A Country Escape – Katie Fforde

A Country Escape – Katie FfordeSynopsis: Fran has always wanted to be a farmer. And now it looks as if her childhood dream is about to come true.

She has just moved in to a beautiful but very run-down farm in the Cotswolds, currently owned by an old aunt who has told Fran that if she manages to turn the place around in a year, the farm will be hers.

But Fran knows nothing about farming. She might even be afraid of cows.

She’s going to need a lot of help from her best friend Issi, and also from her wealthy and very eligible neighbour – who might just have his own reasons for being so supportive.

Is it the farm he is interested in? Or Fran herself?


Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Katie Fforde is one of our favourite authors and we love the way Katie always invites the reader into the location and the lives of the characters. A Country Escape is another delightful opportunity to settle back and enjoy a wonderful escapist read. Highly Recommended!

Head over to http://mycreativenotebook.co.uk for an interview with Katie Fforde about her inspiration behind A Country Escape and the first steps when you create a novel.

The Year That Changed Everything – Cathy Kelly

The Year That Changed Everything - Cathy KellySynopsis: Three women celebrate their birthdays… 30. 40. 50. But this milestone birthday marks the start of a year that will change everything…

Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?

Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything…

Three women, three birthdays, one year that will change everything…


Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In this clever book Cathy Kelly has skillfully taken the major life events of three women and woven them into an utterly compelling read. Emotional, but ultimately heart-warming, this is a perfect weekend escape! Highly Recommended!

The Garden of Small Beginnings – Abbi Waxman

The Garden of Small Beginnings - Abbi WaxmanSynopsis: One moment Lili is arguing with Dan, her husband, the next he is killed in a terrible car accident right outside their family home.

Three years later and Lili has managed to resume her day-to-day life as a mother of two girls and a successful textbook illustrator. But despite her outward appearance, she feels an aching loss. However, when she is commissioned to illustrate a series of horticultural books, Lili is forced to take gardening class and the wilted roots of her life finally start to blossom. The class provides Lili with a new network of friends – friends with their own heartaches and problems – and, maybe, another chance at love . . .


Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Despite the tragic circumstances at the start of this book, The Garden of Small Beginnings is a funny and uplifting novel, we loved the innovative way that gardening tips are woven into the story. As a debut novel this is a very talented and delightful Spring read. Highly Recommended!

Interview – Tim Stathers – Toad Hall Cottages

Tim Stathers Toad Hall CottagesHow did Toad Hall Cottages come about?

Toad Hall Cottages was created in 1988 by our current owners, David and Sarah Hanmer. Having settled in the area, they recognized a need for a good quality, locally based holiday accommodation provider and the business grew from there. The company has grown tenfold since then, whilst managing to maintain the feel of a homegrown, family business.

How do you know if a property is right for your portfolio?

Our range of customers is so diverse that we take on properties of all shapes and sizes. From studio flats with sea views to huge period houses in the countryside, we try to offer something for everyone.

Location is hugely important, our mission has always been to offer the best rural, coastal and waterside properties in the West Country. And, while we love our luxurious 5 star properties in locations like Salcombe and Sandbanks, there is also a place in our portfolio for dog-friendly, family homes that can handle sandy feet and muddy paws. Continue reading

The Paris Wedding – Charlotte Nash

The Paris Wedding - Charlotte NashSynopsis:The invitation sat innocently on the side, where she’d dropped it like a rattlesnake after seeing the gold, raised lettering.

Ten years ago, Rachael gave up the love of her life. Now she’s being offered an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris – the city she’s always dreamed of living in: to watch to him marry someone else.

The sparkling city of love, hope and longing has all kinds of surprises in store – especially for a country girl more used to horseback than haute couture – but there’s one question above all that she’ll need to find the answer to . . .

When is it right to follow your heart?


Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Paris Wedding is a delightfully romantic book full of emotion and hope, but what is equally delightful is the evocative way that Charlotte Nash describes both the plains of rural Australia and the streets of Paris, reading it you really feel transported to the very places that she describes. A perfect weekend read!

