With so many items included in this week’s T & T, I had to create two image collages (see above and to the right – if reading on your desktop/laptop). Okay, so there is a book for just about every interest – capers, cookbooks, travel, special edition classics, and series. A new-to-me mystery series on BritBox, a podcast hosted by Lucy Worsley I have found quite fascinating, clothing items exclusively from British brands, the grand celebration taking place currently in Britain, and yep, the second Downton Abbey film that premieres today in the states. Plus, so much more.
—All The Queens Men: A Novel by SJ Bennett
You may remember SJ Bennett’s first mystery of the series, The Windsor Knot (such a great read – I thoroughly enjoyed it), well, book 2 in the series was released on March 1st – All The Queen’s Men, and it is now on my reading list. The setting is “at Buckingham Palace, the autumn of 2016. The Queen must deal with the fallout from the Brexit referendum, a new female prime minister, and a tumultuous election in the United States—yet these prove to be the least of her worries when a staff member is found dead beside the palace swimming pool.” Dah, dah, daaaah. I am intrigued. 🧐
—The English Bookshop by Janis Wildly
Let me introduce you to the writer amongst TSLL community! Long-time reader of this blog, Janis Wildly’s new novel was just released earlier this year and is receiving great reviews. The English Bookshop finds the main character “Lucy inheriting a bookshop in England, travels to see it and is intent on selling the property as soon as possible. But once there she meets a wonderfully kind group of villagers, including a handsome bookseller, who challenge her decision to make a quick sale. What begins as a way to make money for her business in Seattle becomes an experience that uncovers family secrets and reveals the kindness of strangers. In England, Lucy just might rewrite her past in order to follow her heart.” I already have my copy and you might just want to pick one up for yourself as well. Congratulations Janis!
—The Great British Bucket List: Utterly Unmissable Britain by Richard Madden
I happened upon this book while visiting Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, and so had the opportunity to peruse through it a bit. First, I love the description of exactly what the phrase ‘bucket list’ implies for this author. Have a look – “If you want to skydive or swim with sharks, stop reading now. This book is all about achievable adventures that celebrate the very best of Britain. Travel writer Richard Madden has compiled the ultimate bucket list of unique experiences that can be enjoyed in the UK from cheese rolling in Gloucestershire and stargazing in Northumberland, to a cliff- top theatre in Cornwall or an opera with a champagne picnic and magnificent views of the South Downs.” My kind of British Bucket list. ☺️
—Love in the Time of Bertie: 44 Scotland Street Series (15) by Alexander McCall Smith
If you are already a fan of 44 The Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith, you may already know about its recent release this past February, but if not, this may be a wonderful introduction to how playfully good his character creation and story-lines are. “In the microcosm of 44 Scotland Street, all of life’s richness is found in the glorious goings-on of its residents. There’s Domenica, whose anthropological training has honed her observations of her neighbors; Matthew, whose growing triplets are more than a handful; Bruce, whose challenge as ever is thinking of anything but himself; and Big Lou, who may just have found her shot at romance. And of course, there’s young Bertie Pollock, whose starry-eyed explorations of Edinburgh’s New Town are a touching reminder that life itself is an adventure and there’s joy to be found wherever you choose to look.”
—The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
If you are a fan of Death in Paradise, the long-running mystery series on BritBox, then you will want to check out The Marlow Murder Club series. This is the debut book in the series, with a second book already in the works. Robert Thorogood is the creator of Death in Paradise (the 11th season is now available on BritBox and two new episodes are released each Tuesday), and his first mystery novel introduces the reader to “Judith: a seventy-seven-year-old whiskey drinking, crossword puzzle author living her best life in a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of Marlow. Nothing ever happens in Marlow. That is, until Judith hears her neighbor shot while skinny-dipping in the Thames. The local police don’t believe her story. It’s an open and shut case, of course. “
My copy is waiting for me to dive in as I am nearly done with another book that has captured my attention, but I cannot wait to start this new series which looks to have quite the character as the main sleuth.
—A Quiet Life in the Country (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery) by T.E. Kinsey
The first of nine books in this mystery series, T.E. Kinsey’s “Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation…”. We have more mystery novels this week than we know what to do with, and they all look enticing! Enjoy deciding which one you will explore 😌.
