British and French finds aplenty, summer dresses for comfort and long-lasting style, a fun new film in its third adaptation, a series from decades ago I thoroughly loved and think you will too if you love French food and a relaxing British cozy caper, more finds in Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale, a candle to bring into your home and much, much more.
—A Theater for Dreamers by Polly Samson
A bestseller when it was released last year in the UK, Polly Samson’s novel continues to be recommended for enjoyable summer reading. “It’s 1960, and the world teeters on the edge of cultural, political, sexual, and artistic revolution. On the Greek island of Hydra, a proto-commune of poets, painters, and musicians revel in dreams at the feet of their unofficial leaders, the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled queen and king of Bohemia . . . When eighteen-year-old Erica stumbles into their world, she’s fresh off the boat from London with nothing but a bundle of blank notebooks and a burning desire to leave home in the wake of her mother’s death. Among these artists, she will find an unraveling utopia where everything is tested—the nature of art, relationships, and her own innocence.” Most definitely this book has a bundle of areas of intrigue that caught my eye, and maybe yours as well.
—BAKE: My Best Every Recipes for the Classics by Paul Hollywood
Just in time, as I am doing all that I can to be patient before the next new season of The Great British Bake-Off. Paul Hollywood’s new book will be released on Tuesday July 19th, and it is full of “his best ever recipes for classic bakes: cakes, biscuits and cookies, breads and flatbreads, pizza and doughnuts, pastries and pies, and showstopping desserts. Sharing all of his tips and tricks, this is the baking book to have in your kitchen library. Discover his “classic cakes like Victoria Sandwich and Chocolate Fudge Cake, through brilliant breads like foolproof Sourdough, to savoury and sweet pastries like Sausage Rolls and Danish Pastries“. I think this will be my first Paul Hollywood cookbook to put in my library. Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.
In a recent article shared in The Financial Times, beauty editors shared their favorites, and one was for the home, and it was Jo Malone’s Oud & Bergamot candle. It is now on my list to welcome into Le Papillon as I am lover of Bergamot and the woody smell it shares (I have also now placed this candle in TSLL’s Shop under Décor and British Finds, find in the Menu just below the blog header)
—The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander
Released this past spring, readers have been delighting in this cozy novel that looks as good as it will make you feel. “Jess Metcalf is perfectly happy with her quiet, predictable life – it’s just the way she likes it. But when her beloved grandmother passes away and she loses her job at the local library, her life is turned upside-down. Packing up her grandmother’s books, she moves to a tiny cottage in a charming country village. To her surprise, Jess finds herself the owner of an old red telephone box, too – and she soon turns it into the littlest library around . . .”
Now available for viewing on Netflix is a new adaption of Jane Austen’s Persuasion starring Dakota Johnson. I have to share that critics are not very impressed with this new offering (The Guardian, NYTimes, LA Times, to share a few not-so-glowing reviews), but that doesn’t guarantee you will not enjoy it. Take a look at the trailer below and see if you want to give it a go.
—Pie in the Sky, series, AcornTV
On the other hand is a series from nearly twenty years ago that I absolutely loved and finished all five seasons in a matter of weeks. Starring Richard Griffiths (Henry Crabbe) as a semi-retired police sergeant who loves to cook, and knows how to cook very well (especially French cuisine), Pie in the Sky is set in a small-ish English town, and the characters remain wonderfully consistent, the food delicious, and the storylines plausible without being silly or too dramatic.
The pilot episode, just get through it. It sets the scene for the entire series so we understand why Crabbe has to remain working as a police officer, but it also enables him to open with his wife Margaret (she is an accountant and is entirely supportive of his desire to open a restaurant so long as it is financially viable, even though she has no taste discernment which creates a bit of subtle comedy throughout the series). Each subsequent season is a good time, and Gary, Henry Crabbe’s head (and only) chef who is welcomed in season 3, is a fantastic character. Again, what I appreciate about this series is that the characters are written consistently which is comforting to watch when all you want to do is tune in, relax and enjoy. Have a look at a trailer for the series below, and find all five seasons (40 episodes) on AcornTV.
