Coming Home to Winter Island – Jo Thomas

Coming Home to Winter Island - Jo ThomasSynopsis: Wrap up warm and explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review:
Jo Thomas writes the most sublime novels and always transports the reader to the places that she creates with such accuracy.

Coming Home to Winter Island is another atmospheric and evocative story where her descriptions have such a sensory impact that you can feel the island, the people and its scenery wrap itself around you.

Absolutely magical, brilliant pre-Christmas read! We loved it!  Highly Recommended!


Let it Snow – Sue Moorcroft

Let it Snow - Sue MoorcroftSynopsis: This Christmas, the villagers of Middledip are off on a very Swiss adventure…

Family means everything to Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia, and growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.

So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’d always believed – and is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man.

Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known; an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a memorable romantic encounter along the way…

https://www.waterstones.com/book/let-it-snow/sue-moorcroft/9780008321796

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Full of twists and turns Let it Snow is a roller coaster of a story, full of action and different characters. Partly set in Switzerland, Sue’s evocative descriptions make you feel that you if you stepped outside your own front door you would find snow! Heart-warming and romantic, this is a perfect pre-Christmas read


The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse - Charlie MackesySynopsis: A reminder of the most important things in life. A book of hope for uncertain times.

From the author:

‘My hope is that the book goes some way to helping people live more courageously, more honestly and with more love for themselves and others.’  – Charlie Mackesy

Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most poignant life lessons. Charlie’s first book includes his most-loved illustrations and new ones too.

The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos.

‘A wonderful work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart’ – Richard Curtis Continue reading


The Lost Orchard – A French chef rediscovers a great British food heritage – Stories and recipes by Raymond Blanc

The Lost Orchard - A French chef rediscovers a great British food heritage - Stories and recipes by Raymond Blanc‘I began to dream about an orchard filled with thousands of fruit trees… Today we have an orchard with over 150 ancient varieties of apple. Each one has its heritage in a village or a county that used to thrive on that particular variety. They tell the story not only of what we have lost in Britain but also what we could regain.’

Synopsis: Over the past seven years, Raymond Blanc has planted an orchard of 2,500 trees in the grounds of his hotel-restaurant Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. Yielding about 60 tonnes of fruit for his kitchen each year, it is full of ancient and forgotten varieties of British apples and pears, along with quince, medlars, apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, damsons and cherries. A further 600 heritage fruit trees have been added from Raymond’s home in the Franche-Comté region of France.

The Lost Orchard is a love letter to each of these varieties, complete with beautiful illustrations, fascinating information and historical anecdotes, along with a selection of recipes showcasing the best ways of cooking with the fruit. Lacing the whole book together is Raymond’s infectious enthusiasm and passion for his beloved orchard and the precious fruit that lies within. His stories and memories are a delight as he rejoices in the ‘lost orchard’ that he has created in a little corner of the Oxfordshire countryside.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This beautifully illustrated book is an absolute treasure, there is so much about it to love; it’s like a very special conversation with Raymond Blanc, his passion and enthusiasm shines through on every page. We love the way he thanks his friends for their support including Anne Marie Owens who leads his garden team at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

The really comprehensive content includes sections on Apples, Pears, Quince, Fig and Medlar, Stone Fruits – Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums.
Within each description he includes delightful anecdotes and historical information, here is how he describes one of our all time favourites e.g.

Cox’s Orange Pippin
54 trees in my English orchard
Buckinghamshire 1825
SEASON: Late September
APPEARANCE: greenish gold with orange/red flush
BEST FOR: everything

‘I will never forget the summer’s day, about thirty years ago, when I joined William Sibley at a tasting of heritage apples laid on by The Royal Horticultural Society at Le Manoir. That tasting stays with me for two reasons: first, it inspired me to dream about my beautiful orchard project, and second, one of the apples stood head and shoulders above the rest. Her beauty was not immediately obvious from the outside……. but once I took a bite I knew I was tasting the best apple of my life. I was overwhelmed with a sensory explosion of aromatics, clean, long, complex flavours, which balanced sweetness with acidity and a crisp texture’

For each fruit Raymond gives more information either from a historical perspective or a personal discovery in how he has grown the variety himself, culminating in Tasting and Cooking Notes as well as Growing Notes.