I came across a copy of this book while in the gift shop at Westminster Abbey and found it quite a worthy resource of all things tea – the history, recipes, reasons for the pinpoint etiquette and inspiration. The international edition was published in 2006, so The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea has been around for a while. Perhaps a perfect addition to your library if you don’t already have a copy.
—The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie, special edition
If you too are smitten with Miss Marple, and also like me, haven’t already read Agatha Christie’s The Tuesday Club Murders, be sure to explore doing so as this book was the one that introduced readers to the sleuth Miss Jane Marple before she was cast in the starring role in 12 novels and 20 short stories.
—The Home Cookbook by Sarah and Monty Don
While a hard cookbook to find, Monty and his wife Sarah’s cookbook is worth picking up. Published in 2010 with more than 300 recipes “celebrating British domestic cooking as it has evolved over the centuries and still exists – especially in the countryside.” Full of seasonal recipes such as “roasts and warming puddings for the winter, the most delicious salads and lightest fools for the summer; recipes that use timeless, thrifty farmhouse techniques such as baking, stewing, braising, salting, pickling, bottling and freezing.”
—The Kew Gardens Cookbook: A Celebration of Plants in the Kitchen edited by Jennifer Linford
Being released on September 5, 2022, so a bit of a heads up, The Kew Gardens Cookbook is a vegetarian cookbook and “is an anthology of vegetarian recipes gathered from leading chefs and food writers—such as Yotam Ottolenghi, Fuchsia Dunlop, Olia Hercules, and Claudia Roden—savoring a huge array of plants and fungi that can both broaden our palates and prevent biodiversity loss. Organized in six sections—leaves; roots, squashes, and tubers; grains and pulses; fungi; herbs and spices; and fruits and nuts—this book features more than sixty delicious and unusual vegetarian recipes. One hundred illustrations, including a host of new photos of the recipes and Kew’s grounds, as well as vintage images from the Kew archives, are the perfect side dish for this cornucopia of botanical delights.”
—Time by Gill Meller
I learned about this book while exploring the topic of slower living, and was grateful for the introduction to British chef (originally the head chef at River Cottage), award winning author and food writer Gill Meller. It was Meller’s first book, Gather, that won him Fortnum and Mason’s award for Best Debut Food Book in 2017. Time was released in 2016, his second cookbook, and it shares delicious seasonal meals that take time to create. Time given with pleasure and appreciation for the results that follow the attention given to the ingredients selected and the preparation of the meal.
Meller’s food is described as modern British cooking and Time shares “the essence of [Meller]’s approach to food and cooking time spent in the kitchen, with good ingredients, makes for the best possible way of life. Morning, daytime and night these are the touchstones of our days, and days are the markers of our years. Gill’s unique dishes fit within this framework, moving through the seasons, from freshness and light, to comfort and warmth.
“Gill’s dishes follow the course of the day: simple breakfasts (wild mushroom & sausage chachouka, buckwheat pancakes), glorious seasonal lunches (steamed vegetables with tamari, honey & sunflower seeds, chicken with chamomile, tomato & anchovy tart, date, olive oil & fennel cake), evening gatherings in the soft glow of summer or chill of winter (lentil dhal with crispy kale, roast pheasant with parsnips & chorizo, ceviche with rhubarb, lemon & chilli, treacle tart with thyme & orange, quince & vanilla crème brûlée).”
I included two shared recipes from the sales page, and wanted to include more as they all captured the attention of my appetite but resisted, and thus encourage you to explore further a worthwhile cookbook to add to your library.
Finally, finally, finally, the time for the second Downton Abbey film has arrived! Now, British readers may have already seen this much-anticipated film as it debuted in the UK on April 29th. And while the film was originally set to be released in March, the production company wanted to wait a little bit longer to make sure more people felt safe going to the theater.
