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


The Woman in the Photograph – Stephanie Butland

The Woman in the Photograph - Stephanie Butland

Synopsis:

 

1968. Veronica Moon, a junior photographer for a local newspaper, is frustrated by her (male) colleagues’ failure to take her seriously. And then she meets Leonie on the picket line of the Ford factory at Dagenham. So begins a tumultuous, passionate and intoxicating friendship. Leonie is ahead of her time and fighting for women’s equality with everything she has. She offers Veronica an exciting, free life at the dawn of a great change.
Fifty years later, Leonie is gone, and Veronica leads a reclusive life. Her groundbreaking career was cut short by one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century.

Now, that controversial picture hangs as the centrepiece of a new feminist exhibition curated by Leonie’s niece. Long-repressed memories of Veronica’s extraordinary life begin to stir. It’s time to break her silence, and step back into the light. An empowering, feminist and moving novel that will change the way you see the world.

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

In The Woman in the Photograph, Stephanie Butland has created an important and powerful novel. Well-researched and cleverly combining history with a deeply moving and poignant story of so many dimensions, this is a book that will stay in your mind long after you finish reading it. Highly Recommended!


Four Weddings and a Festival – Annie Robertson

Four Weddings and a Festival - Annie RobertsonSynopsis: Four months. Four weddings. One happy ending…?
Lifelong friends and rom-com fans Bea, Lizzie, Hannah and Kathave curled up with Bridget Jones, sobbed at Love, Actuallyand memorised the script to Notting Hill. They always joked about getting married in one summer – their own Four Weddings – and it seems like this might just be the year . . .

That is, until Bea turns down her boyfriend’s proposal. Is her own Hugh Grant waiting for her amid the champagne and confetti? Can real-life romance ever live up to a Richard Curtis movie?

As the wedding – and festival – season gets into its swing, can all four friends find their happy ever after…?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

This is a perfect read for lovers of romantic comedy and particularly Richard Curtis movies, the book is full of references; but Annie Robertson also cleverly creates her own story full of very realistic characters and intriguing storylines. Absolutely wonderful, feel good summer read. Highly Recommended!


My Lemon Grove Summer – Jo Thomas

My Lemon Grove Summer - Jo ThomasSynopsis: Could the lemon groves of Sicily be the perfect place to start over? The irresistible new novel from Jo Thomas, the author of Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard, will transport you to the island of mountains and sparkling blue seas.

When life hands you lemons … is it ever too late for a second chance?

Zelda’s impulsive nature has got her precisely nowhere up until now. A fresh start in a beautiful hilltop town in Sicily looking for new residents, together with her best friend Lennie, could be just what she needs. And who better to settle down with than the person who knows her best?

But the sun-filled skies and sparkling seas can’t hide the shadow hanging over Citta d’Ora, which means not everyone is pleased to see their arrival. The dreams Zelda and her fellow new residents had of setting up a new life might be slipping away. But a friendship with restauranteur Luca could be about to unlock the possibilities that lie in the local lemon groves. And there’s a wedding on the horizon that might be just what the town needs to turn it around…

Could a summer in Sicily help Zelda learn to trust her instinct and follow her heart?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
What we love about books written by Jo Thomas is that she always transports the reader with her vivid descriptions of her locations; her evocative writing immediately places you in the destination so that all your senses are alive to the scenes as they unfold.

My Lemon Grove Summer is no exception, stunning location, believable characters, engaging storylines, it is another joyous summer read! Highly Recommended.


Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay – Ali McNamara

Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay - Ali McNamaraThe sun is shining on the golden castle on Rainbow Bay – and change is in the air!

Synopsis: Amelia is a single mother, doing her very best to look after her young son, Charlie – but money is tight and times are tough. When she first hears that she is the last descendent of the Chesterford family and that she has inherited a Real-Life Castle by the sea, Amelia can’t quite believe her ears. But it’s true!

She soon finds that owning a castle isn’t quite the ticket to sorting out her money problems that she’d first hoped: she can’t sell, because the terms of the ancient bequest state that any Chesterford who inherits the castle, must live there and work towards the upkeep and maintenance of the family home. So ever-practical Amelia decides to uproot her little family and move to this magnificent castle by the sea.