The level of detail is admirable, but written in a fascinating and very accessible style.

In the centre of the book is a delightful chapter about The Beautiful Orchard in which he describes how his orchard has developed focusing on, flavour, beauty and organic principles which begins with a healthy soil. This is supported by full colour photographs.

The book is completed with chapters on How to Grow Your Own Tree, plus advice on the Best Fruit for Growing in a Garden, and finally Recipes from the Lost Orchard which as you would expect, contains the most delicious recipes

This gorgeous book would make an absolutely beautiful Christmas present for people who love cooking with the best of ingredients, but also gardeners too, we cannot recommend it highly enough!

We are delighted to have chosen The Lost Orchard as our Cookery Book of the Year. Very Highly Recommended!


25 Days in December – Poppy Alexander

25 Days in December - Poppy AlexanderSynopsis: You can’t plan for the unexpected

Kate Potter used to know what happiness felt like.

A few years ago, she was full of energy, excited by every possibility. But that was back when everything was different, before Kate’s husband went away with the army and didn’t come home. She can’t even remember what it felt like to be in love.

Then Kate meets Daniel. Recognising her loneliness reflected in his eyes, Kate vows to try and help bring him out of his shell. But as Kate plans to bring life back to Daniel, she might have stumbled on the secret to happiness…

Can one chance meeting change two lives?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In 25 Days in December, Poppy Alexander has created a very special book with so many layers that are unwrapped as you become totally immersed in this magical festive story. While dealing with a number of poignant and tough issues, the thread of a beautiful romance keeps running throughout the story in a tantalising way. Will they, won’t they, all find their ultimate happy ending? An absolutely perfect pre-Christmas read!

We loved it! Highly Recommended!


Homes & Antiques – December 2019

Homes & Antiques – December 2019Celebrate the season

It’s time to dress your home for Christmas! Whether your preferred decorating style is classic, contemporary or full of vintage touches with clashing patterns and plenty of colour, we have all the tricks for updating your festive scheme for 2018. Our four homes this month are all individual and packed with inspiration – as you’d expect – from a snug Finnish veteran’s house to an interior designer’s opulent farmhouse in Hertfordshire. We’ve also hand-selected gifts for every antiques and vintage-lover on your Christmas list, and have oodles of stylish ways to make your celebration go with a bang! Plus, we pick our favourite UK-based cosy cottages and take a look at the history and magic of the department store Christmas window.

Meet the Maker – Alice Mary Lynch
From bunnies to princesses Alice Mary Lynch creates enchanting, unique dolls from her Somerset studio.

Dress to Excess
From bold velvets in berry tones to antiques that glisten in the candlelight, here’s how to serve Christmas with a flourish and an abundance of festive cheer.

Design Icon – Steiff Bear
The story of the Steiff teddy bear and the history of this beloved German toy company.

10 Ways to create a festive dining table

Inspiring and stylish seasonal schemes for the coming festivities.

Festive Antique Shops
From vintage decorations to antiques and curios, eight fantastically festive antique shops putting their own unique spin on Christmas.

Four enchanting homes
Our four homes this month are all individual and packed with inspiration – as you’d expect – from a snug Finnish veteran’s house to an interior designer’s opulent farmhouse in Hertfordshire.

All this and much much more!!

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


The Nine Lives of Christmas – Florence McNicoll

The Nine Lives of Christmas - Florence McNicollIN PARTNERSHIP WITH BATTERSEA DOGS AND CATS HOME

Synopsis: Can Battersea’s loneliest cat find a home in time for Christmas?

It’s Christmas at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Laura is desperate to find a home for Felicia, a spiky, bad-tempered moggy with a heart of gold. Her boyfriend, Rob, can’t understand why she’s spending so much time at work, but for Laura, the animals aren’t just a job – they’re her life. She needs a partner who understands that – doesn’t she?

