20768_fullHay Fever, starring Felicity Kendall at the Richmond Theatre

I’m so excited by how much theatre I have booked this year. Discovering the Richmond Theatre has been brilliant as it hosts such a wide-range of interesting shows, has reasonably priced seats and offers a beautiful setting. Tomorrow, I’m going to see Agatha’s Christie’s Murder on Air, starring Tom Conti and Jenny Seagrove (whom I remember best as the Mermaid in Local Hero). Then, in September I’ve booked to see Felicity Kendall starring in Noel Coward’s Hay Fever, as well as The Importance of Being Earnest, with Rosalind Ayres and Martin Jarvis. What a fun line-up! - Miranda

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This wonderful chocolate and raspberry pavlova is my absolute favourite summer dinner party recipe. It never fails to please and what I love most about it is that even the most clumsy and ineffectual chefs comme moi can hide mistakes by simply piling on extra cream and fruit to cover any dodgy-looking bits. Parfait! – Rachel

Slightly-Foxed-Gloucester-Road-TB-027Image via here

Over the weekend, my Mum picked up the latest issue of Slightly Foxed and raved about it. After reading it through, I also became hooked and have just purchased a subscription. I’ve known about Slightly Foxed for years, but for some reason never picked up one of their quarterly magazines. I’ve been missing out! Their bookshop (pictured above) looks so charming too – I can’t believe I haven’t already been, but am now planning a visit! – Miranda

barbara_pym

I have been rediscovering the joys of Barbara Pym over the past few days – her wit and exquisite attention to period detail are second to none. Virago’s bright and colourful editions make a smart addition to any book shelf, too. Enjoy! – Rachel

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 10.45.04This weather is perfect for espadrilles, and my favourites are by Alice & Whittles.  The shoes are made ethically and are great quality. I’m currently living in my navy blue anchor ones- Miranda

Demonstration against G8 Summit in Le Havre

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

chanel-apartment_500_750_90Spiral 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

raspberrypicking

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

es_chl_006_29_624x544A 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 

 

Adolf-Heinrich-Claus-Hansen-interiors-in-painting (2)
This Is Just To Say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
William Carlos Williams

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

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