Living in a castle on the beautiful Northumberland coast is fun at first, but organising the day-to-day running is a lot more complicated than Amelia first imagined. Luckily she has help from the small band of eccentric and unconventional staff that are already employed there – and a mysterious unseen hand that often gives her a push in the right direction just when she needs it most. It’s only when she meets Tom, a furniture restorer who comes to the castle to help repair some antique furniture, that Amelia realises she might get the fairy-tale ending that she and Charlie truly deserve…

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Congratulations Ali, ten years and ten books and we have loved each one! Ali McNamara is one of those special authors who always delivers a guaranteed delightful escapist read and Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay is another magical story. We loved it! Highly Recommended!

If you would like to read more about the 10 novels – 10 Years. 10 Books. 10 Questions… visit https://www.alimcnamara.co.uk


Bring Me Sunshine – Laura Kemp

Bring Me Sunshine - Laura KempSynopsis: Charlotte Bold is nothing like her name – she is shy and timid and just wants a quiet life. When her job doing the traffic news on the radio in London is relocated to Sunshine FM in Mumbles, she jumps at the chance for a new start in Wales.

But when she arrives she discovers that she’s not there to do the travel news – she’s there to front the graveyard evening show. And she’s not sure she can do it.

Thrust into the limelight, she must find her voice and a way to cope. And soon she realises that she’s not the only person who finds life hard – out there her listeners are lonely too. And her show is the one keeping them going.

Can Charlotte seize the day and make the most of her new home? And will she be able to breathe new life into the tiny radio station too…?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved Laura’s previous book, The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness and in Bring Me Sunshine, Laura has created another collection of delightful characters, full of realism, humour and real warmth. Another utterly charming and uplifting novel. Highly Recommended!


A Walk in Wildflower Park – Bella Osborne

A Walk in Wildflower Park - Bella OsborneLife’s not always a walk in the park…

Synopsis: Anna thought she’d found The One – until he broke off their engagement exactly a year before their wedding day. Hoping new surroundings will do her the world of good, she moves in to a place of her own on the edge of gorgeous Wildflower Park.

With the help and friendship of her neighbour Sophie, Anna quickly settles in and pledges to focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems determined to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives a text from a mystery man, it looks as though an unlikely romance is on the horizon…

Is Anna about to be swept off her feet by someone she really shouldn’t be falling for? Or could this be the new start she needs and deserves?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
A Walk in Wildflower Park is a delightfully satisfying book, full of twists and turns. Originally published as a four-part series it has interesting characters and a pace to keep you reading to the very end. There are some laugh-out loud moments as well as heart-warming charm. A perfect summer read! Highly Recommended!


The Library of Lost and Found – Phaedra Patrick

The Library of Lost and Found - Phaedra PatrickSynopsis: Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people, though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.

All of that changes when a mysterious book arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her grandmother Zelda, who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is such a special book, beautifully written with an intriguing mystery at the centre. Phaedra Patrick has created a delightful collection of characters, if you love books you will find this story utterly charming. Highly Recommended!


All Summer With You – Beth Good

All Summer With You - Beth GoodThere’s no place like home…

Synopsis: Nursing a broken heart, Jennifer Bolitho retreats to Pixie Cottage. Her new landlord – a former soldier turned movie heartthrob – has grounds so large, she’s sure the little house nestled in the woods will bring her solitude.

Alex Delgardo also has reasons to hide away. Seeking refuge after a tragic incident turned his world upside down, he knows that the most important thing now is to care for his ailing family.

But when Jennifer enters their lives, that changes. Because, as they both learn, you can’t heal others until you learn to heal yourself…

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In All Summer With You, Beth Good has created a book with real pace. Her characters have such depth and she manages to keep revealing more and more secrets so that once started you really want to finish it. A delightful summer read! Highly Recommended!


Needlemouse – Jane O’Connor

Needlemouse - Jane O'ConnorTime to come out of hibernation…

Synopsis: Sylvia Penton has been hibernating for years, it’s no wonder she’s a little prickly…
Sylvia lives alone, dedicating herself to her job at the local university. On weekends, she helps out at a local hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to talk about on Mondays – and it makes people think she’s nicer than she is.

Only Sylvia has a secret: she’s been in love with her boss, Professor Lomax, for over a decade now, and she’s sure he’s just waiting for the right time to leave his wife. Meanwhile she stores every crumb of his affection and covertly makes trouble for anyone she feels gets in his way.