James Martin’s American Adventure – James Martin

James Martin's American Adventure - James Martin80 classic American recipes
Synopsis: Following on from his triumphant TV show and book James Martin’s French Adventure, our food hero takes on the United States in James Martin’s American Adventure.

The book sees James travel from coast to coast, cooking and eating everywhere from San Francisco to Dallas, Philadelphia to New Orleans, New York to Maine, and sampling the high life in The Hamptons. On the way he cooks with real cowboys at a ranch, caters at Reno air race, and explores Creole food in Baton Rouge.

It’s the culinary journey of a lifetime and here are all the recipes from the series, along with exclusive photography from behind the scenes on James’s extraordinary food trip.


Hot Brands Cool Places Review

This is an absolutely stunning book, packed full with amazing photography capturing the spirit of James Martin’s visit coupled with delicious step by step recipes for Breakfast & Brunch, Starters, Soups and Street Food, Fish, Meat, Poultry & Game, Salads & Pasta, and Desserts. With an introduction and ongoing commentary from James this is a perfect companion to the TV series.

Ivy & Abe – Elizabeth Enfield

Ivy & Abe – Elizabeth EnfieldSynopsis: Two people. One love story. A million possibilities. Is there actually a right person, or just a right time?
A stunning novel about the different paths our lives might follow, and the different people we might become along the way.

Childhood friends in the Sixties. Ivy and Abe were inseparable until a chance event tore them apart. Now in their early seventies, fate once again brings them together – both grey-haired, Ivy hand in hand with her grandson – to fill in the gaps of one another’s lives. Each has experienced great passions as well as heart-breaking tragedies, but the time is finally right for them.

Their love story seems, in the end, meant to be. But what if….

….. in a parallel universe, chance had intervened and they had met sooner?

….. they’d met in their forties, both married to other people and had begun an affair?

….. they’d met before then and married, but the daunting question mark over Ivy’s health had suffocated Abe’s love for her?

….. as lovestruck teenagers, one small moment had sealed their fate?


Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is such a clever book, impossible to put down, moving and poignant, just when you think you may be able to predict the ending another twist emerges. In Ivy & Abe, Elizabeth Enfield has created a beautiful, intriguing and thought-provoking love story. One of our favourites for 2018 – Highly Recommended!

Homes & Antiques March 2018

Homes & Antiques March 2018Pick up a copy to discover our guide to decorating with dreamy neutral tones, and explore this month’s selection of stylish homes; from a colourful scandi apartment to an enchanting Somerset farmhouse.

Romantic Harmony

Soft, rose-tinted paint colours that are big news this year and share how these subtle tones can create the perfect backdrop for your favourite antiques.

The sweet scent of success

Having renovated a dilapidated farmhouse near Bruton in Somerset, Georgie Newbery and her husband Fabrizio Bocca have turned the surrounding land into a successful flower business.


Update your home with accessories in the colours of the season, expand your collection of curios with some quirky additions.

Cornish Beauty

Prideaux Place has a long and fascinating history. Built in 1592, the Elizabethan manor house which sits high above Padstow harbour, has been home to the same family for 14 generations.

Notes on an Icon: Laura Ashley

Fabric designer and entrepreneur Laura Ashley took her inspiration from the rolling Welsh countryside and the antiques that surrounded her. We explore her iconic style, influences and legacy.

Also, don’t miss Caroline Wheater’s exploration into the rarified world of collecting Russian porcelain eggs, plus delve into the world of the artist, Horward Hodgkin, with a look at the sale of the possessions from his London home.

You’ll also get a list of the best antiques and vintage fairs to visit in March.

All this and much much more!!

The March issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now: www.homesandantiques.com

Classic – Mary Berry

Classic - Mary BerrySynopsis:These are my wonderful brand-new recipes – timeless classics, simple British dishes and delicious, modern favourites to tempt family and friends. With my trusted tips and techniques for quick, easy and foolproof cooking, in Classic I’ll show you how to make the very best food in my own special, no-fuss way.” Mary Berry

Britain’s most trusted cook, Mary Berry, has been showing the nation how to make delicious, foolproof food for decades.