As the December snow falls, Laura encounters nine people, all of whom need a little love in their lives and find it in new pets. Everyone needs somebody to curl up with at Christmas, and when the handsome Aaron walks in, he takes not just Felicia, but Laura’s heart too…

A heart-warming tale about loneliness, love, and the importance of furry friends – perfect to snuggle up with this Christmas.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Nine Lives of Christmas is an adorable book, full of love and affection for cats, with such realistic descriptions, that you almost feel they are curled up in the room with you.

While this book is a work of fiction, in writing this, Florence also shares Battersea’s policy of aiming to never turn away a dog or cat in need of help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found no matter how long it takes. They are champions for and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.

https://www.battersea.org.uk

Affectionately written, Florence has cleverly created heart-warming stories about how cats can help people in so many different and difficult situations. A wonderful book combining romance and love for animals in magical Christmas story. We absolutely loved it. Highly Recommended!


One Christmas Night – Hayley Webster

One Christmas Night - Hayley WebsterNine lives. One street. And a secret behind every door.

Christmas is ruined on Newbury Street, Norwich.

Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes. There are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the inhabitants of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide.

But Christmas is a time for miracles… and if they open themselves up to hope and look out for each other, they might discover the biggest miracle of all.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
One Christmas Night is a different sort of Christmas story, poignant, tense and gripping and there are moments when you wonder how it will all end; but the very talented Hayley Webster has created such a well-structured novel that as you move towards the end she brings all the strands together in an uplifting conclusion. A novel about hope, trust and community.


Rick Stein’s Secret France – Rick Stein

Rick Stein's Secret France - Rick SteinSynopsis: Real French home cooking with all the recipes from Rick’s new BBC Two series. Over fifty years ago Rick Stein first set foot in France. Now, he returns to the food and cooking he loves the most … and makes us fall in love with French food all over again.

Rick’s meandering quest through the byways and back roads of rural France sees him pick up inspiration from Normandy to Provence. With characteristic passion and joie de vivre, Rick serves up incredible recipes: chicken stuffed with mushrooms and Comte, grilled bream with aioli from the Languedoc coast, a duck liver parfait bursting with flavour, and a recipe for the most perfect raspberry tart plus much, much more.

Simple fare, wonderful ingredients, all perfectly assembled; Rick finds the true essence of a food so universally loved, and far easier to recreate than you think.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/rick-steins-secret-france/rick-stein/9781785943881

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Rick Stein’s Secret France is a wonderful celebration of the food that he loves as he goes off-road through hidden towns and villages in France. Packed with delicious recipes, the photography of the food and the locations is absolutely stunning. Throughout the book Rick captures the essence of his journey and his reasons for the inclusion of the recipes. The content is divided into mouth-watering recipes from the following: Eggs & Cheese, Soups, Salads & Appetisers, Fish & Seafood, Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Desserts, Basics.

A wonderful addition to any kitchen library and if you are enjoying Rick Stein’s Secret France BBC Two TV series, you will love this book. Highly Recommended!

Real French home cooking with all the recipes from Rick’s new BBC Two series.


A Wedding In December – Sarah Morgan

A Wedding In December - Sarah MorganIn the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding.

First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister Katie is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself. If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiance but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived – how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget.

Buy now from www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We love Sarah Morgan’s books, and A Wedding in December has all the ingredients of an absolutely delightful festive read; sublime storytelling, heartwarming romance, humour and drama in equal measures, set in a stunningly atmospheric location.

Snuggle up, switch off and settle down to enjoy this absolutely magical festive read! We loved it, another stunning book to join our collection of our favourite reads of 2019! Highly Recommended!


The Wedding on Mistletoe Island – Sophie Pembroke

Wedding on Mistletoe IslandSynopsis: Welcome to Mistletoe Island, where dreams can come true…

The snow is falling and Fliss’s friends have arrived to celebrate her wedding for a week at Holly Cottage. It’s the perfect way to kick off her brand-new life, isn’t it?