But when a bright new PhD candidate catches the Professor’s eye, Sylvia’s dreams of the fairy tale ending she has craved for so long, are soon in tatters, driving her to increasingly desperate measures and an uncertain future.
Sylvia might have been sleep walking through her life but things are about to change now she’s woken up…

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is a thoughtful book about unrequited love and self-discovery, poignant, but ultimately uplifting. There are also delightful references to the life of hedgehogs throughout the book. In Needlemouse, as a debut novel, Jane O’Connor has demonstrated real talent. Highly Recommended!


In Bloom – Clare Nolan

In Bloom - Clare NolanGrowing, Harvesting and Arranging Flowers all year round

Synopsis: Planting cut flowers brings that `grow-your-own’ excitement to a whole new level – being able to step out of the back door and pick a single stem for beside the bed or pull together a posy for a friend is a joy. In this beautifully designed book, brimming with inspirational photographs, Clare Nolan reveals her secrets for growing a bountiful harvest as well as styling spectacular homegrown displays that will fill your home with colour and the gorgeous scent of the garden year-round. She takes the mystique out of what to grow and guides you through the entire process – from choosing the plants to suit both your garden and home decor and laying out your cutting patch, to planning ahead so you get your perfect palette of colour, texture and shape to play with at the right time. A whole chapter on arranging will inspire you to create spectacular arrangements for your home without the need for complicated floristry techniques.

In Bloom by Clare Nolan is published by Kyle Books (www.kylebooks.co.uk). Photography by Clare Nolan.

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

To say that this book is beautiful is an understatement, In Bloom is an amazing, glorious, absolute joy of a book.

Packed full with the most beautiful photography, Clare Nolan’s enthusiasm for her flowers shines through on every page. The really helpful content
includes Getting Started, Annuals & Biennials, Bulbs, Perennials, Shrubs & Trees, Foliage & Fillers, Harvesting/Arranging.

We love the way that she combines inspiration with practicality, identifying what you want to grow, based on colour, scale, texture and scent, with how and where you are able to grow your plants. There is a very useful Seasonal Calendar and a summary of the flower grower’s year.

This is followed by in-depth sections about sowing and growing, collecting seeds, and then detailed information about the actual flowers themselves, describing her favourites, how to care for them in the garden, and how best to use them in a vase.

To complete the book Clare devotes her final chapters to Harvesting & Arranging with the most helpful advice and gorgeous imagery.

Whether you are a gardener, a florist, a stylist, or just have a passion for flowers you will absolutely adore this book, it is such an inspiration, bringing joy and colour to the dullest of days.

We are delighted to have chosen In Bloom as our Gardening Book of the Month. Highly Recommended!


wedding2019


A Summer Reunion – Fanny Blake

A Summer Reunion - Fanny BlakeSynopsis: One perfect villa, four old friends, and a holiday that will change everything…

Amy, Linda, Kate and Jane were best friends at school. Now, years later, they have grown apart. When Amy discovers her husband has been stealing from her successful interiors business, and with a milestone birthday looming, she decides it is the time to reach out to her old friends once again.

So, she decides to invite the other three to her beautiful villa in Mallorca for a reunion weekend. As the four friends gather, secrets are unearthed, old scores settled and new friendships forged. Will this holiday bring them together or tear them apart? And will each of them grasp their second chance for happiness…?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Fanny Blake always creates the most delightful books. Her storytelling is always enticing, as a reader you want to know more about her characters and their lives. Her descriptions of the locations are sublime, ensuring that you don’t just read her books but experience them as if you are an observer watching the plot unfold. A Summer Reunion is an intriguing, absolutely wonderful summer read. Highly Recommended!


The Bookshop on the Shore – Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Shore - Jenny ColganEscape to the Scottish Highlands where a tiny bookshop perches on the edge of a loch.

Synopsis: Zoe is a single mother, sinking beneath the waves trying to cope by herself in London. Hari, her gorgeous little boy is perfect in every way – except for the fact that he just doesn’t speak, at all. When her landlord raises the rent on her flat, Zoe doesn’t know where to turn.

Then Hari’s aunt suggests Zoe could move to Scotland to help run a bookshop. Going from the lonely city to a small village in the Highlands could be the change Zoe and Hari desperately need.

