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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


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