Except Ruth wishes she was anywhere other than a remote Scottish island, Caitlin is keeping a secret from her friends, Lara is suddenly facing her ex a decade after turning down his proposal and even the bride has something to hide…

But as the friends prepare for a week to remember, will Fliss’s dream wedding go off without a hitch, or will the secrets they’ve been hiding change everything?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

The Wedding on Mistletoe Island by Sophie Pembroke is totally captivating! This is a book that will keep you reading long into the night; we loved the way that Sophie develops the different storylines of each of her characters maintaining a momentum and interest that keeps you reading, not just until the very last page, but the very last sentence. Poignant and heart-warming as our days get shorter and colder, this is a wonderful weekend read. We loved it. Highly Recommended!


A Perfect Cornish Christmas – Phillipa Ashley

A Perfect Cornish Christmas - Phillipa AshleySynopsis: Escape to Cornwall this Christmas in this gorgeous festive romance.

Christmas in Cornwall is just around the corner…

But after last Christmas revealed a shocking family secret, Scarlett’s hardly feeling merry and bright. All she wants this Christmas is to know who her real father is.

So Scarlett heads to the little Cornish town of Porthmellow, where she believes the truth of her birth is hidden. She just didn’t bargain on being drawn into the Christmas festival preparations – or meeting Jude Penberth, whose charm threatens to complicate life further.

Everything will come to a head at Porthmellow’s Christmas Festival … But can Scarlett have the perfect Christmas this year, or are there more surprises on the way?

Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love Phillipa Ashley’s books and having enjoyed A Perfect Cornish Summer, A Perfect Cornish Christmas is a delightful return to Porthmellow Harbour. Once again she captures the atmosphere and spirit of the village in the lead up to Christmas. A heart-warming festive read! Highly Recommended!


Homes & Antiques – November 2019

Homes & Antiques – November 2019Autumn’s beauty

True to form, nature’s bounty is everywhere and we’re making the most of its rich colours and ravishing flora in our interiors schemes, revealed throughout this month’s delectable homes. We also celebrate the women of the Arts and Crafts movement for whom history has done a disservice. From May Morris to the Macdonald sisters, we showcase the amazing talents of several brilliant minds.Toasting the latest autumn/winter trends, we’ve come up with five ways to give your rooms a boost, whatever your collecting style. From Folk Art to tribal, via blue and white and Victoriana, you’re bound to feel inspired by this season’s palette.

Collect & Decorate
Discover the hottest fabric and wallpaper trends of the season, plus covetable antiques to match.

Focus on Delftware Tiles
Exploring the rich and fascinating history of these charming and highly collectable ceramics.

Women of Substance
May Morris, Mary Seton Watts, Margaret MacDonald, these pioneering women made a huge contribution to the Arts & Crafts movement.

Regency Convex Mirror
Opulent, luxurious and decadently gilded – they are the qualities that define Regency convex mirrors. This is our Design Icon this month.

Meet the Maker
See the inspiration behind Victoria Claire Dawes handmade pottery

All this and much much more!!

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


JustFabrics


Ilsington Hotel


Ilsington Country House Hotel & Spa

Ilsington Country House Hotel & SpaIlsington is a family run quintessential English Country House Hotel which has been owned and run by the Hassell Family since 1998. Fourth generation, Devon hoteliers with a keen eye for detail and with staff who know how to make you feel at home. Packed with traditional character and a laid back vibe unwind in whatever way takes your fancy.  The two beautiful lounges are perfect for a game of afternoon chess and a cream tea (there are three to choose from) or book some pre-dinner spa time either in the pool or with one of the therapists. Continue reading


