Dear Emmie Blue – Lia Louis

Dear Emmie Blue - Lia LouisDescription: Emmie Blue has a secret…

A long time ago, Emmie Blue released a red balloon with a secret message hidden inside – and against all odds, across hundreds of miles of ocean, it was found on a beach in France by a boy called Lucas.

Fourteen years later, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Emmie hopes that Lucas is finally about to kiss her. She never expected him to announce that he was marrying someone else!

Suddenly Emmie’s dreams are shattered and the one person in her life she can rely on is slipping through her fingers. But what if Lucas isn’t her forever? What if her love story is only just beginning…

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

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

In Dear Emmie Blue, Lia Louis has created a book that will take you and keep you completely absorbed until you reach the very last page.

Poignant, and sensitively written, expect to experience every emotion in this touching and uplifting story of love, friendship and relationships.

A very special book.

Highly Recommended!


Homes & Antiques – August 2020

Homes & Antiques – August 2020As lockdown begins to ease a little for many of us, we look forward to welcoming back live fairs and auctions so you can get your antiques and vintage fix, while helping dealers get their businesses back on track. Take a tour of five colourful homes, which beautifully reflect their owners’ characters, and hear three devotees of Piero Fornasetti tell us what they love about the designer’s unique style. Find out what leads some collectors to leave a lifetime’s work to cultural institutions and discover Prue Leith’s favourite culinary antique!

Homes
From a Cornish cottage to an East London Terrace, each one successfully demonstrates the art of mixing styles from diverse and surprising sources.

Collecting Paperweights
The fascinating history of collecting these glass orbs.

Collecting Embroidered Table Linen
The simple beauty of crinoline ladies.

A Living Archive
Inside Barnaba Fornasetti’s Milan townhouse.

Material Matters: Bakelite
The ‘material of 1000 uses’ proved revolutionary in the early 20th century, and many Bakelite designs have retained an irresistible aesthetic appeal.

Meet the Maker
Jo Sweeting’s hand-carved creations.

Left to the Nation
Key bequests and why they are made.

Travel: Great Escapes
Outstanding formal gardens open to the public.

Fairs and Auctions
We welcome the return of live antiques events.

All this and much, much more!!

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


Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop – Ali McNamara

Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop - Ali McNamaraDescription: Welcome to the glorious little Cornish town of St Felix – where romance and magic sparkle in the summer air

Kate thinks all her wishes have come true when she opens her own little craft shop in the idyllic harbour town of St Felix.

But she soon finds a mystery lingers in her new shop – a sixty-year-old love story told through beautiful paintings and intricate embroideries.

Jack, the owner of the nearby art shop, volunteers to help Kate unravel the mystery, but in doing so they realise their own lives share some uncanny similarities with Clara and Arty, their 1950s counterparts . . .

Can Kate and Jack put right a decades-old wrong, and maybe find their own happy ending on the way?

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

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop Ali McNamara takes us back to our favourite harbour town of St Felix.

This is an exquisite book with all the elements that we love in Ali’s writing; glorious location, believable and lovable characters, a wonderful escapist story, plus a sprinkle of magic dust, all wrapped up inside a beautiful cover!

We absolutely loved it, one of our favourite summer reads! Highly Recommended!


The Women Who Ran Away – Sheila O’Flanagan

The Women who Ran Away - Sheila O'FlanaganDescription: Deira isn’t the kind of woman to steal a car. Or drive to France alone with no plan. But then, Deira didn’t expect to be single. Or to suddenly realise that the only way she can get the one thing she wants most is to start breaking every rule she lives by.

Grace has been sent on a journey by her late husband, Ken. She doesn’t really want to be on it but she’s following his instructions, as always. She can only hope that the trip will help her to forgive him. And then – finally – she’ll be able to let him go.

Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Grace and Deira find that it’s easier to share secrets with a stranger, especially in the shimmering sunny countryside of Spain and France. But they soon find that there’s no escaping the truth, whether you’re running away from it or racing towards it . . .

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

 

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

There are so many reasons to read a book by Sheila O’ Flanagan – her sublime storytelling, her wonderful ability to create realistic and honest characters, the evocative ways she describes her locations and that wonderful ability to weave it all together in a book that you will find irresistible.

From the beautiful cover to the very last page, The Women Who Ran Away is a gorgeous escapist summer read!

Highly Recommended!