This brand-new collection from her landmark new BBC One series brings together everything we love about Mary – wonderfully simple but utterly dependable recipes that are essential for every home. These are recipes everyone can enjoy cooking and eating, no matter their time, budget or confidence.

Featuring all the recipes from Mary’s new television series, each accompanied by Mary’s no-nonsense tips and techniques, this stunning step-by-step cookbook ensures perfect results every time.

From ever-popular classics like Rack of Lamb with Orange and Thyme Sauce or Lemon Meringue Pie, to a perfect loin of pork with apple sauce, all these recipes have been honed and refined by Mary until just right.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This gorgeous book is an absolute delight, featuring the most mouth-watering and delicious recipes that you can possibly cook. The title really does reflect the contents, which are “classic” and recipes that you will want to create over and over again. With an introduction, really helpful Cook’s Notes and recipes for Fish, Poultry and Game, Pork, Lamb and Beef, Vegetarian, Salads and Side dishes, and the most sublime Puddings, Desserts, and Teatime recipes this is a book that should be on every kitchen bookshelf. We loved it so much it’s our Highly Recommended Cookery Book of the Month!

Art, Passion & Power – Michael Hall

Art, Passion & Power - Michael HallThe Story of the Royal Collection
Foreword by H.R.H The Prince Of Wales

Synopsis: The Royal Collection is the last great collection formed by the European monarchies to have survived into the twenty-first century. Containing over a million artworks and objects, it covers all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, from paintings by Rembrandt and Michelangelo to grand sculpture, Fabergé eggs and some of the most exquisite furniture ever made. The Royal Collection also offers a revealing insight into the history of the British monarchy from William the Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth II, recording the tastes and obsessions of kings and queens over the past 500 years.

With unprecedented access to the royal residences of St James’ Palace, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, Art, Passion & Power traces the history of this national institution from the Middle Ages to the present day, exploring how royalty used the arts to strengthen their position as rulers by divine right and celebrating treasures from the Crown Jewels to the “Abraham” tapestries in Hampton Court Palace. Author Michael Hall examines the monarchy’s response to changing attitudes to the arts and sciences during the Enlightenment and celebrates the British monarchy’s role in the democratisation of art in the modern world. Packed with glimpses of rarely seen artworks, Art, Passion & Power is a visual treat for all art enthusiasts.

Accompanying the BBC television series and a major exhibition at the Royal Academy, Art, Passion & Power is the definitive statement on the British monarchy’s treasures of the art world.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
If you have been watching the BBC television series this is a wonderful companion, beautifully illustrated with stunning photographs and a fascinating commentary by Michael Hall, this is a sumptuous book to treasure for generations to come. Highly Recommended!

Homes & Antiques February 2018

Homes & Antiques February 2018Inside our packed February issue we have the following:

Discovering Colour
In our exclusive extract from her latest book,Tricia Guild, the founder of Designers Guild, outlines the perfect colours to reinvigorate your home this season.

The Journal
Our round-up of the best new homewares, sales at auction, fairs and unmissable events.

Explore bold Fifties colour, enticing natural textures and tones, plus Parisian cafe-inspired accessories for your kitchen.

Cottage industry
Packed with vintage curios and calm whitewashed tones, this Cornish cottage is a seaside idyll for Sylvie Morris.

A Secret history
Discover Shilstone House; the secluded Georgian gem, rescued from disrepair by Sebastian Fenwick and his family.It’s hard to believe that it was once a crumbling ruin.

Mix & Match
Filled with riotous texture and colour, step inside the Dunfermline-based home of textile designer, and avid collector of all things Sixties and Seventies, Claire Christie

Making an Impression
Designer Harriet Plumb and her husband Giles have kept their quirky home beside the Thames rooted in its Tudor and Georgian heritage.

Robert Adam: Life among the great
Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire is one of Robert Adam’s greatest achievements. Representing the final phase of the Palladian, and the beginning of the neoclassical, step inside this extraordinary home.

