Stratford-upon-Avon is somewhere that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. It’s a tourist mecca, but for a reason with a history that holds proud and literary links to Shakespeare, making it a great place to spend a little time. We picked Alveston Manor Hotel and Spa for several reasons, and loved every sun-soaked minute that we stayed there. We’ve visited before, years ago as a day trip from London, but this time… View Post

Visiting the National Maritime Museum: The Emma, Lady …

Visiting the National Maritime Museum: The Emma, Lady Hamilton – Seduction and Celebrity Exhibition

She was the Kim Kardashian of the early 18th Century. No, actually, Kim K wishes she was half the person that Emma, Lady Hamilton became. Rising from a penny-scraping existence on the wrong side of the law, she won the heart of national hero Lord Nelson (that’s where the allegory doesn’t quite match), became friends with Marie Antoinette, developed from a household chattel to a titled Lady, was a household celebrity mauled in the press,… View Post

Jean Trumpington, Coming Up Trumps – A Memoir

Jean Trumpington, Coming Up Trumps – A Memoir

As a child I never really found anyone who I wanted to idolise. Pop stars were too stratospheric (even the Spice Girls), iconic designers too bourgeoisie and TV stars simply weren’t 3D. In my late 20s, I have finally found someone – Jean Alys Barker, Baroness Trumpington born 23 October 1922. Many people live normal lives, loving their families, working as close to a 9-5 as they can get away with, holidaying in the sunshine… View Post

End of Year Book Survey – 2014 Edition

End of Year Book Survey – 2014 Edition

In the spirit of the New Year, I couldn’t resist repeating this post from last year when I spied it on Bailie’s blog. As she’s got such great taste I couldn’t hold out from borrowing her version of the end of year book survey. Actually, it’s partially her fault I have so many books… PS: Amazon are doing LOADS of sale books, both kindle and proper at the moment so if you enjoy reading, go nuts. I won’t… View Post

Infernal Devices Series – Cassandra Clare

Infernal Devices Series – Cassandra Clare

For this particular book addiction, I blame Bailie. Set in Victorian London, the Infernal Devices series is a prequel to the best-selling Mortal Instruments’ series. A surprising subterranean world with supernatural twists holds many secrets for Tessa, an American girl who travels to England to meet up with her brother after losing her aunt – her nearest family. The novels feature Tessa (who on being kidnapped fresh off her boat from the US) finds out that… View Post