A Map of the Sky – Claire Wong

A Map of the Sky - Claire WongSynopsis: Kit doesn’t understand why his family has been uprooted to a remote coastal village in the North. Why did they leave so suddenly, and why has his Dad not joined them? At Askfeld Farm Guesthouse he meets an eclectic group of new neighbours and forms an unlikely friendship with Beth, who suffers from a chronic illness he does not understand. Kit learns that Beth, who cannot leave the guesthouse, is trying to draw a map from memory that shows all her favourite childhood haunts. Kit makes it his quest to help her remember by visiting places for her and hopes to solve the problems of the other guests along the way. But becoming a hero like the ones in his favourite books is trickier than it seems, especially when Kit has failed to grasp so much of what is happening around him… Can Kit work out that the person who really needs his help is much closer to home?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Claire Wong has written a beautiful and sensitive story of a summer as seen through the eyes and imagination of an eleven year old boy. With his head full of unanswered questions and mysteries we follow Kit as he tries to make sense of situations and understand the people around him. Full of pace and drama and evocative descriptions of the bracing northern coast, A Map of the Sky is a special and uplifting read.


Homes & Antiques – October 2019

Homes & Antiques - October 2019Living with Antiques

Fringed, plaid or striped, Welsh blankets are perennially popular and a topic we touch on as part of our closer look at the wonders of wool, which you’ll enjoy getting wrapped up in this month as the outside temperatures drop. There’s more celebration of traditional craft as we delve into the art of Windsor chairmaking, guided by our maker of the month, Jason Mosseri. For him, it’s all about the detail, as it is for the creators of miniature furniture – a phenomenon we take a very close look at, bringing you new ways to style charming hand-carved pieces. Inspiring homes, not-to-be-missed fairs and auction news round up this glorious issue, which has been given an exciting refresh.

Miniature furniture
We explore the charming, and somewhat mysterious, history of miniature antique furniture.

The Louis Vuitton trunk
Shapely and stackable why Louis Vuitton’s 1858 cabin trunk is the epitome of luxury travel

Material Matters: Wool
Explore how this naturally sustainable material has kept us cosy through the centuries

Meet the Maker
See Jason Mosser’s handmade Windsor chairs

Four homes with flair

The Fabric of Life
Explore the stylish and elegant Highland estate of Lord and Lady Inchyra

An Elegant Balance
Kim Verbist’s Dutch holiday home is a balance of patterned antique textiles and bold colours.

Restoration Drama
This 300-year-old coachman’s cottage is a haven of rustic antiques, washed textiles and dried flowers

Tales of the Unexpected
This museum-like Suffolk home is crammed with Victorian furniture and macabre curiosities

All this and much much more!!

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


The Day We Meet Again – Miranda Dickinson

The Day We Meet Again - Miranda DickinsonSynopsis: We’ll meet again at St Pancras station, a year from today. If we’re meant to be together, we’ll both be there. If we’re not, it was never meant to be . . .’

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t part of the plan. So they make a promise: to meet again in the same place in twelve months’ time if they still want to be together.

But is life ever as simple as that?

This is a story of what-ifs and maybes – and how one decision can change your life forever…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places
As lovers of serendipity, ever since Miranda first announced the inspiration behind The Day We Meet Again, we were intrigued and couldn’t wait to read it, and what a joy and delight it has been!

Miranda’s writing is like a wonderful hug in a book, to be savoured and enjoyed, because as a reader you become invested in the characters and in the case of Phoebe and Sam’s story you want them to find their happy ending.

Beautifully romantic, and full of surprises, this glorious tenth novel is a wonderful celebration of Miranda’s writing. We loved it, another stunning book to join our collection of our favourite reads of 2019! Highly Recommended!


Mallory Cook and the Road not Taken by Charlotte Nash

Mallory Cook and the Road not Taken by Charlotte NashSynopsis: One single mother. Three escaped pensioners. An unforgettable road trip.

In their tiny, pale green cottage under the trees, Mallory Cook and her five-year-old son, Harry, are a little family unit who weather the storms of life together. Money is tight after Harry’s unreliable and impulsive father, Duncan, abandoned them to expand his business in New York. So when Duncan fails to return Harry after a visit, Mallory sets off, determined to bring her son home any way she can.