Notes on an Icon: Charles Lewis Tiffany
The promise of a glittering necklace, bracelet or ring inside a little robin’s egg blue box is an instantly recognisable image. In this issue we explore the sparkling history of Charles Lewis Tiffany, the pioneer of American luxury jewellery and the founder of the famous emporium, Tiffany & Co.

All this and much much more!!

The February issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now: www.homesandantiques.com

The Little Book of Calm – Dr Aaron Balick

The Little Book of Calm - Dr Aaron BalickTame Your Anxieties, Face Your Fears, and Live Free


This definitive book, written by a trained psychotherapist, who regularly appears on CBBC and BBC Radio 1, offers techniques, advice and inspiration on the best and most effective ways to manage anxiety.

From exercises to help you put your worries into perspective, to relaxation methods for when anxiety attacks, Dr Aaron Balick shows you how to feel more at ease and sustain a sense of calm.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
There are lots of things to like about this useful little book; the size makes it very easy to carry with you, each page offers either a suggestion or technique to help you find calm, or a different way of seeing the world, that can help you address different challenges. Coupled with quotes The Little Book of Calm is a very practical and helpful way to slow down and find a sense of calm.

Coming Home to Island House – Erica James

Coming Home to Island House - Erica JamesSynopsis: From Erica James, bestselling author of Summer at the Lake, comes an enchanting tale of one family coming together and finding their way.
It’s the summer of 1939, and after touring an unsettled Europe to promote her latest book, Romily Temple returns home to Island House and the love of her life, the charismatic Jack Devereux.

But when Jack falls ill, his estranged family are called home and given seven days to find a way to bury their resentments and come together.
With war now declared, each member of the family is reluctantly forced to accept their new stepmother and confront their own shortcomings. But can the habits of a lifetime be changed in one week? And can Romily, a woman who thrives on adventure, cope with the life that has been so unexpectedly thrust upon her?


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
In Coming Home to Island House, Erica James has created a deeply satisfying book, the sort of book that you will lose yourself in for hours, from the first page until the very end you will be totally absorbed with this beautifully crafted novel. With complex characters and enough twists and turns to keep you completely hooked this is a gorgeous weekend read. So curl up on the sofa and enjoy! Highly Recommended!

One Pan. 100 Brilliant Meals– Mari Mererid Williams

One Pan. 100 Brilliant Meals– Mari Mererid WilliamsSynopsis: One pan really is all you need to solve those weeknight dinner dilemmas!

All your favourite recipes made simple. Using store cupboard staples, simple cooking methods and creative twists to suit all appetites, not to mention, no more expensive kitchen kit, and hardly any washing up!

This book is packed with delicious pan-to-table recipes from breakfasts and mains to desserts and baking – comforting and warming or light and healthy, there’s something for everyone, and for all abilities.

So, feed a crowd, whip up a meal for one, or impress friends with these tasty dishes, from Pan fried gnocchi with broccoli, hazelnuts and garlic, to Avocado and black bean quesadillas, Cheat’s frying pan lasagne, Sweet potato dhal, and even Pizza. You can even create delicious sweet treats and bakes, including Soda bread, Fried cinnamon brioche and Chocolate brownies.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Packed full with suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinners, snacks and desserts, as well as advice about choices of pan, One Pan. 100 Brilliant Meals is a really useful book to kick-start the new year. If you are looking for delicious and easy to create recipes, this is a really delightful collection.

The Endless Beach – Jenny Colgan

The Endless Beach – Jenny ColganSynopsis: On the quayside next to the Endless Beach sits the Summer Seaside Kitchen. It’s a haven for tourists and locals alike, who all come to eat the freshest local produce on the island and catch up with the gossip. Flora, who runs the cafe, feels safe and content – unless she thinks too hard about her relationship with Joel, her gorgeous but emotionally (and physically) distant boyfriend.

While Flora is in turmoil about her relationship. her best friend Lorna is pining after the local doctor. Saif came to the island as a refugee, having lost all of his family. But he’s about to get some shocking news which will change everything for him.

As cold winter nights shift to long summer days, can Flora find her happy-ever-after with Joel?


