As it is TSLL’s Annual British Week after all, so you will find nearly every (but not all) finds being British-inspired. From cookbooks to cooking classes, tours of King Charles III’s official residence in London, acclaimed series, a new mystery film inspired by Agatha Christie’s writings, just released garden books for gardeners and of course, the most famous event for gardeners in the UK, plus British brand clothing finds from scarves, suits, dresses and trenches and sales on a trusted makeup company I use regularly, a sale for lovers of the beach-side décor aesthetic and a new film starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus that looks to be worth watching. And yep, still there is more!
Back in the fall during the 5th season of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show I introduced a book I found in Paris that happened to be written by a British author Niki Segnit that inspired my Garden Fresh Strawberry and Amaretto Tart, and it turns out that book became a global bestseller (published in 2012). The name of that book: The Flavour Thesaurus. I absolutely love it and was tickled to found out she wrote a follow up (or sequel) sharing even more flavour combinations.
While both books sound like they would be a boring read, simply sharing pairings of flavours much like a resource book pulled off the library shelves of science, worry not! Segnit writes in inviting prose that makes for delicious evening reading to unwind the mind and tickle the taste buds. With many pairings, she not only shares why they work well together but also a simple recipe to try, again written à la Nigel Slater style – in prose rather than classic recipe templating. Podcast host and cookbook editor Francis Lamb spoke with the author Niki Segnit in a recent episode of The Splendid Table as the second book in the Flavour Thesauraus catalog was included in the show’s Spring Cookbook Roundup. Listen to the episode here. Just released earlier this month, I look forward to adding this one to my cookbook library and maybe you are as well.
—Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (Raymond Blanc OBE’s cookery school) at the Belmond in Oxfordshire
If you have plans to travel to Oxfordshire, just about an hour and a half outside of London to the west, and you love to cook, treat your tastebuds and cookery skills to a day or half-a-day class with Michelin Star chef Raymond Blanc at his Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons cookery school. When I learned about the opportunity to cook with the seasons guided by the expertise of a chef who I have fallen in love with due to his approach to cooking (thank you TSLL reader Sue for introducing me to him a couple of years ago!), I looked at my calendar and asked myself when can I take a trip to this part of England? It is my hope that it will be soon! Located at Blanc’s luxury hotel in the countryside, Belmond, classes are suitable for all experience levels. “From half-day introductions to residential programmes, dinner party master classes to children’s courses, there’s something for everyone. Many courses focus on recipes important to Raymond Blanc, showcasing dishes that inspired him to become the Michelin-starred chef he is today.”
~Take a peek at the hotel, property and staff in this video shared on their IG page.
~Le Manoir au Quat’Saisons, cookbook by Raymond Blanc
And if a trip to Oxfordshire is not in the works, pick up his cookbook, published a handful of years ago (he has many), which focuses solely on exactly what you will find when you visit Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
—River Cottage Every Day: A Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
I want to thank British TSLL reader Tracy Hobday for sharing with me another gem of a cookbook and restaurant in England that has a much applauded reputation for working with what the land gives, farming sustainably and cooking with the seasons. While the founder of the River Cottage, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has many cookbooks, this is the cookbook to begin with to get a general feel for what River Cottage is known for.
“Fearnley-Whittingstall’s trademark wit and infectious exuberance for locally grown and raised foods to a wide-ranging selection of appealing, everyday dishes from healthy breakfasts, hearty breads, and quick lunches to all manner of weeknight dinners and enticing desserts. Always refreshingly honest, but without sermonizing, Hugh encourages us to build a close relationship to the sources of our food and become more involved with the way we acquire and prepare it. But he doesn’t shrink from acknowledging the challenges of shopping and cooking while juggling the demands of work and family. So while Hugh offers an easy recipe for homemade mayonnaise, he admits to having a jar of store-bought mayo lurking in the fridge, just like the rest of us!”
Just released this spring is a whodunnit inspired by the capers of classic British mystery writer Agatha Christie. Starring Micha Barton and Chris Browning, Invitation to a Murder is set in England and revolves around five strangers who are invited to a remote mansion and must solve a real-life murder. Have a look at the trailer below and watch now wherever you stream your favorite movies.
While not British-themed, I still wanted to make sure you knew about Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ new film as it is being well received and with an everyday premise about married life, looks to be a relatable, moving and a lovely movie. Have a look at the trailer below and watch it beginning today in theaters.
—The Chelsea Flower Show, 2023, BritBox
As I type, I have The Chelsea Flower show coverage on in the background. Available for those of us in the states to watch on BritBox, there has been one new episode each night beginning on Sunday and runs through the weekend. I feel I am being treated to a new episode of Gardeners’ World each evening and I am loving it. As one host described it, “Chelsea” is the Met Gala in the gardening world, or the Oscars or the Tonys/Oliviers, you get the idea. The ground area all of the show gardens and pavilions spans eight football fields (soccer fields); in other words, this is a BIG event on the English calendar, literally and figuratively. If you too love gardening, enjoy watching the episodes at your leisure.