A chance encounter with three retirees on the run leaves Mallory leading an unlikely group road trip across the United States. Zadie, Ernie and Jock each have their own reasons for making the journey and along the way the four of them will learn not only the lengths they will travel to save each other, but that it’s never too late to change the path you’re on . . .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Mallory Cook and the Road Not Taken has all the components that make it absolutely gripping – poignancy, romance, adventure, and an uncertain ending, keeping you reading until the very end. Charlotte Nash has created such a brilliantly visual book, her descriptions would translate so well to the big screen, we absolutely loved it, one of our favourite reads of 2019! Highly Recommended!


The Last Concerto – Sara Alexander

The Last Concerto - Sara AlexanderSynopsis: Famed for its natural beauty and rich history, Sardinia in 1968 is notorious, too, for the bandits who kidnap wealthy landowners for ransom. Eleven-year-old Alba Fresu’s brother, and her father, Bruno, are abducted by criminals who mistake Bruno for a rich man. After a gruelling journey through the countryside, the two are eventually released – but the experience leaves Alba shaken and unable to readjust to normal life, or to give voice to her inner turmoil.

Accompanying her mother to cleaning jobs, Alba visits the villa of an eccentric Signora and touches the keys of a piano for the first time. The instrument’s spell is immediate. During secret lessons, forbidden by her mother, Alba is at last able to express emotions too powerful for words alone. Ignoring her parents’ insistence that she work in the family’s car dealership and marry a local boy, Alba accepts a scholarship to the Rome conservatoire. There she immerses herself in a vibrant world of art and a passionate affair.

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Lyrical and powerful, in The Last Concerto, Sara Alexander’s writing pours out onto the page like the music that she is describing. She always produces such atmospheric, totally absorbing scenes, as a reader you want to immerse yourself in the text. Her descriptions are sublime, transporting the reader to each location with her wonderful writing. Highly Recommended!


Love, Unscripted – Owen Nicholls

Love, Unscripted - Owen NichollsSynopsis: For film projectionist Nick, love should mirror what he sees on the big screen. And when he falls for Ellie on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, it finally does.

For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job splicing film reels together in the local cinema. Life seemed… picture-perfect.

But now it’s 2012, Ellie has moved out and Nick’s trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

With Ellie gone and his life far from the happy ending he imagined, Nick wonders if their romance could ever again be as perfect as the night they met.

Can love really be as it is in the movies?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
There are some books that when you start reading you know you have discovered something special, Love, Unscripted is one such book. Beautifully written this delightful book is  a very clever, thoughtfully composed exploration of a relationship. A brilliant debut novel. Highly Recommended!


Thirty – Christina Bradley

Thirty - Christina BradleySynopsis: Thirty days till she turns thirty… Just thirty dates to find The One…

Bella Edwards is a hot mess. 

Days away from turning thirty, single, struggling to reconcile where she is with where she imagined she’d be by this point in her life, Bella has come to believe her entire future happiness is based on meeting ‘The One’. 

After an unfortunate encounter with a fortune teller, where it seems Bella’s single fate is sealed, she hops on a plane from London to New York to seek the wisdom of her best friend who, in turn, presents Bella with a challenge: thirty dates in thirty days before Bella turns thirty.

Challenge accepted, Bella embarks on a crazy road trip across America to San Francisco, with one clear objective: to find ‘The One’ and prove the fortune teller wrong. What ensues is a raucous adventure of dating, love, and – most importantly – self-discovery.

Fresh, funny and witty, Thirty shines an honest, often awkward, often hilarious, but ultimately wonderfully fresh light on what it truly means to be single, when everyone else seemingly has it all. 

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Thirty captures your attention from its funny, chaotic and memorable first pages until the very last page. In writing this debut novel Christina Bradley shows real talent in creating a novel with pace and humour and uplifting self-discovery. A perfect weekend read.


What Happens Now? by Sophia Money-Coutts

What Happens Now? by Sophia Money-CouttsWhat Happens Now? by Sophia Money-CouttsSynopsis: After eight years together, Lil Bailey thought she’d already found ‘the one’ – that is, until he dumped her for a blonde twenty-something colleague. So she does what any self-respecting singleton would do: swipes right, puts on her best bra and finds herself on a first date with a handsome mountaineer called Max. What’s the worst that can happen?