Hot Brands Cool Places
We loved our first visit to the island of Mure in The Summer Seaside Kitchen, and in The Endless Beach, Jenny Colgan has taken the story further with another charming delightful escape, both poignant and heart-warming. The village and its characters have such a sense of realism you feel that you have actually visited the island. Coupled with the delicious recipes makes this a wonderful weekend read. We loved it. Highly Recommended!

Buddha Bowls – Hannah Pemberton

Buddha Bowls – Hannah Pemberton - Hot Brands Cool PlacesSynopsis: Buddha Bowls are the plant-based, perfectly balanced, fun way to eat.

They follow a very simple formula: Grain + Green + Protein (+ Zen)

And are tasty, nourishing and easy to make.

The new ‘meat and two veg’ dinner, Buddha Bowls ensure you get all the nutrients you need with no-fuss and no need for meat protein. All recipes are vegetarian or vegan, and vegan swaps are provided throughout.

Lunch Bowls are perfect for work lunch, Recovery Bowls offer comfort and refreshment after a workout, Quicker-than-a-takeaway Bowls offer deconstructed take-away favourites made healthy, Evening Bowls offer comfort and cosiness for an evening meal, and Dinner Party Bowls are ideal for sharing with friends.

Learn how to build a perfectly balanced bowl and customize it with a host of fresh ingredients, dressings, toppings and sauces.

Plant-based eating has never been so simple.


Hot Brands Cool Places
Buddha Bowls is a beautifully illustrated handy size cookbook packed with a variety of delicious recipes. It includes Dressings & Sauces, together with a whole variety of recipes perfect for different times of the day as well as for sharing with friends. Buddha Bowls also encourages a ritual of preparing and eating mindfully enjoying every mouthful. A delicious way to start 2018!

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

Little Women - Louisa May AlcottV&A Collector’s Edition
Synopsis: Meg is the eldest and on the brink of love. Then there’s tomboy Jo who longs to be a writer. Sweet-natured Beth always puts others first, and finally there’s Amy, the youngest and most precocious. Together they are the March sisters. Even though money is short, times are tough and their father is away at war, their infectious sense of fun sweeps everyone up in their adventures – including Laurie, the boy next door. And through sisterly squabbles, their happy times and sad ones too, the sisters discover that growing up is sometimes very hard to do.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This new hardback edition is one of five special Puffin Classic editions created in partnership with the world-famous V & A Museum, with exquisite cover designs from their William Morris collection. The five titles in the collection are:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The stories have been specially selected from the National Art Library at the V&A making this beautiful collection the perfect combination of timeless design and classic children’s literature.

We love these absolutely beautiful editions, a very special gift for any lover of literature. Highly Recommended!

Homes & Antiques January 2018

Homes & Antiques January 2018Get the season’s most magical looks with the January issue of Homes & Antiques. Inside, we share tips on how to create a traditional and luxurious look with shades of rich crimson, explore a beautifully renovated Dutch home and take a look inside the pre-Raphaelite manor that is filled with a wealth of art and textiles.

We also take a look at the beautiful sapphire coronet designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria, plus this issue comes with our special 6-page last minute gift guide to help you find the perfect presents for loved ones… phew, no last minute panics!

You will also receive our much anticipated 2018 calendar and a list of the best antique and vintage fairs to visit around the UK this January. Don’t miss this magical issue!

Christmas in Crimson

Draw up a comfy armchair by the fire, put on some merry music and enjoy a classic Dickensian-style Christmas that invites you and your guests to feel right at home…

H&A’s last minute gift-guide

We’ve scoured antiques shops, contemporary boutiques and the high street to seek out the most glorious gifts for the design lovers in your life.

10 of the best design escapes

Craving a winter retreat? Find fabulous interiors inspiration with 10 of the finest design-driven hotels and antiques-filled hotspots in Europe.

Wightwick Manor

Built around a battlemented tower, take a look inside Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton which is a melange of Tudor, Elizabethan and Jacobean-style architecture.