—Live Life Deliciously: Recipes for Busy Weekdays and Leisurely Weekends by Tara Teaspoon
Released in 2020, but a cookbook I wanted to bring to your attention. Former food editor and stylist for Martha Stewart, Tara “shares more than 120 delicious showstopping recipes that are designed to impress. From leisurely weekend brunches spent over burrata cheese with grilled peaches and orange zest chimichurri to easy weeknight rice bowls with carrot-ginger dressing to a mouthwatering Italian crostata baked tart, Tara explains how to put together and master several special go-to dishes from the culinary capitals of the world to add to your repertoire”. Check out her detailed website here.
The bestselling book by Delia Owens is now a feature film and opens in theaters tonight. While I did not read the book, I know many people did who are readers of TSLL, so I would be remiss if I didn’t include the premiere in this week’s This & That. Watch an interview with the author Delia Owens on CBS Sunday Morning which aired a couple of years ago, and check out the trailer below.
—Eric Bombard Les Soldes, Cashmere Scarves and Stoles, up to 50% off
Earlier this week, I shared a detailed post of French brands and their steep discounts offered during this July’s Les Soldes. Read more about the history of the semi-annual sale event that is country-wide here in the post. And one online company I had to bring back to your attention because I own and love their cashmere items is Eric Bompard. If you are at all in the market for a cashmere scarf, stole or even classic sweater, now is the time to scoop up what you need because the prices are just too awesome to miss. There is a long list of color options, and prints as well, and the quality is superb. I receive no commission for linking to Eric Bompard; this is not a sale to miss.
—French Pastries and Desserts by Le Nôtre: 200 Classic Recipes Revised and Updated by Team of Chefs at Le Nôtre Paris
Having the opportunity to pop into Le Nôtre’s patisserie in April which sits on the end corner of Rue Cler in Paris, I now know why this cookbook would be a treasure and trusted resource. First of all, their pastries are as beautiful as they are delicious. Works of art, but most importantly, their food is delicious: melt-in-your mouth croissants, dreamy chocolate and tarts. Yep, I am saving up for this cookbook, and cannot wait to pour over its pages.
Based on the novel originally titled Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico and published in 1958, which is actually one of three in the series of Mrs. Harris’ adventures (she goes to Moscow and even becomes an MP in England), has become a movie for the third time (Angela Lansbury starred in the 1992 adaptation and Gracie Fields in the 1958 adaptation). Premiering today in theaters, Lesley Manville stars as Mrs. Harris opposite Oscar-winning actress Isabelle Huppert who plays Claudine Colbert. While the film opens today in the states, look for it to open on September 30th in the UK. Check out the trailer below and enjoy! A perfectly lovely way to extend the Bastille Day celebrations I dare say. 🙂
—Boden Ruffled Fixed Wrap Jersey Dress (more colors)
A simple and comfortable dress for summer.
—Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, more finds to share 🙂
I shopped a few more items because I too found even more items that went on sale this past week that I scooped up, mainly necessities. Here are a few spotlighted items you might want to check out: Proenza Schouler’s Double Face Wool & Cashmere Blend Coat, Natori’s bras and underwear are ones I highly recommend. Longchamp’s Le Pliage Leather Tote is also on sale in black and dark brown. If you missed last week’s This & That, I shopped more than 40 items from the sale – click here to explore.
Absolutely stunning and a keeper for years to come. All sizes currently available at posting time. Linen. Eyelet, not too long, but not too short. It just looks so comfortable.
—Reiss Camel Dani Button-Up Slip Midi Skirt (more colors)
This skirt will be mine soon. ☺️ I love midi length, and neutral colors in my basics is a big Yes. Perfect for early fall. Ivory is also available.
You likely will not be surprised when I share that as I finished up this week’s This & That I was nibbling on one of the praline truffles shown in this pic. 🙃 I couldn’t not 😌. This pic is a bit of a tastebud teaser of what will be shared in the upcoming new season (season 5!) of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show (premiering on Saturday September 10th, a new season always begins on the second Saturday in September), and for any TSLL reader who would like to follow only IG posts about recipes and the cooking show, be sure to follow a new sub-account I created – @tsllcookingshow. In Season 5, expect recipes inspired by my recent travels to Paris, from main entrées to chocolate, apéritif nibbles and desserts as well.