Faced with an unwelcoming boss, a moody, distant bookseller named Ramsay Urquart, and a band of unruly children, Zoe wonders if she’s made the right decision. But Hari has found his very first real friend, and no one could resist the beauty of the loch glinting in the summer sun. If only Ramsay would just be a little more approachable…

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

What we love about Jenny Colgan’s books is her magical storytelling where she always creates such believable characters and communities that you feel transported the minute you step inside her books. Full of atmosphere, The Bookshop on the Shore is an uplifting, heart-warming summer read!
Highly Recommended!


The Lemon Tree Hotel – Rosanna Ley

The Lemon Tree Hotel - Rosanna LeySynopsis: In the beautiful village of Vernazza, the Mazzone family have transformed an old convent overlooking the glamorous Italian Riviera into the elegant Lemon Tree Hotel. For Chiara, her daughter Elene and her granddaughter Isabella, the running of their hotel is the driving force in their lives.

One day, two unexpected guests check in. The first, Dante, is a face from Chiara’s past, but what exactly happened between them all those years ago, Elene wonders. Meanwhile, Isabella is preoccupied with the second guest, a mysterious young man who seems to know a lot about the history of the old convent and the people who live there. Isabella is determined to find out his true intentions and discover the secret past of the Lemon Tree Hotel.

A story about love, family secrets, and a little piece of heaven . . .

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
An indication of how much we like a book is how invested we are in the characters. In The Lemon Tree Hotel, Rosanna Ley has created a family that is so real that as a reader there are times when you are literally holding your breath as you turn the pages; willing them to get to the next stage, caring about their hopes and dreams – will they each get a happy ending? Absolutely stunning writing, a wonderful summer read. Highly Recommended!


Homes & Antiques July 2019

Homes & Antiques July 2019It’s time to enjoy longer evenings and the heady scents of summer! Now is the ideal time to turn your garden into a dreamy space for entertaining and our 10 ideas for adding character and soul will have you wanting to enjoy every meal outside. With their playful, optimistic vibe, teaming mid-century furniture and accessories with antiques and contemporary pieces can look as stylish today as they did in the 40, 50s and 60s. Take style notes from seven rooms (including the bathroom) in our photoshoot. We also tour four houses brimming with individuality, plus our columnist Jay Blades shares his love of colour and the go-to shades he favours. Plus we visit 10 gardens that have either made history or are set to…

Mid-century living
Take design notes from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s to create a playful and stylish home.

Summer interiors
From a Georgian farmhouse, to a seafront apartment filled with period pieces.

The beauty of rattan
We delve into the history of rattan, the fibre that’s still inspiring ground-breaking furniture from contemporary designers.

Meet the maker
See how Jessica Geach turns unbleached cotton braid into attractive accessories.

Colour Show
In his latest column, restorer and designer Jay Blades shares his love of working with colour.

10 historic UK gardens
Take a tour of 10 glorious gardens that have either made their mark, or are set to make history.

Young restorers
From furniture gilding to art conservation, meet three fresh faces in antiques restoration,

All this and much much more!!

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


The Path to the Sea – Liz Fenwick

The Path to the Sea - Liz FenwickSynopsis: Sometimes going home is just the beginning…

Boskenna, the beautiful, imposing house standing on the Cornish cliffs, means something different to each of the Trewin women.

For Joan, as a glamorous young wife in the 1960s, it was a paradise where she and her husband could entertain and escape a world where no one was quite what they seemed – a world that would ultimately cost their marriage and end in tragedy.

Diana, her daughter, still dreams of her childhood there – the endless blue skies and wide lawns, book-filled rooms and parties, the sound of the sea at the end of the coastal path – even though the family she adored was shattered there.

And for the youngest, broken-hearted Lottie, heading home in the August traffic, returning to Boskenna is a welcome escape from a life gone wrong in London, but will mean facing a past she’d hoped to forget.

As the three women gather in Boskenna for a final time, the secrets hidden within the beautiful old house will be revealed in a summer that will leave them changed for ever.

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

The Path to the Sea is a book that commands your attention. This is a novel with real depth; Liz Fenwick’s brilliant writing with her evocative descriptions and powerful characters is utterly gripping.

We have loved Liz’s previous books, but this has all the qualities to make it one of her best books yet!