The January issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now: www.homesandantiques.com

Images: Katya De Grunwald

Styling: Selina Lake

Frontpage January 2018

The Place We Met – Isabelle Broom

The Place We Met - Isabelle Broom Review on Hot Brands Cool PlacesSynopsis: Lake Como, Italy, New Year’s Eve. The perfect place to fall in love? Or the perfect place for everything to fall apart?

Lucy may have suffered her fair share of bad men, but now she has Pete. Finally, a man worth sharing her favourite place with, Lake Como. That’s if she can put mysterious phone calls and glamorous ex-girlfriends out of her mind.

Taggie is rushed off her feet, but distraction is exactly what she needs to forget why she fled England and the sadness she left behind. She certainly doesn’t have time for infuriating stranger Marco. A man is the last thing she needs right now.

Lucy and Taggie might not know it, but their lives are about to collide. The New Year might begin with fireworks – but how will it end?


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We have loved all of Isabelle Broom’s previous books, she always sets them in the most stunningly beautiful places, which means as well as delivering deliciously romantic storylines, she always transports you to the most wonderful locations. The Place We Met is another magical read, full of emotion, set against the backdrop of Lake Como, a perfect read for a cosy night in, so curl up and lose yourself in this utterly gorgeous book.
Highly Recommended!

Homes & Antiques December 2017

Homes & Antiques December 2017Soak up the festive spirit with the December issue of Homes & Antiques. Inside, we share tips on how to make your classic antiques shine with yuletide touches, explore a traditionally elegant London nest and peer inside one of the nation’s most exuberant stately homes at Christmas, Castle Howard.

We also take a look into the recent sale at Christie’s of Audrey Hepburn’s personal belongings, plus, this issue comes with our special 11-page ultimate gift guide to help you find the perfect present for your loved ones this Christmas.

You will also get a list of the best antiques and vintage fairs to visit in December and a round-up of 10 of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

A Collector’s Christmas
We offer up some new and inspiring ways to display your antiques this festive season. From new ways with teacups to embellishing with brooches, it is the perfect opportunity to put your antiques centre stage.

H&A’s Ultimate Gift Guide
Whatever your budget, we have gathered together the perfect presents for your loved ones. From art lovers to globe trotters, there is something for everyone.

Style Counsel
Interiors stylist Sarah Davenport has breathed new life into the Victorian home she shares with her family, combining vintage and antique furniture with contemporary colour schemes and floral displays.

Hearth & Soul
It’s taken Peet and Ruud Schreuder 35 years to renovate their rural farmhouse in the Netherlands. Now, they can enjoy the fruits of their labour with rustic family Christmases every year.

10 of the best Christmas markets
Are you looking for shopping inspiration with a twist? We round up 10 of our favourite Christmas markets in Europe.

5 tips to make your Christmas magical
We have asked some of our favourite interiors experts for their advice on making your Christmas at home extra-special…

Don’t miss this magical issue!

The December issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now: www.homesandantiques.com

Images: Katya De Grunwald

Styling: Selina Lake


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway – Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - The GetawaySynopsis: With this new adventure, Diary of A Wimpy Kid: The Getaway, readers won’t be able to stop laughing as they join Greg and his family on a holiday trip to remember. To escape the stress of the holidays, the Heffleys decide to get out of town and go to a resort instead of celebrating Christmas at home, but what’s billed as a stress-free vacation becomes a holiday nightmare. Filled with Kinney’s trademark hilarity, accessibility, and pure fun, this latest Wimpy Kid instalment is sure to delight fans once again.

Millions of children in the UK are readers because of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and fans will not be disappointed this autumn with the publication of the much anticipated Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway, the twelfth book in the series, which will publish simultaneously with twenty other publishers worldwide.

2017 also marks a milestone moment for the phenomenally successful series, with the 10th anniversary of the launch of the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. Bestselling author Jeff Kinney will mark the series’ anniversary and the publication of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway with his third global tour, meeting and entertaining fans around the world with media and events throughout November and December.

“Ten years in, I’m having a blast. I’m as excited and energized about these books as I’ve ever been, and I think The Getaway is going to be one of the best Wimpy Kid books,” says Kinney. “I’m very grateful to all of the readers who have stuck with me over the years, and to the ones who are just starting the series.”

