This & That: May 24, 2019 – British Edition

May 24, 2019

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Middle England by Jonathan Coe

Lauren Collins is an American writer who lives in Paris that I follow and trust when it comes to reading recommendations. She raved about Jonathan Coe’s recent novel, the third in his trilogy, following The Rotters’ Club and The Closed Circle which “explores the experiences of characters from those earlier novels against the backdrop of the major events taking place before, during and after the Brexit referendum”.


Classic by Mary Barry

Former British Bake-Off judge and now star of many BBC programs (one I will share below), Mary Barry has a new bookbook combing out on June 1st. Offering “wonderfully simple but utterly dependable recipes that are essential for every home”, the cookbook makes the baking accessible no matter your experience or budget. From a Lemon Merinque Pie to a Rack of Lamb with Orange and Thyme Sauce, the recipes are those seen in her new television series (Quick Cooking) and each are accompanied by Mary’s helpful tips and techniques.

How to Bake by Paul Hollywood

Since we’re on the topic of British Bake-Off judges, as a TSLL reader recently shared with me, Paul Hollywood’s scone recipe is a must-try, and while he has many cookbooks available that are worth checking out, his 2013 How to Bake includes his scone recipe and make more classic and quintessential British baking gems. Please do share in the comments which of his cookbooks you would recommend, as there are so many to choose from.

National Trust Kitchen Cookbook

Complete with 100 seasonal British recipes, the National Trust Kitchen Cookbook, which was released in 2016, is a book to introduce you to the food culture and the history of Britain. With recipes which include food from the gardens of National Trust places, “such as the hearty beef stew enjoyed by Churchill at Chartwell, Agatha Christie’s favorite Lobster Bisque which she ate at Greenway, or the Plum Cake recipe handed down to Beatrix Potter from her mother”, learn, eat and enjoy.

What is the National Trust you may be wondering? Simply, they love, protect and care for the beautiful natural places throughout Britain. In the words of the National Trust, they “take care of coastline, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages, historic houses, gardens, mills and pubs and one of the world’s largest art collections. We restore them, protect them and open them up to everyone”.

Tea Fit for a Queen: Recipes & Drinks for Afternoon Teas, introduction by Lucy Worsley 

Discover how the traditional Afternoon Tea began in royal England with a cookbook full of 40 recipes and their connection to the history of tea. From “why jam pennies were Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite tea time treat, and how mead cake came to be served during Henry VIII’s reign. Discover what cake William and Catherine selected for their wedding and hear why orange-scented scones became a royal tradition at Kensington Palace”. 


Downton Abbey, the film

Yes, it is nearly here. The official release of the Downton Abbey film. First being released on September 13th in the U.K, and the following week on September 20th in the U.S., the family returns. In fact, as luck would have it with TSLL’s British Week, just this week, the official trailer was released. Have a look, and save the date.


Burleigh Teapot

For more than 160 years, Burleigh pottery has been carefully made in England, and in fact, it is the last company in the world to use the traditional skill of underglaze tissue printing. With teaware and tableware available in a variety of colors and prints, if you are looking for a special addition to your tea collection or a gift for the Anglophile on your list, you may found the one.

Royal Crown Derby

Established in 1750, Royal Crown Derby is one of the last original fine bone china creators which makes 100% of its items in England. Offering beautiful collections of teaware and tableware, peruse until you find the perfect one for you and your household.

Feldspar Ceramics

When I first learned of Feldspar Ceramics, I was immediately intrigued as they are a family business that just began in 2016, settling down in Devon after leaving the bustle of London. Described as a spontaneous decision (they moved to the country and promptly bought a farm), both Cath and Jeremy Brown have design backgrounds, so they began putting them to good use.

And they have. With the object to “create beautiful and useful objects that are made properly, using traditional techniques and the finest local and natural materials available” their unique style of fine bone china teacups and teapots are made from Devon clay. With one design sporting a cobalt handle and the other (seen above) a 22K hand-painted gold handle, the teapots are designed to offer a perfect pour, and the teacups are perfect for a long leisurely sit and relaxing moment.


—Memorial Day Sales

The sales are on, so if you are in the market for, well, anything, be sure to take a look at a handful of sales offering impressive discounts.


Catherine the Great, starring Helen Mirren

Don’t worry, I know that Catherine the Great was Russian, but when Helen Mirren is cast to play her, I have to include this new four-part mini series in this week’s This & That. As you will see in the trailer below, it is not tame, but as it is going to be available in the fall on Sky/ HBO drama, that doesn’t surprise me. Read more about the series here, and enjoy Helen Mirren, yet again playing the royal of a leading royal quite exquisitely.