—The Cut Flower Sourcebook: Exceptional Perennials and Woody Plants for Cutting by Rachel Siegfried
Released on May 23rd, British gardener who began her career as an estate gardener in the Cotswolds, Rachel Siegfried shares in her new book The Cut Flower Sourcebook “her selection of 130 rigorously trialed plants and her garden-led philosophy that together bring such exceptional results. Her exquisite arrangements capture the essence each plant making the most of characterful twists and tendrils, testament to years of expert botanical observation and hands in the soil.” Looks like an invaluable resource for serious gardeners who are ready to invest in perennials that will continue to produce beautiful flowers for bouquets for years to come.
Such a fun and insightful book from British gardener Liz Zorab. The Seasoned Gardener will be released on May 31st and already readers (or should I say, gardeners) are enjoying her book. Zorab, the winner of the Garden Media Guild Award Vlog of the Year 2022, shares multiple videos on her YouTube channel Byther Farm, and in her new book she shares her “personal gardening journey, exploring seasonal harvests and how the vegetable garden sits within the wider context of the gardening landscape – including weather, microclimates, water cycles, light levels, seasons and the gardener’s personal tastes.” Get to know Liz on her YT channel or listen to episode #31 of the Pot and Cloche podcast where the author is interviewed about her book.
A company that prides itself on its sustainability approach, their sale is not to miss. Literally half off many quality, capsule wardrobe items. I have hand-selected three items for you to shop below.
Did you happen to see the Princess of Wales earlier this week in the superbly tailored pink suit by Alexander McQueen? Well, this one is quite similar and much cheaper, yet very well made.
—Another Tomorrow’s Classic Trench, Chino, 50% off
A classic British essential – the long trench, and this one is half off.
—Another Tomorrow’s Pinstripe Shirt Dress, 50% off
Just in time for summer. With wonderfully long sleeves, juxtaposed pinstripes and hitting just below the knee, ideal for strolling along on your holiday or going out to enjoy dinner al fresco.
I continue to build up my scarf wardrobe, and silk scarves with multiple prints that complement the skin are ideal for travel, for short errands to town and generally are oh so dependable for adding that extra something without being extra. Burberry’s abstract print silk scarf would be a color I would choose for both cool and warm skin tones, and it would be one to wear for many years to come.
—Burberry Montage Print Silk Skinny Scarf (multiple color/print options)
I had to include one more scarf item because the scarf style I am adding to my wardrobe at the moment are the skinny scarves. Having a moment of resurgence, the skinny scarf is perfect for adding a touch of beauty without the bulk. Simple, yet stunning.
—Caraway Whistling Tea Kettles (many colors and finishes)
Holding two quarts of water and available in many different colors, designed to provide a modern take on the classic kitchen essential and constructed with non-toxic materials to keep your boiled water clean and free of harmful chemicals, the Caraway Whistling Tea Kettle is a treat for the tea lover.
—Laura Mercier Friends & Family Sale, 20% off everything
If you too use Laura Mercier makeup or beauty products, take advantage of their sale (which ends, unfortunately Thursday night – the 25th at midnight, so do hurry). I use their eye shadow pencils and recently just stocked up, so wanted to make sure I alerted TSLL readers to this sale. They extended it once this week, so fingers-crossed they might do that one more time through the weekend.
—Serena & Lily site-wide sale, 20% off
Serena & Lily continues to offer items that I want to add to my home. I already have one of their large rattan trays, my primary bedroom is covered in their wallpaper, and their maritime doorstop is used every single day as I just love their seaside aesthetic, and with their site-wide sale, if you do as well, be sure to use promo code SPLASH and save 20% off.
SHOP THE SALE:
I first have to send a big thank you out to Michelle. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for recommending this limited series. Restless stars an amazing cast, shares a plot that will keep you hooked until the last episode and why it slipped past my radar when it came out in 2015, I do not know. Here are the details: “Based on the bestselling spy novel by William Boyd and boasting a “fabulous British cast” (Los Angeles Times), this Emmy®-nominated BBC drama is a tale of passion, duplicity, and betrayal. Ruth Gilmartin (Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey) is stunned to learn that her mother, Sally (Charlotte Rampling, Broadchurch), has been living a double life. Her real name is Eva Delectorskaya (Hayley Atwell), she worked as a spy for the British Secret Service in the 1940s, and now someone is stalking her.” Have a look at the trailer and enjoy. It is fantastic.
Yes, it is true! You can now tour Buckingham Palace, for a limited time on the calendar, reserve your tickets online, and you can take the tour of the historic Palace that has stood in the backdrop of so many different royal occasions, ceremonies, events and moments. There are other wonderful tours to take as well within Buckingham Palace as exhibits are shared, for example in The Queen’s Gallery and in The Royal Mews. Do be sure to explore all of the tours available here.