Once started The Path to the Sea will ensure that you will lose track of time, so book out the weekend and escape to the sea!

Definitely one of our Top 10 reads this year. Highly Recommended!


Country Brocante Style – Lucy Haywood

Country Brocante Style - Lucy  HaywoodA Decorative Country Life

Synopsis: Lucy Haywood is the creator of The Country Brocantes – home and lifestyle fairs held in idyllic rural surroundings. In Country Brocante Style, she introduces her pretty and accessible signature look into the home, fusing two classic and enduring decorating traditions – English country style and French-inspired vintage styling. There’s plenty of classic French ‘brocanterie’ – old textiles, vintage furniture and decorative pieces – alongside lifestyle brands, gardenalia, handmade textiles, cottage-garden flowers and other homewares. In the first section, Country Brocante Style, Lucy leads you through the colour palette of the Brocantes and discusses key pieces of furniture and decorative pieces before presenting creative ideas for putting the look together. In the second section, Country Brocante Interiors, she pays a visit to the homes of the dealers and the buyers who flock to the fairs.

Decorative country style is more popular than ever and The Country Brocante will inspire you to create this romantic, timeless style in your own home.

https://rylandpeters.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We absolutely love this book!! In Country Brocante Style, Lucy Haywood has created a treasure trove of beautiful pieces, every page has the most exquisite items, with suggestions of how to display them. The photography by Ben Edwards is delightful, highlighting the beauty of the rooms and the pieces displayed.

This is a book of constant inspiration, as Lucy explains the Country Brocante Style with its colour palette of pale pinks, washed whites, seaside blues and soft greens. She then examines more about textures, vintage treasures, art, architectural antiques, decorative touches and how to pull it all together.

In the second section there are in-depth studies of actual interiors, again full of wonderful inspiration of how to achieve a Country Brocante Style. Finally there is a useful Sources listing.

This book is an absolute must-buy for anyone with a love of English Country and French Vintage, it is a book to return to over and over again, whenever you need to be inspired.

Country Brocante Style is one of our Top 10 favourite interiors books this year and we are delighted that it is our Home Book of the Month!


Her Husband’s Mistake: A marriage, a secret, and a wife’s choice… Sheila O’Flanagan

Her Husband's Mistake: A marriage, a secret, and a wife's choice... Sheila O’FlanaganSynopsis: Should a woman be ready to forgive and forget to save her marriage? Roxy’s not so sure…

When Roxy comes home unexpectedly one day to give her husband Dave a lovely surprise, it’s Roxy who gets shock of her life. And all she wants to do is run away. Roxy knows she has to face up to what’s happened and decide: forgive and forget, or bring an end to a decade-long marriage. Surely the right thing is to get over it – that’s what Dave thinks. After all, it’s just one mistake…

But Roxy finds it’s not so simple. Especially when another secret starts to emerge. Her friends and family all know what they’d do – but they’re not Roxy…

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Sheila O’Flanagan is such a sublime writer that when one of her books arrive arrives you know that you will be completely transported to the place and people that she has created with such realism. Her Husband’s Mistake is gritty, funny, and totally absorbing.

We absolutely loved it, a perfect summer read! Highly Recommended!


The Woman Who Wanted More by Vicky Zimmerman

The Woman Who Wanted More by Vicky ZimmermanSynopsis: Two women. One unusual cookbook. And a friendship that will show them how to savour each moment . . .

Kate Parker is about to turn forty and her world has fallen apart. Her seemingly rock-solid relationship is suddenly up in the air, and she’s been forced to move back in with her mother. In need of some distraction, Kate (reluctantly) volunteers at her local retirement home.

Cecily Finn is a ninety-seven-year-old resident of Lauderdale House for Exceptional Ladies. Her tongue is as sharp as her mind but lately she’s lost her spark, seemingly resigned to the Imminent End.

But then Cecily prescribes Kate a self-help recipe book with a difference – and so begins an unlikely friendship between two lonely and stubborn souls. Together, these two very different women – one near the end of her life, one adrift somewhere in the middle – will show each other that food is for feasting, life is for living, and that it’s always essential to ask for more.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-woman-who-wanted-more/vicky-zimmerman/9781785765322

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In the note from the author Vicky Zimmerman explains that one of her lead characters, Cecily Finn, was inspired by her grandmother also called Cecily Finn, who wrote Thought for Food in the 1950’s. This in part explains why The Woman Who Wanted More is such a deliciously authentic book, beautifully written, poignant but ultimately inspiring.

