized as the finest facility of its kind, employing eight full time, professional shooting instructors and having one of the most expansive shooting grounds in the country.
As this was my first time shooting, I was accompanied by an instructor who provided me with the safety measures and guided me round the school to make sure I could access the full range of stands that are on offer. Shooting can become very addictive. I hit the clay on my third trial and was over the moon.
I had so much fun with Alli and Harry from my Net-à-Porter family.
Shooting is a sociable sport. It is best shared among friends, old or new. I loved spending the day together with my Net-à-Porter family and getting to know new people.
When the wind turned up, it got pretty chilly and I was very thankful for the warm tea and for the lovely lunch after the clay shooting. A huge thank you to Iona and her team for the great organization.
I had an amazing day filled with unforgettable memories.
Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
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