My Perfect Autumn Weekend: Fashion Designer Louise Markey
My Perfect Autumn Weekend: Fashion Designer Louise Markey

My Perfect Autumn Weekend: Fashion Designer Louise Markey

Cosy knits, pub roasts and long walks – we love autumn, so we’ve asked a handful of our favourite women to share what they’re most excited about this season. In our final instalment, the founder of LF Markey and Meadows talks us through what a perfect autumnal weekend in the Cotswolds looks like to her.
By Heather Steele

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My family and I recently moved to Painswick, near Stroud in Gloucestershire, where I’ve opened a new shop. As well as doubling up as an office, we sell Meadows pieces, AllPress coffee, pastries and cakes from nearby Hobbs House Bakery, and we have a deli selection.

Friday evenings are usually quite relaxed. My husband – the BBC radio DJ Tom Ravenscroft – works late on a Friday night, so I use it to watch something god-awful on TV!

Halloween is one of my favourite parts of autumn. The fashion designer in me loves making ludicrously lavish costumes for my children – they get more extravagant every year. This year, my middle son was Huggy Wuggy (a terrifying monster from a computer game called Poppy Playtime) and my eldest son was the Grim Reaper. Last year, all three boys wore homemade furry Krampus costumes.



My idea of a perfect weekend is having the kids busy playing with something wholesome – leaving me to crack on with my latest hairbrained project (this never actually happens). Over October half-term, I decided to redecorate the bathroom but only got as far as pulling down half the wallpaper. It looks like a hideous mess now!

I am very sparing with my skincare routine – I just apply a little face oil in the morning. I rarely wear make-up – just a little mascara and sometimes rouge – but when I do, it’s usually Chanel.

We were drawn to Painswick by its mix of alternative values and Cotswolds architecture. It’s also a place rich in folklore which is something I’m super interested in, and it’s reflected in my Meadows collections. There are so many lovely things to see and do around here, including walks on Rodborough Common, which has stunning views.

I love crisp, sunny autumnal days and going for lovely walks. When it’s chilly, I’ll wear my favourite oversized vintage wool coat –  I found it on a stall late at night at End of the Road festival this summer, which Tom DJs every year. I’m currently almost four months pregnant, so I’m wearing a lot of voluminous Meadows dresses. The Pavonia is my new favourite.


In the afternoon, we might have a bowl of ramen at Tomari-Gi and do a spot of shopping at homewares emporium Domestic Science. I’m trying not to buy plastic at the moment, so I do a lot of my shopping at the local market and the refill shop in nearby Stroud.

At the weekend, I’ll try to meet up for a coffee or lunch with new friends I’m making in Stroud. I see my friends in London briefly when I’m in town – this week we are going to the Wolseley for a bit of fun. If I wasn’t pregnant, I’d order a negroni or a white Russian. In London, my favourite restaurant is Escocesa in Stoke Newington. Tom and I like to sit up at the bar where you can see the chefs making the food. It’s tapas style, so we order a large selection – and they also make great cocktails. I also miss my old local café in Stoke Newington, Esters, which does the most delicious breakfasts.


We tend to stay in on Sundays. Instead, we’ll try to lure friends around to ours with food. I’m a terrible cook, so I leave it all to my husband. He makes wonderful soups in the autumn. Tom can cook anything really – he also makes a lovely ramen and delicious fish curries.

Since we’ve moved, I’ve become a passionate beginner gardener. At the moment, I’m doing whatever Monty Don tells me to do! I’m very into vegetable gardening – right now, we’re growing salad greens, chard, chillies, beans and lots of herbs.

The Woolpack Inn


I am a very low-key person. So if it’s just me and my husband and we want to go out, I tend to prefer to go somewhere we can walk to. Luckily, we have a lot of options in our little village – our local pub The Oak is a very special place. And The Painswick is great for something fancy.

For a Sunday lunch, I love the Woolpack Inn on the edge of the Slad Valley. The views are incredible and the vibe is relaxed and welcoming. The pub draws an unusually young and hip customer for a country pub – perhaps because the food is quite rustic and modern.

On Sunday nights, we might watch TV. We’re struggling to find a new series that grabs us at the moment, but are toying with watching The Rings of Power. I’m currently reading Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, so I’ll read a few chapters of that before bed. The author lived in the area we do now and I was curious to find out more about him. It’s a great read so far.

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