Highly Recommended!


A Perfect Cornish Summer – Phillipa Ashley

A Perfect Cornish Summer - Phillipa AshleySynopsis: Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival. At least, most of them are…

For Sam Lovell, organising the summer festival in her hometown is one of the highlights of her year. It’s not always smooth sailing, but she loves to see Porthmellow’s harbour packed with happy visitors, and being on the committee has provided a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and the distinct lack of it in her love life).

When their star guest pulls out with only a few weeks to go, everyone’s delighted when a London chef who grew up locally steps in at the last minute. But Gabe Matthias is the last person Sam was expecting to see, and his return to Porthmellow will change her quiet coastal life for ever.

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

The first in a gorgeous new series from the author of Summer at the Cornish Cafe.

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We love Phillipa Ashley’s books and A Perfect Cornish Summer is another delightful example of her writing. Capturing the atmosphere and spirit of the village and the festival Phillipa invites you in and keeps you engrossed until the very end. A heart-warming summer read! Highly Recommended!


Homes & Antiques June 2019

Homes & Antiques June 2019It’s time to put your collections centre stage and show off their intrinsic beauty. From silver trays to Parian busts via vintage suzanis, we show you how to create a striking feature wall. We also take a tour of four wonderfully individual homes belonging to artists and antiques dealers, and show you 10 ways to create the country kitchen of your dreams, with room to display your antique ceramics too. A year on from the second blaze at the Glasgow School of Art we discover what’s in store for the iconic Mackintosh building, and spend 48 hours in St Ives – a haven of art, culture and beautiful coastline.

Statement collections
Discover how to show off your antique treasures with these clever display ideas.

Characterful Homes
From a rustic home in the French Countryside to a quirky converted builders’ yard.

The Glasgow School of Art: Rising from the Ashes?
A year on from its second devastating fire, we look to the future of the Mackintosh building.

Design Icon
We shine a spotlight on Ercol’s instantly recognisable pebble-shaped Nest of Tables.

Meet the Maker
We head to the coast and visit the Cornish studio of block printer Lou Tonkin.

Travel
Do sandy beaches, breathtaking views and oodles of culture and art sound dreamy? Then perhaps a weekend in St Ives is in order.

All this and much much more!!

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


A Summer to Remember – Sue Moorcroft

A Summer to Remember - Sue MoorcroftSynopsis: COME AND SPEND SUMMER BY THE SEA!

WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages.

WHERE? Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

WHO? The ideal candidate will be looking for an escape from their cheating scumbag ex-fiancé, a diversion from their entitled cousin, and a break from their traitorous friends.

WHAT YOU’LL GET! Accommodation in a chocolate-box cottage, plus a summer filled with blue skies and beachside walks. Oh, and a reunion with the man of your dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: We take no responsibility for any of the above scumbags, passengers and/or traitors walking back into your life…

GET IN TOUCH NOW TO MAKE THIS A SUMMER TO REMEMBER!

https://www.waterstones.com/book/a-summer-to-remember/sue-moorcroft/9780008321765

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

In A Summer to Remember, Sue Moorcroft’s description of the Norfolk coast is atmospheric and beautiful, you really do feel transported to Nelson’s Bar. The book is an absolute delight, beautifully written, a perfect escapist Bank Holiday read!


Playgroups and Prosecco – Jo Middleton

Playgroups and Prosecco - Jo MiddletonThe (mis)adventures of a single mum

Synopsis: January 3rd

Jaffa Cakes – 7.

Times I was forced to watch a small child do a dance involving a dusty piece of ribbon found under the sofa – 4.

Inappropriate thoughts about Zac Efron – undisclosed

Single mum Frankie’s whole life revolves around her kids. But when your toddler has a more active social life, something has to change. Forget ‘me-time’, Frankie would settle for some adult conversation, and watching something other than the Disney channel.
The local playgroup may be ruled by Instagram mums with perfect husbands but Frankie accidentally forms a splinter group of single parents. After all, Mummy reallyneeds a playdate of her own. (Now pass the prosecco.)

https://www.waterstones.com/book/playgroups-and-prosecco/jo-middleton/9781529103366

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Playgroups and Prosecco is a very funny and relatable novel describing the life of single mum Frankie. Jo Middleton has very cleverly observed and recorded delightful anecdotes which combine poignancy with laugh-out loud moments, making it a delightful read. A brilliant debut novel.


