Old Favourites: The Editorial Team Share Their Top TV Shows, Books & Restaurants
Old Favourites: The Editorial Team Share Their Top TV Shows, Books & Restaurants

Old Favourites: The Editorial Team Share Their Top TV Shows, Books & Restaurants

With so much newness hitting our screens and bookshelves each month, sometimes it can be hard to know where to start if you’re looking for something good to read or watch. That’s why we asked the SL editorial team to share some of their all-time favourites – from a gripping podcast to binge-worthy series you might not have caught the first time around…

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.


Heather Steele

Managing Lifestyle Director

As spring peeks around the corner, I’m daydreaming about jugs of daffodils, plates piled high with asparagus and an excuse to wear some of my summer dresses. Until then, I’m relishing spending the darker evenings in front of the TV – and reaching for a few of my oldest cookbooks. Severance is hands-down one of my favourite ever TV shows. Weird and wonderful, the office-based sci-fi drama (trust me, it’s better than that sounds) landed on Apple TV+ in 2021 and ended on an absolute cliff hanger. A couple of writers’ strikes later, Apple has finally announced that series two will be with us this year, giving me the ultimate excuse to rewatch it all over again. Consider this your prod to catch-up.

On the book front, I recently revisited The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi. Published in 1990 and set in the 70s, it’s a brilliantly detailed story about mixed-race teenager Karim, as he battles with school, sex and some unusual family dynamics. As well as tackling hard-hitting topics, it’s written with such humour – I couldn’t stop laughing on the train.

Food wise, I recently needed a last-minute table for six in central London. Enter Brasserie Zedél, which was as good as it ever was – the dining room was buzzing, the pink décor still makes a statement and the value of its prix-fixe menu remains unbeaten. For around £40 each, we got bread and butter to start, a salad, steak haché and chips, and chocolate mousse to finish – plus a glass or two of wine and service.

Back at home, the colder weather has had me making lots of heartier dishes with lentils and pulses (hello, Bold Bean Co). For the ultimate Sunday lunch, I always turn to Simon Hopkinson’s Roast Chicken & Other Stories. It’s an old-school cookbook with no photos (which I appreciate isn’t for everyone), but for a host of classic, simple dishes, this is on my ride-or-die list.

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Georgina Blaskey

Senior Homes & Interiors Editor

What were you doing in September 2006? I was watching Brothers & Sisters on Channel 4. It's the story of a large, wealthy Californian family with an all-star cast – Calista Flockhart, Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Rob Lowe and Matthew Rhys – and it had me hooked. With ups and downs, twists and turns, family fighting and plenty of sibling rivalry, I fell head over heels in love with the drama and chaos of their lives. From a secret love child to betraying the family business, the plot keeps you guessing, and the acting is top-notch. Now you can catch it all again on Disney+. 

If you love Liane Moriaty (Big Little Lies), you'll love Ali Lowe. Her novels delve into the world of suburban noir and explore how secrets, lies and murder bind people together. Her first novel, The Trivia Night, is about a group of parents who decide to partner swap at the school's trivia night, resulting in reckless decisions and a shady aftermath. Her second book, The Running Club, revolves around the healthy community of Esperance – a picture-perfect neighbourhood with big houses and beautiful people. From the outside, it looks like paradise, but the women of the town know the truth: you can hide anything, from wrinkles to secrets from your past, if you have enough money.

As far as I'm concerned, Elizabeth Day can't put a foot wrong in the podcasting world. Best Friend Therapywhich sees her team up with BFF and trained psychotherapist Emma Reed-Turrell, is now into its seventh series. In each episode, they discuss challenging feelings and painful issues that can affect us all, while drawing on Elizabeth's personal experiences and Emma's professional advice. It feels like an intimate chat with best friends and a therapy session rolled into one. Whether you have something that you're dealing with yourself, or you're trying to get a better grasp on what a loved one might be going through, it's packed full of empathy, insight and advice.

