Country Life June 7 2017 is our stunning summer number featuring the alternative Season; the joy of the lido; country-house opera; and the art of the great British picnic. Find out more: ARCHITECTURE: Cobthorne, the striking town-house home of the head of Oundle school in Northamptonshire, has a rich history, finds Clive Aslet GARDENS: George Plumptre finds out how a field beside the grounds of Woburn Abbey was turned into a garden BREATHING LIFE INTO CLANDON: As a shortlist of architects is announced, Simon Jenkins argues that this great Surrey house deserves to be lived in again PICNICS: Gregory Holyoake explores why it is we eat outside better than anyone and Raymond Blanc, Thomasina Miers and Tom Kerridge pack their picnic essentials LOVELY LIDOS: Emma Hughes dives in to discover why we still love a lido ART: Caroline Bugler admires the beauty of Raphael’s drawings MY FAVOURITE PAINTING: The Artistic Director of The Grange Festival. Michael Chance. chooses a Vermeer full of ‘drama and beauty’ THE ALTERNATIVE SEASON: Forget Wimbledon and Ascot—there are delights to be found everywhere. Anna Tyzack offers her recommendations for the alternative Season COUNTRY-HOUSE OPERA: The summer opera season has never had more to offer, says Flora Watkins INTERIORS: Furniture maker Simon Burvill talks to Arabella Youens and can you make floor-to-ceiling windows work? THEATRE: Can theatre cast new light on the issues of the past, asks Michael Billington COOKING: Melanie Johnson experiments with aubergine, the “poor man’s steak” PROPERTY: Historic country houses and garden squares in the capital.