CaerhaysHolidays


The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare - Beth O'LearyTiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is a very clever book, we loved the concept behind The Flatshare, it’s intriguing and engaging. We often talk about a book being suitable for a movie but The Flatshare really would lend itself to the big screen. Heartwarming and uplifting with engaging characters, this is a stunning debut novel.

Highly Recommended and one of our favourite reads of 2019!


The Garden of Lost and Found – Harriet Evans

The Garden of Lost and Found - Harriet EvansSynopsis: Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.

Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted The Garden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.

One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…

When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers.

For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.

Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Garden of Lost and Found is described as an ‘epic family drama’ and it really is. The way that Harriet Evans weaves the different threads of the story across the different generations is powerful. There are parts of this book that make for difficult reading, but such is her talent for storytelling that it will capture you and entreat you to read just one more page to see where she takes you. Utterly compelling and well written.


Swallowtail Summer – Erica James

Swallowtail Summer - Erica JamesSynopsis: They thought they were friends for life – until one summer, everything changed . . .

Linston End on the Norfolk Broads has been the holiday home to three families for many years. The memories of their time there are ingrained in their hearts: picnics on the river, gin and tonics in the pavilion at dusk, hours spent seeking out the local swallowtail butterflies. Everyone together.

But widower Alastair has been faced with a few of life’s surprises recently. Now, he is about to shock his circle of friends with the decisions he has made – and the changes it will mean for them all. For some, it feels like the end. For others, it might just be the beginning . . .

https://www.waterstones.com/

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Swallowtail Summer, Erica James creates an intriguing story about long term friendships and the hidden secrets that may lie beneath the surface. There are dramatic moments which are challenging to read, but her descriptions of the Norfolk Broads are exquisite and as usual with an Erica James novel it is well written and thought-provoking.


Mylor


FairOakFarm


Fair Oak Farm

Fair Oak Farm - Hot Brands Cool PlacesFair Oak Farm is a country estate based in Mayfield, East Sussex which is available for exclusive hire. They offer nine different properties on the estate from spacious and quirky eco-lodge tree houses to a stunning farmhouse. The estate can sleep up to 36 guests, whilst business groups sleeps 15-20 at single occupancy (or more if sharing rooms) for a corporate team event. Continue reading


RHS How to Create your Garden – Ideas & Advice for Transforming Your Outdoor Space – Adam Frost

RHS How to Create your Garden - Ideas & Advice for Transforming Your Outdoor Space - Adam FrostSynopsis: “Creating a garden doesn’t need to be complicated.” This is the promise from Adam Frost, BBC Gardeners’ World presenter and winner of multiple Chelsea Flower Show gold medals.

Regardless of your experience or budget, with Adam’s help and know-how you can design your dream garden, whether it’s a small urban garden, a classic cottage garden, a suburban front garden, a low-maintenance space or a city roof terrace. His practical, no-nonsense approach strips away complex garden design concepts and focuses on your needs and preferred garden style to help you plan and build a garden that works for you.

Starting right at the beginning, Adam takes you step by step through the whole process, inspiring you with simple garden design ideasto tackle a full garden makeover or a simple revamp of just one part of your garden, perhaps a tired herbaceous border, the patio, or a water feature.

Learn how to design a garden that reflects your practical needs, lifestyle, budget, personality, soil, and climate.

Build it yourself following the clear, uncomplicated step-by-step instructions that show you everything from laying turf to terraces, planting trees or building a raised bed or water feature.

Enjoy it month by month with his simple checklist of what to do when to keep your garden in shape.

RHS How to Create your Garden is about designing an outside space that is real, achievable, and right for you.

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Now is a perfect time to look creatively at your garden and How to Create Your Garden is a great place to start, and Adam’s passion and enthusiasm for gardening shines throughout the book.

Full of stunning illustrations and helpful advice he takes you through the key stages of creating a beautiful garden.