Restaurant wise, I love Le Petit Beefbar which opened in late 2021. You probably need to be a meat lover, but the menu does have a few plant-based and seafood dishes if you're not. I remember ordering the croque sando, a jazzed-up version of a classic croque monsieur, with dry-aged beef prosciutto, mozzarella and house sauce. It made such an impression on me – I can still conjure up the taste if I think about it. The signature filet mignon was memorable too, served with parmesan fries. It goes all out on the interiors too – special shout out to the beautiful ceiling lights.

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Rebecca Hull

Beauty Director

I raced through The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand last summer. It's the definition of a beach read – pacy, a great whodunit, with a good dose of lusty romance. The action takes place at a wedding on Nantucket when a body is discovered on the shore, and, as you can imagine, all hell breaks loose with relationships tested and lies exposed. I'm not surprised it's being made into a Netflix show later this year, with Nicole Kidman, Dakota Fanning and Meghann Fahy in starring roles. A mixture of Big Little Lies, Agatha Christie and The White Lotus, it's well worth snapping up if you enjoy a thriller that you can lose yourself in.

Few films – or TV shows – focus on male friendships and the depression that comes with them breaking down. The Banshees of Inisherin does this beautifully, straddling both tragedy and comedy against the backdrop of the Irish Civil War. The relationship between the two characters, Colin Farrell as Padraic and Brendan Gleeson as Colm Doherty, translates so well on screen, and it's pretty heartbreaking at times. It's not my usual choice of film, but the quick wit, shocking scenes and focus on male self-expression really moved me. It's a simple, end-of-friendship film that's very thought-provoking. It's also set on A chill Island and on Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands in Galway, which has made me want to book a trip there this year.

Speaking of heartbreak, Dopesick gave me all the feels and is an important watch. Its eight episodes offer a layered look into America's opioid crisis and the irreparable damage it has caused for so many. It’s fictionalised in the details, but it essentially illustrates the callous and greed-driven actions of pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma (owned by the Sackler family). It's not for the fainthearted, with main characters Betsy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Dr Samuel Finnix (Michael Keaton) portraying just how brutal and detrimental drugs like Oxycontin can be to those seeking effective pain management. With the show centred on two real-life figures, US attorneys Rick Mountcastle and Randy Ramseyer, it reminded me of Netflix's Mindhunter, with a similar shock-factor, so if you enjoyed that, I guarantee you'll get into this. 

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Harriet Russell

Chief Sub-Editor & Features Manager

Sadly, my year didn't get off the greatest start as I was knocked back by a mild case of pneumonia, which left me on bedrest for close to a month. The upside, of course, was lots of TV and it finally gave me the time to indulge in the heart-warming series Detectorists. Despite running for eight years, there are only three short series and a couple of Christmas specials to work your way through on iPlayer, but it's brilliantly led by Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones who play friends and amateur metal detectorists. Set in the fictional small town of Danebury in north Essex, it's completely relatable and life-affirming – and however unassuming it may seem from the outside, I'm not at all surprised it won two Baftas.

The writer Martin Amis died last May and, with Oscar buzz currently surrounding the film adaptation of his 2014 novel The Zone of Interest, I figured it was time to decide whether I was an Amis stan. I started with The Rachel Papers – one of his shortest and earliest novels. Set in the mid-70s, it follows 19-year-old protagonist Charles Highway as he prepares to leave adolescence behind and enter the hallowed halls of Oxford University. Around the same time, he develops a rather unhealthy obsession with Rachel – and devotes much of his spare time in between entrance exams to seducing her before his next birthday. Fair warning – there's plenty in here that hasn't aged well. Charles is a misogynistic and self-obsessed teenager who isn't all that likeable. However, what I couldn't deny was Amis's literary prowess. I can't think of anyone who manages to nail pithy humour, teenage insouciance and sentence structure in quite the same way. 

I can’t deny I like a celebrity memoir. Martin Amis this isn't, but call it my guilty pleasure. Some of my all-time favourites include the seminal tomes by Cheryl Cole and Kris Jenner. Imagine my delight then, when SL's own Sherri Andrew told me about The Celebrity Memoir Book Club podcast. It's exactly as it sounds: two friends discussing the merits (and very often the gaping holes) in the latest releases from the ‘sleb’ world. Crystal Hefner's (ex-wife of Hugh Hefner) book Only Say Good Things dropped last month, so that episode is next on my playlist.