Jeff Kinney’s work has been widely praised for its ability to turn even the most reluctant readers on to books. The Wimpy Kid books are 50% comic strip, 50% novel and 100% hilarious. As a result of the impact and success of these books, Jeff Kinney has been named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
It is always a special moment when the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid arrives in our office, because we know that it will bring joy to our junior reviewers, particularly one who is a reluctant reader, and cannot wait to take the very latest book into school to show her friends. All our reviewers love the stories because the combination of humour, illustrations and use of language makes them very accessible for every child whatever their level of reading ability.

As adults what we love about the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway  is that Jeff Kinney has created travel situations that we all recognise, and has combined them altogether in one hilarious book that parents and children will enjoy reading as a family. Congratulations to Jeff Kinney, as a 10th Anniversary celebration this book is absolutely brilliant! Highly Recommended!

The Road to Mexico – Rick Stein

The Road to Mexico – Rick SteinSynopsis: Rick Stein brings his unrivalled enthusiasm and trusted expertise to the fresh, flavourful food of Mexico and California. No one better than Rick at capturing the food essence of a country and bringing the best recipes into our kitchens.

Starting in San Francisco and Baja California, and working his way down to the southernmost tip of Mexico, Rick Stein cooks, eats and experiences Mexican food at its very best and most diverse.

Whether it’s the farmers’ markets of California, full of sourdough bread, new season garlic and a profusion of citrus fruit; the prawns, snapper and tuna of the Pacific or the glorious street food and colourful markets of Mexico with their avocados, chillies, tomatillos, cheese and corn, this is a part of the world packed with natural, healthy and satisfying ingredients.

Showcasing Rick’s authentic style, with recipes like Ensenada Fish Tacos with Chilli, Deep Fried Coconut Prawns and Slow Cooked Pork Tacos, this cookbook will encourage anyone to try out the bold food of these sunshine states.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
The Road to Mexico is a joyful collection of vibrant recipes including selections for Breakfast & Brunch, Street Food, Vegetables & Sides, Fish and Shellfish, Poultry, Meat, Desserts & Drinks. The photography is stunning, which along with Rick’s commentary makes this delicious book the essential companion to the new BBC Two series of the same name. Trying out these recipes is the perfect way to brighten up a winter’s evening. Highly Recommended!

CHARITABLE BOOKINGS Signature Dish Recipe Book– Edited by David Johnstone

CHARITABLE BOOKINGS Signature Dish Recipe Book– Edited by David JohnstoneSynopsis: 365 of the best loved chefs from the UK’s leading restaurants, private members clubs and 5* hotels have collaborated with CHARITABLE BOOKINGS by sharing their secret main course Signature Dish recipe to help raise money and awareness for 1,000’s of UK registered charities.

These 365 mouthwatering recipes can be found in the both the 754 page, 3.2kg hard back coffee table cook book with a limited edition slip case, making the perfect gift for all foodies this Christmas, priced at £40 with £5 going to a charity of the buyers choice from a growing list of over 8,500 UK registered charities or everyone can enjoy 100 of these stunning recipes for free by simply downloading the CHARITABLE BOOKINGS app with the remaining 265 recipes accessible with a token in-app purchase of £3.99 with £1 going again to a cause close to the customers heart.

These recipes are all exceptional and are from 365 our best loved chefs including Jason Atherton, Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth, Tom Aikens, Marcus Wareing, Tom Kerridge, Raymond Blanc, Claude Bosi, Angela Hartnett, Atul Kochhar, Anton Mosimann and Albert Roux and feature dishes from UK leading restaurants including Le Pont De La Tour, Dinner by Heston, Sushi Samba, Pollen Street Social, L’Enclume, Le Caprice, Bibendum, Nobu, Daphne’s, Sexy Fish, Colbert and The Ivy. Alongside some of the UK’s nest restaurants we are also delighted to have main course Signature Dish secret recipes from some of the best private members clubs and 5* hotels head chefs including; The Ritz, The Lanesborough, The Berkeley, Claridge’s, The Groucho Club, The Goring Hotel, The Garrick Club, The Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane, The Dorchester, White’s Club, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, and Annabel’s.

