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

(c) Ferens Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationA Summer Afternoon at Hampton Court, Surrey, Alice Maud Fanner

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

alice-in-wonderland

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

10365737_649553614423_6868171859324407460_nOver 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

 

kensal green cemetery

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

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