I’m looking forward to seeing this interesting looking exhibition at the V&A, which opens in a few days. I love seeing objects associated with protest movements! – Rachel
Spiral staircase leading to Coco Chanel’s apartment, image via here
Fashion lovers will rejoice over the Saatchi Gallery’s upcoming exhibition featuring photographs of Coco Chanel’s famous but rarely seen apartment at 31 Rue Cambon, Paris. Photographer and film maker, Sam Taylor-Johnson, will exhibit a collection of 45 photographs that reveal how the iconic fashion designer lived. The exhibition runs 12-22nd September so make a note in your diary! - Miranda
One of the things I like about my enforced move to the countryside is that it has opened me up to experiences I never had as a child in the gritty London ‘burbs. I decided on Sunday that I quite fancied making raspberry lemonade, and rather than a trip to the supermarket, I popped to the local PYO farm and picked my own. Glorious! – Rachel
A Girl Reading, Vanessa Bell
I always enjoy compiling lists of seasonal reads. Here are my top choices for summer books that won’t leave you bored on the plane:
1. Evil Under the Sun, Agatha Christie. The Queen of Crime is always a good choice for easy to read plane or beachside material. This Hercule Poirot story is one of my favourites and a perfect summer choice.
2. My Family and Other Animals, Gerard Durrell. The perfect read to transport you to sunny Corfu and have you laughing out loud along the way.
3. The Expendable Man, Dorothy B Hughes. This thriller set in Arizona is unputdownable (so great for holiday travelling). The descriptions of the sweltering heat add to the charged atmosphere of the novel.
4. Summer Lightning, P.G. Wodehouse. I love a bit of P.G. Wodehouse any time of year, but his lighthearted novels always seem a good summery choice, and this one has the perfect title.
5. My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart. Mary Stewart always evokes a strong sense of place in her writing. Reading this novel has me yearning to go to Greece.
6. My Father’s Glory, Marcel Pagnol. This autobiographical account of a young boy’s summer holiday spent in the Provencal countryside brings the memories of seemingly endless childhood summers vividly back to life.
Do you have favourite reads for summer? If so, I’d love any suggestions! - Miranda
I’ve been compiling some new poetry anthologies to use with our younger students at school next year, and in the course of doing so, was reminded of this wonderful poem that makes me think of the cool respite of the house amidst the blazing heat of a summer’s day. – Rachel
The gardens at Hampton Court Palace are beautiful, but I’ve only ever explored them in rather chilly weather. I’m hoping to spend some time in them this weekend enjoying the wonderful sunshine (crossing my fingers it’s set to last!). - Miranda
Hesperus are republishing a lovely trio of classic children’s books with their gorgeous trademark covers just in time for the summer holidays. Whether for the children you love, or for yourself, they’d make a wonderful escapist adventure for these long hot summer days of fun and freedom. I can’t wait to read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm myself – it sounds delightful! – Rachel
Over the weekend, I finally made it to Honey & Co, a restaurant near Warren Street I’ve been dying to try out for ages. The restaurant is incredibly tiny, but serves some of most delicious Middle Eastern food I’ve ever tasted. I came away armed with with a supply of quince jam and spices from their shop, as I’m determined to try recipes from the Honey & Co cookbook over the summer. I’ve already booked to return with Rachel, as I’m sure she’ll love it too! - Miranda
Whenever I fancy spending a bit of time outdoors in London, and want to see something new, I always open up my handy pocket guide to London’s Cemeteries. This weekend I went to Kensal Green Cemetery, which is within walking distance of Portobello Road, absolutely beautiful, and resting place of such luminaries as Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Wilkie Collins. It was a fascinating afternoon out! – Rachel