Well it’s pretty bad actually. First Max ghosts her and then, after weeing on a stick (but mostly her hands), a few weeks later Lil discovers she’s pregnant. She’s single, thirty-one and living in a thimble-sized flat in London, it’s hardly the happily-ever-after she was looking for.

Lil’s ready to do the baby-thing on her own – it can’t be that hard, right? But she should probably tell Max, if she can track him down. Surely he’s not that Max, the highly eligible, headline-grabbing son of Lord and Lady Rushbrooke, currently trekking up a mountain in South Asia? Oh, maybe he wasn’t ignoring Lil after all…

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

What Happens Now? has great pace, it has some brilliantly funny laugh-out-loud moments, but also poignancy. Once started you just want to keep reading, ultimately it delivers a heart-warming romance. Perfect for holiday, or weekend reading.


The Girl at the Window – Rowan Coleman

The Girl at the Window - Rowan Coleman Synopsis: A house full of history is bound to have secrets…
Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It’s also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from…
Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead.
While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present…

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-girl-at-the-window/rowan-coleman/9781785032462

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Rowan Coleman’s books are very special, guaranteed to keep you totally engrossed from the very first page to the very last sentence! Rowan is a sublime storyteller, we have loved all of her books, and The Girl at the Window is superb, atmospheric writing, weaving fact with fiction in such an accomplished way. This is an absolutely stunning novel; book the time and the space to curl up and be transported to another time and place! Highly Recommended!


A Dream of Italy – Nicky Pellegrino

A Dream of Italy - Nicky PellegrinoSynopsis: “Here is your chance to buy your own home in southern Italy for less than the price of a cup of coffee”
For sale: crumbling building in southern Italy. Asking price: 1 Euro.
In the drowsy heat of an Italian summer, three strangers arrive in the beautiful hilltop town of Montenello. Each has agreed to buy a crumbling historic building for a single Euro – and each is dreaming of a new adventure.
Elise is desperate to get on the property ladder. Edward wants to escape a life he feels suffocated by. Mimi is determined to start afresh after her divorce. And there’s one more new arrival whose true motives are yet to be revealed…
For each of them, Montenello offers a different promise of happiness. But can they turn their dream of Italy into reality?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dream-Italy-Nicky-Pellegrino/dp/1409178978

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love Nicky Pellegrino’s books and her ability through her evocative writing to transport you to another place and the The Dream of Italy is another utterly charming and uplifting novel. If you dream of living or visiting Italy you will adore this book. Highly Recommended!

 

 


New Beginnings at Rose Cottage – Erin Green

New Beginnings at Rose Cottage - Erin GreenSynopsis: One glorious summer brings the chance to begin again.

When solo travellers Benni, Emma and Ruth find themselves holidaying together at charming Rose Cottage in Brixham, Devon, they are initially disappointed to be sharing with strangers of a different age group.

But ‘friendship and home comforts’ are guaranteed at Rose Cottage and soon a bond blossoms between the women, who each have valuable life lessons to share.

As the summer unfolds, Benni, Emma and Ruth begin to realise that age is just a number. Before their time at Rose Cottage ends, will they take the chance to grasp the dreams that are now within their reach?

https://www.waterstones.com/book/new-beginnings-at-rose-cottage/erin-green/9781472263551

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is an utterly charming book, Erin captures the scenery of the Devon harbour village beautifully and gently explores the opportunities faced by three solo travellers as they each take a well-deserved holiday. New Beginnings at Rose Cottage is an uplifting and optimistic story, perfect for holiday reading.


