By Linda Mellor

All photographs: Yuri Janssen

The love for Scotland’s countryside never leaves us, we can travel far and wide but when we come ‘home’ we feel it, see it and taste it. We are lucky in Scotland to have beautiful landscapes, rich history and ancient traditions, and a flora and fauna so abundant it makes your heart sing.

Deer stalking, fishing and shooting have been woven through our rural communities for centuries. Country folk knew a great deal about living an appreciative life: spending time outdoors, hunting and gathering their own food, making homes cosy by bringing the outdoor charm indoors with local produce like wood, peat, wool and animal hides.

There is something innately rewarding by embracing sporting traditions, the wild landscapes, the tweed-clad keepers, ghillies and stalkers can create a sense of going back in time. The opening days on the rivers, with kilted pipers and whisky blessings are long held traditions. A day out in the field with a dog and gun, on the hill with a rifle and scope, or casting a fly across a secret lochan, a day is complete when you return to the welcoming hearth of your home, the warmth of a fire, dine on tasty local food and coorie doon in comfort for the night.

The word ‘coorie’ arouses pleasing thoughts of comfort, warmth and all things Scottish. What is coorie? It is a lifestyle choice, the authentic Scottish art of seeking comfort, enhancing your wellbeing and seeking inspiration from wild landscapes to influence your home setting.

Deborah Anderson returned to Perthshire after 20 years, determined to further her love of the Scottish outdoors and country sports. She combined her creative flair with her passion for the outdoors and opened her shop, ‘Be Coorie’ in Comrie. Deborah said, “Be Coorie is a theme inspired by the way of life I have chosen in Scotland, it’s interiors and lifestyle products. Whether it’s to be coorie by a fire after a wild swim in Loch Earn or a day’s shooting in the rain or frost, a long hill walk and wild camping by a river, I like to come back to a warm, cosy and inviting home. My interiors are inspired by our surroundings here: the colours of Perthshire, and the country sports on our doorstep”.

Taking part in country sports is an integral part of life for Deborah and her inspiration for her shop. “You embrace the Scottish country traditions when you live here, its a lifestyle choice and if you take on as much as you can in your every day life, then living in Scotland becomes magical.”

The mental and physical health benefits of choosing a life outdoors can help us in many ways: learning a new sport is good for your brain, there’s the fitness gained from walking on shoot days, aerobic workout on the uphill climbs when out stalking and upper body stretching when casting a fly, there’s the sociability of meeting with friends or making new ones. There is a ‘here and now’ aspect to a day in the field, on the river or on the hill. Snapshots of wildlife and views over the land keep you mindful, destressed and nurture a feeling of gratitude.

Mum of two, said, “I am very lucky to have Gleneagles close by, and have seriously started my sporting journey again with Nick Raby coaching my shooting and Gerry Rattray for fly fishing. They have structured my learning experience from start to finish with both stalking and the progression of my shotgun shooting from clays to walked-up bird days.” Deborah continued, “It is a great way of sourcing local, wild food. Being out on the hill, taking a shot, seeing that the animal was blissfully unaware what was about to happen. It was chosen for a specific reason, it is all part of the land management. Taking an older deer keeps the herd strong. It was killed in a humane manner, in no pain and no clue what was about to happen.”

Food choices are important, “I became a vegan as I hated the way some animals are farmed and killed, and decided that myself and family should avoid certain food if we had no clue how this animal lived and, importantly, how it died. I know it’s impossible to be a true vegan as at some point in the manufacturing process it will be inevitable to harm or take a life of another living creature,” said Deborah.

Venison is a popular choice as people become more health conscious about what they eat, Deborah said, “It’s the best, organic wild, lean protein to eat, with a minimal carbon footprint, low fat and no chemicals.”

Dundee based Highland Game is a testament to the increased consumption of venison. When they started in 1997, just 5% of venison was consumed in the UK, with 95% exported. As the market leader, employing more than 100 staff, it supplies most of the supermarkets, and has produced three cook books.

Deborah continues, “I now have a target for myself and two children that within the next year, we aim only to eat animal protein that we have caught, prepared and cooked ourselves. An amazing learning experience for me and the children and for them to be brought up being mindful of their eating, develop healthy eating habits and not to waste food.” 

Feed your senses with a trip to Be Coorie, the instant you step inside you will want to coorie in by the fire on the comfy chairs and feast your eyes on the many delights Deborah has for sale.

Be Coorie: Open Mon/ Thurs/ Fri/ Sat 10-4.30

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