A Table for Friends – Skye McAlpine

A Table for Friends - Skye McAlpineThe Art of Cooking for Two or Twenty

Description:

A Table for Friends celebrates the joy of eating with friends and family, with over 100 simple and wonderfully inviting recipes that allow you to relax with your loved ones whilst the cooking takes care of itself.

Drawing on years of cooking for more people than it ever seemed possible to squeeze into her kitchen, Sunday Times columnist and cookery author Skye McAlpine shares the secrets to her stylish and relaxed way of hosting, setting you up for success whether you’re cooking for two or twenty.

A Table for Friends has recipes for every occasion, from last-minute weeknight dinners to large celebratory gatherings. Skye’s recipes fall into four chapters, Stars, Sides, Sweets and Extras, which allow you to intuitively plan a simple and impressive menu, and, because juggling oven space is one of the biggest challenges when cooking for a crowd, each chapter is ingeniously organised into Throw Together, On The Hob and In The Oven so your menu works best for your mood, your kitchen and your time.

Alongside these beautiful, deliciously do-able recipes comes Skye’s practical, fuss-free guidance for hosting a stress-free gathering, from what to cook in advance to how to lay the table beautifully, allowing you to step out of the kitchen and relax with your guests.

For a super-easy roast why not try her Honey-roast poussins, Butter-&-sage roast pumpkin, Saffron fennel, A really good chicory salad with creamy mustard dressing and Winter fruit & mascarpone tart? Or for a wonderfully soothing pasta supper, Tagliatelle with gorgonzola, pear & walnut and Chocolate chestnut meringue cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

This is a cookbook to cook from: a helpful, approachable, down-to-earth kitchen companion that will give you the confidence to gather friends around your table and the inspiration to do so more often.

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

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Skye’s previous book, A Table in Venice has been one of our all time favourite books, and A Table for Friends is destined to join it in our collection of inspiring cookery books.

Skye writes in such a lyrical way and the photography that accompanies her writing throughout the book is outstanding!

We love the way that the book is created, Skye says that she wants the contents of this book to feel intuitive;

So I wrote it just as I cook.The recipes fall into chapters that take you, step by step, through my thought process in the kitchen: stars, sides and sweets. And then, should you need them, extras.’

It really is written in such an inclusive way:

‘Imagine we are sitting at the kitchen table together, planning a meal, choosing what to cook and scribbling down what we need to buy as we go. First we start with the main dish, what I like to call the ‘star’.This is the centrepiece of lunch or dinner, the main event. It might be a plump roast chicken, a decadently cheesy frittata, or macaroni baked into a flaky pastry pie crust – you choose – but this is what sets the feel and mood of the meal. Then we think about side dishes; as a rule of thumb, we’ll need two of these (three, if feeling extravagant). One should be a simple, fresh salad and perhaps you might want some potatoes (I always want potatoes).The rest is very much up to you. And pudding. Of course, we’ll need pudding. Then, should were in the mood for going that extra mile, we might consider baking a loaf of bread or making our own mayonnaise, say, or salsa verde, to complement the rest of the meal. A little something ‘extra’.

This paragraph sums up Skye’s approach throughout the book. However what sets it apart is the detail; each recipe comes with full details of its origin, the best way to prepare it and the wonderfully helpful timing details, e.g. ‘Hands on 15 minutes’, ‘Hands off 20 minutes, simmering’ Plus full details of the ingredients, preparation and the method, supported by gorgeously inspiring photographs of the finished dish.

The recipes are mostly Italian, many are Skye’s own, but she also includes recipes from her friends’ kitchens, from their family archives, as well as from her own childhood, plus some from her husband’s family. Above all what is collected here are recipes designed to be successful, so that you can concentrate on creating that wonderful table of food to share with friends.

But this book is so much more than delicious recipes, there are delightful details on how to set the scene for the meal, the way that Skye describes this is utterly charming, from the actual table, the tablecloth, the napkins, the mismatched tableware and cutlery, the flowers, candles, even the pans!

She has a rule ‘I own nothing that is too precious to be broken’, and has a caveat ‘that all plates should all be dishwasher-friendly: life is too short to wash things up by hand.’

After taking us through the most sublime meals, Skye completes the book with comprehensive details, including a summary of all her dishes arranged through the seasons, plus sample menus for cooking for different groups of people, and suggestions for meals to cook when you have different amounts of time available.