Almost Adults – Ali Pantony

Almost Adults - Ali PantonySynopsis: The struggle is real but at least they’re all in it together.
Ever managed to kill a succulent after just a few days?
Got seven reminder letters on the kitchen table because you forgot to pay your council tax?
Become a hot mess who’s falling apart because they’ve been broken up with?
Mackie, Edele, Alex and Nat are navigating their chaotic and confusing twenties together. They have jobs and pay their own rent (well, most of them) but don’t know how to bleed radiators, defrost a freezer or test the smoke alarms.
With break-ups to deal with and major decisions to make, life can get messy especially when they’re still trying to get the hang of this ‘being a grown-up’ thing.
Welcome to the joys of being almost adults.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/almost-adults/ali-pantony//9781529104301

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Almost Adults is full of realism, humour and real warmth as we follow the lives of four women as they navigate their way through their twenties. With clever observation Ali Pantony has created a story full of relatable situations, charting the highs and lows of relationships, the realities of adult responsibilities and the importance of friendship. A brilliant debut novel!


A Home From Home – Veronica Henry

A Home From Home - Veronica HenrySynopsis: Sunshine, cider and family secrets…
Dragonfly Farm has been a home and a haven for generations of Melchiors – arch rivals to the Culbones, the wealthy family who live on the other side of the river. Life there is dictated by the seasons and cider-making, and everyone falls under its spell.
For cousins Tabitha and Georgia, it has always been a home from home. When a tragedy befalls their beloved Great-Uncle Matthew, it seems the place where they’ve always belonged might now belong to them…
But the will reveals that a third of the farm has also been left to a Culbone. Gabriel has no idea why he’s been included, or what his connection to the farm – or the Melchiors – can be.
As the first apples start to fall for the cider harvest, will Dragonfly Farm begin to give up its secrets?

https://www.waterstones.com/book/a-home-from-home/veronica-henry/9781409183525

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Veronica Henry is one of our favourite authors, every time one of her books arrives we know that we are in for a treat of sublime storytelling!

A Home from Home is another triumph, an absolute joy of a read, beautiful evocative writing, making this delightful book an absolute must-read for your summer booklist.

We absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!


The Little Vineyard in Provence – Ruth Kelly

The Little Vineyard in Provence - Ruth KellySynopsis: Ava needs to escape.

Stuck in a dead-end job, her husband Mark has left her with a mountain of debt and no clue as to when he’ll be back.

When she receives the news that her grandfather has passed away, Ava is shocked to learn he has left his entire vineyard, Chateau Saint Clair, to her.

Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, a glass of red with the handsome local waiter Jacques; Ava starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her marriage, to take a chance on a place she fell for as a child – wouldn’t it?

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-little-vineyard-in-provence/ruth-kelly/9781409185307

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
As a title The Little Vineyard in Provence immediately beckons you in with a promise of a delightful escapist reading and Ruth Kelly delivers a charming and uplifting summer read. As a debut novel this shows real talent, we look forward to her next book!


Homes and Antiques – The Art Issue 2019

Homes and Garden July 2019The Art Issue 2019 – Artistic Inspiration

Abstract, Impressionist, Surreal, Photorealist, Naïve… This month we are celebrating everything arty! From four art-filled homes belonging to artists and creatives, to major artistic anniversaries being celebrated in galleries and institutions around Europe, to our invaluable 16-page guide to buying, commissioning and displaying contemporary art, we embrace this expressive medium in all its multi-coloured incarnations. We also recreate still-life artworks in real life with possibly our most ambitious photoshoot to date, and explore the interiors trends, exhibitions, fairs and events not to missed this season.

Artistic Houses
Step inside four unique homes belonging to inspiring artists and creatives.
10 Ways to Create a Sense of Faded Grandeur
We explain how to recreate this romantic look.
Design Icon
We uncover the history of the Swedish Moro clock – the ultimate family heirloom.
Still Life in Real Life
We recreate classic still-life paintings using covetable antiques and accessories.
Material Matters: Bronze
We discover what the future holds for bronze, the medium of artistic expression beloved by craftspeople for thousands of years.
Guide to Contemporary Art
Learn how to purchase, commission and display art with our practical guide.
All this and much much more!!

The Homes & Antiques Art Issue issue is on sale now : www.homesandantiques.com


wedding2019


CaerhaysHolidays


Mylor


FairOakFarm


SallyCottages


MountHaven


StarCastle


HomeinItaly


conbermere


gone crabbing


Thurlestone


MullionCove


CoquetCottages


cocoonandme