Welcome to This & That of the Annual British Week, and believe it or not, I have many more British finds that I wanted to include, but this list was already getting so long! Look for more wonderful finds I have discovered over the past six months or so in upcoming T & T’s on the blog (each Friday!).
I want to first thank everyone who has popped by the blog this week to explore all of the now 12 posts (there are still two more!), share their connection and affection for the British culture and engage with one another. While I haven’t been able to respond to every comment, I am reading all of them, and it is a delight to hear from you all. 😌
Nelle and I took a respite yesterday while writing today’s post to step out in the garden near the newly planted alliums that are just this week beginning to bloom. They are such a fun sight to see as I step in and out of my potting area in the garage as they look to be very happy in this new spot that needed a bit of color in spring before the blackberries took over for the summer. They are underplanted with English bluebells and I must say, I will definitely be keeping this pairing in the years to come. Look for a full video of the alliums to be shared in June’s gardening post, and if you haven’t already read May’s gardening post that was shared on Monday, be sure to check it out as I share for the first time a video of the past two weeks in my garden (explore becoming a TOP Tier Member to read all of TSLL’s gardening posts).
I so enjoy this special week on the blog each year, and while it keeps my eyes and fingers glued to my computer for most of the week, by the week’s end I am smiling and overwhelmed with joy. To celebrate with fellow Anglophiles and all of the discoveries that are exchanged is a treat. Each year it makes me all the more excited to return to England as soon as possible.
As I shared in the welcome post to British Week, there will be six giveaways this week, four have already been posted here on the blog, and the fifth one is shared today (Friday morning) with weekly newsletter subscribers in their email (it will not be posted on the blog), so if you have signed up for this emailed newsletter, read the Letter from the Editor to discover what is being given away (a British mug from a favorite designer), and enter by Saturday May 27th at 4pm Pacific. And yep, that means there is one more giveaway, and that is the Grand Giveaway. Be sure to stop back by the blog today (Friday) after 12pm when I will post what that giveaway is. This is a first for TSLL, and I am so excited to offer this particular giveaway to five lucky TOP Tier Members (not a member, but want to be able to enter – become a member today! click here). I shared a few details about the Grand Giveaway in the weekly newsletter, but everyone else will have to wait until the post goes live here in a few short hours. With that said, you have to enter in a very short amount of time – by 4pm tomorrow (Saturday), Pacific time, so set a reminder on your phone or whatever works best so you do not forget.
If you would like to catch up on all of the posts shared so far during TSLL’s 5th Annual British Week, click here. And with that, I will wrap it up because I still have two more posts to write (for Saturday). Wishing you a wonderful weekend and until noon Pacific time, bonne journée!
~Traveling to the UK and want a luxurious place to stay? Be sure to check out this list – The Best Holiday Homes to Rent in the UK [CN Traveller]
~8 Ways a Journal is an Introvert and HSP Introvert’s best friend [Introvert, Dear]
~The Princess of Wales and her Alexandra McQueen pink suit. L.O.V.E.D. It. [Vogue]
~Exquisite gardens to visit in South east England [House & Garden UK]
~If you enjoyed the sequel to Book Club, The Next Chapter, check out this article about where the film was filmed in Italy and how two of the stars are credited with making this film happen and happen in Italy. [CN Traveller]
~I love this perennial – the hardy geranium – in my garden and highly recommend adding a few for lovely ground cover and color all summer long in a sunny spot. Explore the many hardy geranium varietals and how to grow them. [The English Garden]
~5 Top tips for choosing the best plants for your garden [Middle-Sized Garden]
~Take a full home and spring garden tour of the Dukes of Beaufort’s Cotswold home Badminton House [House & Garden UK]
~Three rules for growing perfect peonies [The English Garden]
~If you enjoy classical music, or are just beginning to enjoy it, you will appreciate this article. Evidentially the genre of music is experiencing a bit of a renaissance in the younger generations and the pandemic is to be credited- Classical Crescendo. [The New York Times]
~Kathy Bates can play so many different character roles so very well, and the Academy Award winning actor is coming to the small screen in the remake of Matlock, with Bates playing the role of the lead. Have a look at the series trailer below.
~Explore last week’s This & That: May 19, 2023
Both fiction and nonfiction books this week ranging from topics about living an enriching life, living a life sans children and the true history of this choice, beautiful artistry capturing creatives’ homes, philosophy from those expert in the subject but often less mentioned due to their gender but each worth knowing and exploring, a new film that takes us to Versailles and that had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, summer clothing from dresses, to beach cover-ups, linen blazers and layering tees, as well as a new series on television with a rock-star cast. Still there is more!