This is a magical book, we absolutely adore it and that is why we are delighted to choose A Table for Friends  as our as our Cookery Book of the Month. Highly Recommended!


Under a Starry Sky – Laura Kemp

Under a Starry Sky - Laura KempDescription:
It’s never too late to follow your heart
Wanda Williams has always dreamed of leaving her wellies behind her and travelling the world! Yet every time she comes close to following her heart, life always seems to get in the way.

So, when her mother ends up in hospital and her sister finds out she’s pregnant with twins, Wanda knows that only she can save the crumbling campsite at the family farm.
Together with her friends in the village, she sets about sprucing up the site, mowing the fields, replanting the allotment and baking homemade goodies for the campers.
But when a long-lost face from her past turns up, Wanda’s world is turned upside-down. And under a starry sky, anything can happen…

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

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We loved Laura’s previous books; The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness and Bring Me Sunshine, and Under a Starry Sky is another example of how Laura always creates communities full of delightful characters, realism, humour and warmth.

There are many storylines in Under a Starry Sky, with moments of drama, poignancy and raw emotion yet Laura weaves them all together in a wonderfully uplifting summer read!

Highly recommended!


The Footstool Workshop

The Footstool Workshop are an experienced team of skilled craftsmen, designers and upholsterers, having been in the furniture business for over 20 years.
Whether you want something to sit on, to rest your weary feet on, to stack your magazines on, to use as storage or just to look beautiful to fill a large space, TFW have loads of gorgeous products to choose from. Continue reading


Homes & Antiques – July 2020

Homes & Antiques – July 2020The world may still be in flux but that doesn’t mean the antiques trade is standing still. Across the country, dealers and fair organisers are shifting their operations online to ensure they can still buy and sell the unique pieces we crave to make our homes stylish and intriguing. As ever, our houses all exude personality and charm through their owners’ thoughtful choices in decoration and decorative antiques, and we also hear from six aficionados who reveal the shopping hotspots they can’t wait to visit. We’re also excited to be launching a brand new section dedicated to food, recipes and collectable antique kitchenalia. Step this way for tantalising cakes and ices from sun-soaked Sardinia…

Wish I was Here!
From sun-soaked Sicily to an Oxfordshire reclamation yard, six antique dealers share their favourite destinations they cannot wait to visit again.

Natural Beauty
Turn your garden into a tranquil oasis with the use of weathered and patinated antique furniture, tools and statuary.

Jewel Purpose
Tracing the intricate story of enamel

Design Icon
Why versatile Lloyd Loom still appeals today.

A Taste of Summer
Sweet treats from Sardinia that make the most of local olive oil and the citrus fruits that are grown in abundance.

Meet the Maker
Textile artist Emily Jo Gibbs reveals her processes and inspirations.

Living with antiques
We visit four inspiring homes.

All this and much much more!!
The July issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now : www.homesandantiques.com


Homepage2020


Sunny Days and Sea Breezes – Carole Matthews

Description: Jodie Jackson is all at sea, in every sense.

On a ferry bound for the Isle of Wight, she’s leaving her London life, her career, and her husband behind. She’d like a chance to turn back the clocks, but she’ll settle for some peace and quiet on her brother Bill’s beautifully renovated houseboat, Sunny Days.

But from the moment Jodie steps aboard her new home, it’s clear she’ll struggle to keep herself to herself. If it isn’t Marilyn, who cleans for Bill and is under strict instructions to look after Jodie, then it’s Ned, the noisy sculptor on the next-door houseboat. Ned’s wood carving is hard on the ears, but it’s made up for by the fact that he’s rather easy on the eyes.

Bustled out of the boat by Marilyn and encouraged to explore with Ned, Jodie soon delights in her newfound freedom. But out of mind isn’t out of sight, and when her old life comes knocking Jodie is forced to face reality. Will she answer the call or choose a life filled with Sunny Days and Sea Breezes?

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

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We have loved Carole’s books for many years, every time one of her new books arrives, it comes with a guarantee that from the first to the very last page the reader will be taken to another enchanted place.

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes is another wonderful example of her writing and particularly poignant this year as we all long for an escape. With her usual magical storytelling, this is a delightful escapist read.

An absolute joy, uplifting, warm-hearted, feel-good summer reading!. Highly Recommended!


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