Well, needless to say, I have plans to go see it soon, and by chance it is premiering during TSLL’s British Week, but I can’t help but think they knew what we were doing here all along and wanted to partake 😉 (I kid, a lot, but still, it is fun to pretend). But in all truthfulness, the plot makes it absolutely perfect for TSLL as the film is split both in the English countryside and the south of France. I know! When I learned of this storyline, I was quite giddy with delight. Have a look at the trailer, although I have a feeling you have seen it a few times already. ☺️ Enjoy!
The Chelsea Flower Show has returned to May (remember it took place last August/September for the 2021 event?). And so that means this next weekend May 24-28th the show gardens will be on display, the awards will be handed out and the gardening will have officially begun in Britain!
I appreciate immensely all of the work Lucy Worsley shares with viewers regarding the history of England and so much more, so I was eager to tune in to her new podcast Lady Killers. Each episode (you can listen for free for the first 7-days and then you must pay a subscription fee, but the quality of the show makes it worth the price) investigates the crimes of Victorian women from a contemporary, feminist perspective. Fascinating beyond my expectations, especially through the lens of women’s roles and subjugation due to gender roles and lack of laws granted equality in the eyes of the law.
—All Saints Kita Crossbody Bag (more colors)
Known for their leather items from clothing to accessories, and as we talked in great detail about crossbody bags last April in this post I wanted to share this find as it is similar to a more expensive item shared a couple weeks ago, and just as high quality.
The Duchess of Cambridge has donned a few items from Ghost, so I wanted to take a look. Most of their clothing is feminine and ideal for Catherine’s go-to public wardrobe, and on a more intimate side, it was their Liberty PJs that caught my eye (available in blue as well). Made of filament viscose satin, these look perfect for snuggling up on a rainy or snowy evening, grabbing a hot chocolate and a good book.
L.K. Bennett is also a brand Catherine Middleton wears, and these sandals offer a timeless, yet modern touch for both dresses and pants in a spring or summer capsule wardrobe.
Whenever I find a classic, yet slightly revised and high quality straw tote, I want to share. Knowing that the tote is well constructed ensures it will be available to be used for many summer farmers’ market outings to come.
—The Coroner, BritBox
A TSLL reader recommended I check out The Coroner last month (thank you!), and I am grateful for the heads up. There are two seasons, and while it doesn’t look like there will be a third (fingers crossed I am wrong), the series starts off a bit slow for me, but by the mid to latter half of the first season, I was hooked and loved the recurring main characters. The second season is a strong one, and thus what made me want to share.
Jane Kennedy is the coroner who has recently returned to her childhood English countryside town, and is now temporarily living with her mother. She finds herself working alongside her teenage beau who is the head of the police department. An advocate for the deceased along with her assistant who is dependable, yet loves to surf any free moment he can find, the relationships are strong, fun and enjoyable in an everyday sort of way – nothing over the top, nothing too dramatic. I really do hope Season 3 is being considered.
Officially on February 6th the Queen and the United Kingdom celebrated the marking of her 70 years as monarch. June 2-5th will be the official weekend of public celebrations, although commemorations and celebrations have already begun in the UK. So it only makes sense that TSLL British Week share with you this historic event. The world’s, the world’s!, longest serving female monarch, and regardless of gender, Queen Elizabeth II is the second longest serving (second only to Louis XIV from France, who reigned from 14th May 1643 until 1st September 1715 — a total of 72 years and 110 days). However, for me, it is who the Queen is that makes this all the more special.
Just this past week the Queen made a public appearance to the new Tube line that is opening to the public on May 24, the Elizabeth Line. She was the first to take a ride on it, and in her trademark brilliantly bright attire – this time in soft butter yellow, hat and coat – she did the honors. I was grateful to see she was able to do so. Click on the link above to discover all of the events taking place and what and where you can view them no matter where you call home.
What a wonderful week of celebrating all things British, and it’s not done yet!
Later today be sure to stop back by as the Grand Giveaway will be posted and you will only have 24-hours to enter (explore becoming a TOP Tier Member so you can enter all of the Giveaways). As well on Saturday, two new posts will go live and one is a brand new episode of The Simple Sophisticate podcast. So far 13 posts have been shared this week, and the best way to make sure you haven’t missed any is to view this page which shares all of the posts specifically from British Week 2022.