I'm arguably biased as a southwest London girl, but Barnes is home to some great restaurants. One must-visit is Church Road, a sister site to its flashier Kensington counterpart, Kitchen W8. The food is simple but delicious and, frankly, it's the price that makes a return visit inevitable – the lunch set menu comes in at £30 a head for three courses. I have dreams about the double-baked cheddar souffle with melted leeks, mushrooms and black truffle…

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Sherri Andrew

Lifestyle Editor

A Good Person was easily one of the best films I saw last year, but it didn’t get as much attention as it deserved. Written and directed by Zach Braff, it tells the story of Alison (Florence Pugh) who seems to have it all – a wonderful fiancé, a loving family, a good career and supportive friends. But everything comes crashing down after a life-changing accident. She emerges with an opioid addiction and unresolved grief, but forms an unlikely friendship with her would-be father-in-law (Morgan Freeman). This film really stayed with me, and I was blown away by the acting and script – it was raw and emotional with funny moments peppered in between desperately sad scenes. Unsurprisingly, Florence Pugh nailed the character and put so much emotion into her performance.

For something more light-hearted, but just as enjoyable, I cannot recommend Heartstopper enough. The Netflix drama is based on Alice Oseman’s series of YA books – though you don’t need to be a teen to enjoy them. It tells the story of teenagers Charlie and Nick who become friends at school, before quickly realising they fancy each other. Charlie has already been bullied because of his sexuality, but Nick (a popular guy on the rugby team) is still figuring his out. The series is a real celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and does a brilliant job of exploring what it means to be queer today and the importance of friendship. I particularly loved Yasmin Finney’s character, Elle, and her storyline with Tao (William Gao). This show is like a big warm hug – and I can’t wait for series three to drop later this year.  

Easily one of the best books I’ve read over the last five years, Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers is a tender story set in the suburbs of 1950s southeast London. Jean Swinney is a 40-something journalist at a local paper who is trapped in a life of duty and disappointment – she lives with her elderly mother and can’t see a way to make something of her life. After receiving a tip-off at the paper about a strange story, her quiet life suddenly becomes quite exciting and she’s given a chance at friendship, love and – possibly – happiness. It's no thriller, but Clare has that rare talent to turn even the most mundane into something profound through beautiful language. Again, this story really stayed with me when I read it a few years ago. I pray she writes a new book soon.

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Sapna Rao

Fashion, Beauty & LG Junior Editor & Broadcaster

Easily one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a while, The Club by Ellery Lloyd was recommended by Reese Witherspoon’s book club (so you know it's going to be a good one). It’s a murder mystery set against the backdrop of an ultra-exclusive members club. Pretty on the nose with its comparisons, I loved the way it set the scene of an elusive, celebrity and influencer-studded world, with seedy, unexpected plot twists along the way. I binged it on my holiday last summer. It's perfect if you're after something easy but addictive. 

One of my favourite TV series is Devious Maids. I watched the show years ago and was sold by the fact it was written and produced by the Desperate Housewives team. Featuring an incredible cast, it follows the lives of four Latina maids working for some of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Hollywood. With multiple juicy storylines playing out at once, it's a show you'll want to binge. Plus, with its incredible female-led cast, it has that same salacious, sexiness and intrigue Desperate Housewives had.

Another show I loved was the reboot of Gossip Girl. It’s definitely not as good as the original series but I genuinely enjoyed it. You need to look at it as a separate series completely, then you’ll realise it has all the elements of a good show: great fashion, great relationships, great actors, great settings (it’s based in NYC with the same locations as the original) and a great plot. The producers went for quite a woke and Gen Z angle with the casting and plot, but I enjoyed seeing this multiverse play out in the world we know today. For those wondering, this one's set in the same ‘universe’ as the original and follows a new class of characters, with a couple of cameos from the OGs, too.

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