Every recipe is special from the simple favourites like The Ivy’s classic Shepherd’s Pie to dinner party show stoppers like the Famous Grouse from John William’s at The Ritz as well as mouth-watering winter warmers such as Tom Aikens’ 7 hour-braised shoulder of lamb. Every dish is accompanied by clear and easy to follow step by step instructions allowing you to create restaurant quality dishes in your own home.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This is a sumptuous book, beautifully presented with stunning photography and delicious recipes from many of the best loved chefs, sharing their signature dishes to help raise money for charity. This is a special gift for anyone who loves cooking or wants to experience the mouth-watering dishes included in this wonderful collection. Highly Recommended!

The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2018 – Alison Maloney

The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2018 – Alison MaloneySynopsis: Series 15 of Strictly Come Dancing is back and more glamorous than ever. Let yourself be twirled around the dance floor by the 2018 annual, your perfect guide to divas, drama and dancing.

Get the lowdown on all of the celebs and dancers. The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2018 is simply fabulous.

Featuring a sequin-studded cast of celebrities, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes exclusives this annual is your perfect partner for the glittering world of Strictly.

Don your finest feather boa and be prepared to shimmy under the glitter ball!


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
If you love Strictly Come Dancing you will love this book! Packed full with details on all the celebrities and their professional partners, as well as the team of Tess, Claudia and the judges; plus special Strictly features including Meet the Head Judge, Set Sail for Strictly – Strictly Cruises, The Birth of the Glitter Ball, Putting on the Ritz, Hollywood Hair, Lipstick and Rouge, Steps to Success, The Music Man, Top of the Props, The Booth of Truth and much more!

A perfect gift for all fans of Strictly Come Dancing!

Daily Kindness: 365 Days of Compassion – National Geographic

Daily Kindness: 365 Days of Compassion - National Geographic Synopsis: With enriching quotes from celebrated luminaries and striking National Geographic photography, each page of this moving book will inspire you to live with sincerity, compassion, and benevolence. Each month, you’ll practice virtues like patience, respect, and generosity that will focus your mind and heart, creating fulfillment and contentment. Both inviting and motivating, Daily Kindness invites you to reflect on life’s big and small moments, providing a way to embrace new ideas–and enrich your life every day of the year.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This is a beautiful book, the photographs, as you would expect from National Geographic, are absolutely stunning. Taking a theme for each month, the daily quotes are inspiring and uplifting. Perfect to keep close and to read at the start of each day. It would also make a gorgeous gift for someone special. We loved it. Highly Recommended!

Blue Planet II – James Honeyborne, Mark Brownlow

Blue Planet II - James Honeyborne, Mark BrownlowSynopsis: Take a deep breath and dive into the mysteries of the ocean.

Our understanding of ocean life has changed dramatically in the last decade, with new species, new behaviours, and new habitats being discovered at a rapid rate. Blue Planet II, which accompanies an epic 7-part series on BBC1, is a ground-breaking new look at the richness and variety of underwater life across our planet.

With over 200 breath-taking photographs and stills from the BBC Natural History Unit’s spectacular footage, each chapter of Blue Planet II brings to life a different habitat of the oceanic world. Voyages of migration show how each of the oceans on our planet are connected; coral reefs and arctic ice communities are revealed as thriving underwater cities; while shorelines throw up continual challenges to those living there or passing through. A final chapter explores the science and technology of the Ocean enterprise – not only how they were able to capture these amazing stories on film, but what the future holds for marine life based on these discoveries.


Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
With a Foreword by David Attenborough and exclusive behind-the-scenes accounts of how the team captured stunning underwater footage over five years of filming; this beautiful book gives a unique insight into the ambitious filming and the extraordinary marine life found off every continent and in all the world’s oceans.

With breath-taking photography this very special book is the perfect accompaniment to the BBC1 Blue Planet II series. Highly Recommended!




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