With a total of five giveaways this year and six winners, the fourth giveaway was announced via email, sent to all subscribers to the free weekly and/or monthly newsletter. Look for it in your inbox if you are a subscriber to find out what it is and how to enter.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments, hearing your memories experienced at so many of the places spotlighted this week, and look forward to doing this all again next year. I wanted to bring your attention to TSLL’s Travel Guides as you can see all of the places spotlighted on a map and paired with a brief detail of why I recommend visiting it here.
Norman and I are in Wallowa County today for the first in-person book signing of The Road to Le Papillon. Hosted at my childhood bookshop, The Bookloft, if you are in the area be sure to stop by between 3-5pm for tea, truffles and a short reading of the book.
We moseyed our way to the NE part of Oregon, and prior to arriving in Wallowa County stayed a night in Walla Walla. I had the chance to visit my favorite patisserie and write today’s post there which is where the above pastries were captured. I have spent so many hours in this favorite haunt during my living in Pendleton for nine years (prior to my move to Bend), and it felt like coming home again as more than a few posts were created in this bustling, yet quiet, welcoming college-town bakery, Colville St. Patisserie.
I want to thank you for stopping by today, and hope your week has gone well. I have gathered up a few articles you might enjoy and one video. Until later today and this weekend, bonne journée!
~A brand new Tube/Underground line is being added in London, and the Queen officially took the first ride earlier this week. The public will be able travel on it May 24th. Learn all about the Elizabeth Line here (and read this post to explore 16 Tips for Riding The Tube with Ease about London).
~7 Ways to Micro-charge as an Introvert [Introvert, Dear]
~Thank you long-time TSLL reader Michelle for bringing this awesome news to my attention today. Sister Boniface fans, Season 2 is confirmed! [BBC]
~For Americans traveling to Europe, the exchange rate has not been this low since 2017 [AFar]
~If you love eggs as much as I do (which is a whole lot!), then you will want to save this article – 24 Recipes That Make The Most of Eggs [New York Times Cooking]
~Really feeling my introversion this week, and grateful to have embraced it wholly as it makes life quite sweet – 3 Lessons My Introverted Grandfather Taught Me [Introvert, Dear]
~British interior designer, antique dealer and furniture making Max Rollout shares the Do’s and Don’ts of decorating [House & Garden Uk]
~I know many TSLL readers love to walk and hike when they travel to the UK, and this article shares one hiker’s journey around the entire coast of the UK, 192-miles, from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay [The Guardian]
~An extra and new episode of The Simple Sophisticate (ep. #330) will go live tomorrow sharing 25 ways to enjoy Britain in your everyday life, and one additional way I keep Britain with me even while in Bend or traveling elsewhere is, on weekdays, to listen to The Financial Time’s 9-10 minute Daily News Briefing, and in a more light-hearted, way, I bring Prince & Sons teabags with me when I travel away from home as I am doing this weekend. It reminds me of our stay at The Pig in Canterbury and adds an extra dose of luxury beyond my regular Twinings tea (which I love as well).
~Check out this thatched-roof 4-bedroom cottage in Alresford. It’s for sale! The interiors have great potential for something special, and the exterior of the house is just, well, a dream.
~Ahhhh . . . So appreciated this article. The analogy Arthur Brooks uses to convey why being mindful is frightening, intimidating or often ignored even though it is a crucial part of living a peace-filled and contented life is spot on. I could not agree more – we need to find peace at home with ourselves, in other words in our minds, and when we do, we stop seeking a solution outside of ourselves, which will never bring us deep and lasting contentment, and instead savor and appreciate all that we encounter as we live a life we love living Mindfulness hurts, that’s why it works! [The Atlantic]
~Kim Cattrall recently gave a speech at Variety’s Power of Women event. She shares her secret to success – Saying No, specific examples and why it has contributed to the quality of her life.
~Explore last week’s This & That: May 13, 2022
Beautiful new totes for summer and travel, a French film I cannot wait to see, two must-have travel items for ease, luxury and comfort, clothing that is versatile, comfortable and chic, new book releases receiving positive reviews, a new partnership with TSLL that includes an exclusive discount on quality items for your home and kitchen and still much more.