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We moved from Notting Hill to Hampshire during lockdown. I’m surprised to hear myself saying this, but I’ve loved following the seasons more closely now that we have a garden and I’m not struggling to keep houseplants alive in London. I find the fresh shoots of summer so hopeful and, with my mother’s help, we always seem to have something exciting about to bloom. We’ve had beautiful tulips, roses, sweet peas and cosmos, and I’ve just spotted our first dahlia is about to flower.
We’ve had a summer of weddings so a lot of our Friday nights have been spent with old friends at local pubs and Airbnbs across the country, eating, drinking and catching up. If we are at home, we’re with our three daughters, and our eldest two take Friday Movie Night very seriously. They are three and four, so it involves bath time at 5pm, followed by a Disney classic, pizza, popcorn and a hot chocolate before bed.
We are very guilty of having old favourites on in the background while we catch up with work in the evenings. We watch a lot of the American Office – I’m a sucker for a love story. We very rarely make it to the cinema, but we made an exception to go and see Barbie. I permanently have a stack of books next to my bed, but I’ve just finished and loved Darling by India Knight and Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors.
For coffee and breakfast, we love Meadow – a new café/gallery in Stockbridge. I can always rely on Blank Street for a great matcha in London and we love Kudos in Stockbridge for matcha, too. I sometimes work from there during the week and we often go as a family at the weekend for the cheese and ham croissants.
Stockbridge is right on the river Test and it’s very quaint. There’s an old-fashioned sweet shop, some great independent shops like Broughton Crafts, and our children love getting fish food to feed the trout. There’s a great selection of independent womenswear shops on Marlborough high street and we love Bunce’s for brunch. Hungerford has some great antique shops and, next time we go, I’d like to stop in at the newly opened Malverleys on my way home. Nearby Heckfield Place is one of my all-time favourite places in the UK and I love that we are close enough to go for a special dinner, or to a screening or talk with a quick bite to eat beforehand.
I’m unpredictable when it comes to food shopping. If we have guests staying, I’ll do an Ocado shop, otherwise it’s a mix of seasonal produce from local farm shops (I love a condiment and often find they stock the best ones) and then pick up last-minute extras from a very handy little Waitrose. We keep it super simple in the summer, lots of BBQs and zingy salads, and a panzanella is one of my favourite things to throw together. I have so many cookbooks, but Diana Henry, Nigel Slater and Alison Roman are ones I always come back to.
I’m loving cooking with products from Bold Bean Company. They are perfect when I can't quite face cooking something from scratch and they are so good that I tend to eat a spoonful or two straight from the jar before I even start cooking. I like mine with cavolo nero, garlic, onions, lots of butter, the zest and juice of a lemon, sea salt, plenty of parmesan and some torn burrata. Unlike other pre-cooked beans, I never rinse them – there is so much flavour in the liquid and it emulsifies with the butter into a delicious sauce.
On the clothes front, I love a silk slip skirt – Réalisation Par and Rixo make my favourites, and the fact they are cut on the bias means they’ve seen me through pregnancy and postpartum without being ‘maternity wear’. In the winter I wear them with my chunky boots from The Row and in the summer with trainers, a white tee and a blazer.
I try to make sunscreen part of my daily routine year-round (so much so, we even have a Studio Bust cap with ‘Wear sunscreen’ on it) but it’s especially important at this time of year. I love Ilia for my face and Coola for my body.
Our house is surrounded by fields so we’re very lucky to have some fantastic walks that don’t involve getting in a car. However, if we’re venturing further afield, we’ll head to Fosbury Fort for a stomp and lunch at The George afterwards. We also love The Compasses Inn and The Beckford Arms. And Pythouse Kitchen Garden close by also deserves a mention.
If I’m meeting up with friends in London, it’s either food or art related. Now that we aren’t based there, I love making a beeline for newly opened restaurants or cafés (I wish Layla Bakery had been on the corner when we were living there) or we’ll spot some sort of homewares sample sale/supper club/drawing class on Instagram and meet there. I also love visiting old favourites like Orasay, Los Mochis, The Pelican, Laylow and Ida in Kensal Rise. I used to be a pastry chef at Spring restaurant in Somerset House, so I love going back there for special occasions. Duck Soup and Bar Crispin are Soho favourites – I love the way they pedestrianise the streets during the summer so you can sit outside and really feel the buzz of the city. For a dose of high/low, we used to live opposite Fez Mangal, home to the best kebabs and grilled fish; we were regulars and used them for our daughter’s christening, which our guests loved.
My favourite summer tradition is seeing the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. My grandparents used to go every year and it’s where I introduced my now-husband to my late grandfather many moons ago. Theo and I have gone together every year since and we always come away inspired – I love it when the walls are packed and seeing what different people are drawn to.
It’s my husband’s birthday in November, so I’m currently plotting a weekend break. I’m currently tossing up keeping it local and going to Bruton – staying at The Newt, dinner at Osip, visiting the Roman Villa and a lunch at The Three Horseshoes – or visiting Paris. I dream about staying at Chateau Voltaire, love wandering the shops in Le Marais and visiting some galleries.