But back to summer, and its wonderful leisurely pace. Norman and I celebrated Le Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day) yesterday with an early morning paddle on the river in Bend, and as the flags that line one of the bridges we pass under were in the U.S. tri-color, remnants of Independence Day celebrations last week, I imagined it was actually for Bastille Day – pourquoi pas?! ☺️ I then popped into my favorite nursery and found perennials 20% off, so picked up shasta daisies and a few more nepeta as I look at gaps in my cottage garden that in time will fill in. Yep, already planning for next year and now is a great time to save money on plants that will be in your garden for years to come.
Good news came from my friend Veronique that the curtains in the living room and dining room will be hung next week, and I cannot wait. Needless to say, once installed, champagne will be uncorked and a mini celebration will be shared. Each evening, and sometimes in the afternoon, I have been watching le Tour de France and remain in awe not only of the cyclists’ ability to climb the montagnes, but also of the beauty in the French Alps. Oh my. Grateful to be able to travel vicariously to this region of the world for three weeks during each summer.
In this week’s episode of the podcast, 25 Ideas for Celebrating Le Quatorze Julliet (Bastille Day!) I share I watch the tour on Peacock and alternate between the US and International feed, but now I entirely view the Tour on the international feed instead of the US for a variety of reasons: no ad breaks, less drama and exclamatory remarks, easier on the eyes to follow video footage, and an international perspective on the history, fans and the event (the athletes) itself.
Speaking of tours, this weekend and next, here in Bend, the Tour of Homes takes place which is a wonderful opportunity to explore the recent trends and styles of the area. In fact, it was during this event three years ago that I stumbled upon the neighborhood I now live in and am so grateful that I did as I would not have known about it without the Tour. What I most enjoy about this yearly event is permission to be a sight-seer of sorts in my own town. There is much construction in the area, and I always learn something new.
With all of that said, the weekend looks to be leisurely and lovely, and with Norman as my companion, how could it not be. 😌 I hope you too are looking ahead to a weekend of fun excursions, time to put your feet up or swim or step outside in the sunshine, whatever you most enjoy. Thank you very much for stopping by today, and until tomorrow when a new Saturday Ponderings . . . post goes live on the blog for TOP Tier Members, bonne journée.
~I so appreciate and agree with Rick Steves’ perspective on Europe and how it pursues the good life in how it fosters living well.
~Tips and insights from Mirielle Guiliano on how to enjoy Paris in the heat – Hot Times in the Old Town Summer 2022
~Thank you to TSLL reader Deborah for sharing this article with me that shares the history of how the ever-present-in-Britain poster Keep Calm and Carry On came to be. [The Guardian]
~Creative ideas for outdoor dining [House & Garden UK]
~I found all of what Diane of Oui in France shared in this post to be true and am fascinated even more by all that she shared. Thank you Diane. 🙂 11 Little Differences Between grocery stores in France and the US.
~5 Strategies to balance your news diet [Positive Prescription]
~The US dollar reaches parity with the Euro for the first time in two decades [Washington Post]
~Ideas for decorating a guest bedroom [House & Garden UK]
~The magic of a little risk taking [The Atlantic]
~A place that is nicer than Nice? Perhaps! [CNTraveler]
~British interior designer who calls LA home, and has a Provençal farmhouse (is she not the ideal TSLL interior designer? :)), shares the rules for creating laid-back interior design. [Effect]
~Good news for travelers to Charles de Gaulle Airport! The strike is over. A deal has been reached! [The Local, subscription requires]
~Just in case you needed a quick and easy smile. Watch these tennis stars from the past have some fun at Wimbledon in the Invitational Doubles match.
~Explore last week’s This & That: July 8, 2022
So many great sales for your wardrobe and your home, and I have scoured them for finds I recommend and love and think you will too. Explore more than 40 items from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, and from 1stDib’s, I have found beautiful, unique signature consignment and antique finds for your sanctuary. As well, books! Books of fiction to take you to Europa, books about travel, thinking and money. As well, two series return this coming week – one for Anglophiles and one for Francophiles, a new online décor class, the first for this well-known and highly revered British interior designer, a hard-to-find birdfeeder for my fellow amoureux dex oiseaux, plus, yep, much more. 🙂