Mary Barry’s Absolute Favorites

I have come to thoroughly appreciate BritBox, which is available via Amazon Prime for a monthly fee of a few bucks. And one of the series I discovered when I subscribed this winter was Mary Barry’s Absolute Favorites. This is a fantastic series as you have the opportunity to travel to different places with her, get to know her family a bit as well, and just go about her everydays. I know the series has been around for a few years (2015), but they don’t grow old if you haven’t seen them yet.

~Mary Barry’s recipe for the perfect Victoria sandwich~

Friday, the beginning of a lovely long weekend in the states and the Friday of TSLL’s British Week! I do hope you have been enjoying this inaugural occasion here on the blog, and if you are patiently waiting for the return of the regular content, do not worry, it will all get back on schedule on Monday. 🙂 (catch up on all of the content that has been shared thus far here.)

With many have wonderful getaway plans taking place for people as they either are visiting the outdoors, finding the sunshine or traveling somewhere they have been long looking for, the commencement of a long weekend is always something to get excited about. As for me, I have long been looking forward to just staying home, and that is exactly what will be happening. Perhaps some garden work, most definitely some time in the kitchen, some reading, and a nap or two after walks with the boys. However you will be spending the weekend, I do hope it is exactly what you most enjoy.

Below I have gathered up a few articles you might enjoy AND two videos I am confident, at least one, you will enjoy very much. Thank you so much for your time and interest and participation this week in the comment section, and until Monday, I will see you on the blog. Cheerio!

~This is a fascinating article (and conversation) about the The Business of Royal Fashion [Market Place]

~I appreciated this article very much. All the more motivation to knowing how to find contentment in our everydays – Why the Self-Help Movement Keeps Leaving Us Feeling Helpless [Verily]

~Yes, yes, yes! The Underrated Pleasures of Eating Dinner Early [The New Yorker]

~Britain and pie just go together – 5 Simple, Budget-Friendly Tools to Make the Best Pie [The New York Times]

~Are Podcast Clubs the new Book Club? Could they be? [Medium]

~I think most TSLL readers have figured this one out, but it was worth reading to confirm and remind The Secret to Curing the Sunday Scaries is Actually Very Funny [Man Repeller]

~And since this is TSLL’s British Week, you’ll find two videos below to enjoy depending upon what you are in the mood for: a segment with Mary Barry from the series mentioned above with her sharing her recipe for Lemon & Asparagus Chicken; and a video conversation with two vloggers, one living in Paris (Not Even French) and one living in London (Love in London) about the differences between the two cities.

4 thoughts on “This & That: May 24, 2019 – British Edition

  1. Hi Shannon! I’ve very much enjoyed British Week thank you! You’ve hit on all my favorites. I’m originally from Ohio but have lived on the south coast of England for the last 15 years. Mary Berry is a British institution, you can always trust her recipes to be great. A bit like our hero Ina! Lucy Worsley is just a treasure, everything she does is fantastic! She has many documentary tv shows and books on a real variety of historical topics that are all worth a look. Brexit has cast a real shadow over day to day life here in the past year or so, it makes me sad. But despite all that I still believe the British culture is fabulous.

    You’re a star 🙂


  2. The inaugural British Week is a success! Lovely pictures, interesting reviews and thoughts, inspirations – all present. A hearty thank you and job well done to you!

  3. Hi Shannon really enjoyed British week in France. Can’t wait for Catherine the Great. What a Dame! Helen Mirren’s family came from Eastern Europe so I think she is a great choice to play her. She is a bit of a “Royal having played our Queen. By the way Mary is Berry not Barry?

  4. Dear Shannon,
    Thanks for Friday’s Newsletter and for a wonderful British Week! Lovely inspirations on image and word. For a future British Week – yes, please, do it again sometime-, I suggest to include another British “institution”: golf. 🙂

    Usually on weekends we have a personal Afternoon Tea ritual at home – it’s one of our indulgence moments -, with home made scones, etc., and tea of choice. At the moment, Whittard of Chelsea takes the cup, literally, 🙂 pun fully intended. Sometimes, if I am in the mood and have the time, I’ll will prepare the whole lot (finger sandwiches and whatnot), so we do love a Victorian Sponge (Victoria Sandwich), and I will make sure to try this recipe asap. Thanks!

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

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