He starts with Design, including Understanding Your Space, Design for People, Find Your Style, Choose Your Plants, Bring it all Together.
He then focuses on How to Build Your Garden and How to Plant Your Garden. There are also really helpful ‘Ask Adam’ Q&A throughout the book.

We love the final section of the book which is about how to Enjoy your garden, which is a month by month summary of how to get the best out of your garden, with a quick checklist of tasks, what to do in your borders and vegetable garden, lawn, trees shrubs and climbers and any other jobs around the garden.

As Adam says, “Great Gardens are all about emotions and how they make you feel”

Whether you are creating a garden for the first time, or want to revitalise your existing garden this is a most inspiring book, we absolutely loved it.

We are delighted to have chosen How to Create Your Garden as our Gardening Book of the Month. Highly Recommended!
published by DK and available now dk.com


One Summer In Paris – Sarah Morgan

One Summer In Paris - Sarah MorganSynopsis: One charming bookshop, two unlikely friends, and a summer in Paris that will change their lives forever…
Grace can’t believe it when her husband of twenty-five years announces he doesn’t want to join her on their anniversary trip to Paris – instead, he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock, Grace makes the bold decision to go on this holiday of a lifetime alone.

Audrey leaves behind heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no knowledge of the French language, her summer adventure seems doomed to fail. Until she meets Grace, and everything changes…

Living in neighbouring apartments above the bookshop, Grace and Audrey form an unlikely friendship. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding each other might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

https://www.amazon.co.uk

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We love Sarah Morgan’s books, but Summer in Paris is one of her best! , Sarah is a sublime story teller, her characters have depth and warmth and set against the backdrop of Paris, her descriptions of the bookshop and the sights of Paris are so rich that it makes you feel that you are really there. As she weaves the characters and their lives together, this is a perfect candidate for a movie.

An absolutely glorious summer read!

Highly Recommended and one of our favourite reads of 2019!


SallyCottages


Homes & Antiques April 2019

Home and Antiques - April 2019This month we’ve been inspired by the scallops and scales trend to bring you a treasure trove of ideas for incorporating soft aquatic shades and natural ephemera into your home. From mother-of-pearl inlays to shell-shaped lamps via quirky fish vases and undulating furniture, there are myriad style notes that you can seamlessly add into your scheme. Our new columnist, furniture restorer and TV presenter Jay Blades, shares his love of Britain’s heritage crafts and how intrinsic they are to our national identity. This is a timely reminder as we also report on The Heritage Crafts Association’s Red List of endangered crafts and meet four craftspeople who are keeping a handful of key skills alive. In addition, we tour four extraordinary homes and reveal the go-to places the experts like to shop for their antiques

Treasures of the Deep
Cast your net to discover ethereal decorating ideas inspired by shells and sea creatures.

Dutch Courage
See a blend of period features and 20th-century furniture in Patrick Overwijk’s quirky Netherlands home

Where the Experts Shop for Antiques
Twelve dealers and interior designers share their favourite places to find choice pieces

The art of survival
We reveal steps being taken to preserve some of Britain’s traditional crafts.

New Columnist Jay Blades
In the second instalment of his new column, Jay talks about the importance of keeping heritage skills alive and how he is helping the cause.

All this and much much more!!

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


The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew – Milly Johnson

The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew - Milly JohnsonSynopsis: Behind every successful man is a woman.
Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

Sophie Mayhew looks like she has the perfect life. Wife of rising political star John F Mayhew, a man who is one step away from the top job in the government, her glamour matches his looks, power, breeding and money. But John has made some stupid mistakes along the way, some of which are threatening to emerge. Still, all this can still be swept under the carpet as long as Sophie ‘the trophy’ plays her part in front of the cameras.

But the words that come out of Sophie’s mouth one morning on the doorstep of their country house are not the words the spin doctors put in there. Bursting out of the restrictive mould she has been in since birth, Sophie flees to a place that was special to her as a child, a small village on the coast where she intends to be alone.

But once there, she finds she becomes part of a community that warms her soul and makes her feel as if she is breathing properly for the first time. Sophie knows she won’t be left in peace for long. Now she must decide: where does her real future lie?

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

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Milly Johnson always writes with such warmth and The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew is another delightful novel. Very current in its content, full of strong characters and a wonderfully uplifting theme of discovering yourself and what you really need to fill your soul this is a joyous spring read! Highly Recommended!