Summer Wines (and not a bar-b-que or rosé in sight)

Summer is on its way! From tomorrow in the UK, larger events will be permissable albeit at lower capacity in line with safety guidelines. Whether you’ll be attending a summer event in person or enjoying the moment from your own garden, the social season is the perfect opportunity to set up the picnic table, dress up for the occasion and crack open a bottle or two of delicious wine. More than ever it feels important to make the most of the freedom of warmer days and longer evenings. It’s been a long, cold covid winter so take time out to relax and bask in the warmth of the sun, as well as friends and family.

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Manolo Blahnik: An Enquiring Mind

As in all the arts, whether paintings, literature and theatre, one of the delights of fashion design can be found in the historical references. In 2019, the exhibition An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection explored the inspiration behind the master of shoe design. In his over-50 year career, Blahnik has drawn on his love of art, interior design and fashion of the 17th and 18th centuries, to create the most exquisite footwear. It’s enough to make Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw swoon.

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Couture Royal wedding dresses: in conversation with Justine Picardie

Justine Picardie is a former Contributing Editor at Harper’s Bazar and author of Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life and a new book Miss Dior coming soon. In a live conversation from their individual homes, Picardie and Caroline de Guitaut, Deputy Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art at The Royal Collection Trust, explored the history of Royal wedding dresses. Later, still in a hazy romantic mood, I pulled out family albums to gaze again on some of the Caswell brides of the 20th century.

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How to enjoy heritage English wines

Wine growing is not new in Britain. While it seems likely that the Romans introduced vineyards it was in the Norman period, with the arrival of William the Conqueror in 1066, that successful viticulture really took off. English wine is a growing industry with increased sales both here and overseas. Recent years have also seen a rise in wine tourism initiatives including Cellar Door openings and wine festivals across England and Wales. There are around 3,500 hectares under vine in the UK, up 150% in the past ten years, with an additional 3.2m vines planted in 2019.*

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Interview: Going (Totally) Wild and the art of foraging

If you were lucky enough to grow up surrounded by nature and wild spaces, you will know what it means to be able to roam freely as a child. Certainly that was my experience growing up, and a frequent supply of food was essential to fuel our long rambles. Consequently, we always had an opportunisitic eye open for anything remotely edible in the fields and hedgerows. This month I asked professional forager, James Wood, about his lifelong love affair with wild plants, developed since he was a child growing up in a country village, and how this led him to develop a professional qualification.


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