I’ve liked Claire’s main blog, The Captive Reader, which she writes from home in Vancouver, for some years, not least because she reads a lot of travel books. Also, who could resist a weekly post with the title Library Lust, featuring the most enviable shelves and chair corners.
But now there’s another blog, The Ambling Adventurer, and I seriously feel like Claire is writing for me. First there was a post on hidden gardens in Prague (where I recently saw the beauties of spring), then a post on expat memoirs that featured the book is just been reading and crying over, My Berlin Kitchen, and finally a post on Siena that immediately brought up memories of a trip with my mother to Florence. Heaven!
Photos of Ethiopia, Prague and Split by me. 2014-2017.
Sometimes you just need chocolate. Lots of chocolate. I first saw the recipe for this double-chocolate brownies here, and then searching for the image I also came across this blog here and thought I’d better link that too.
Try both, make lots: buy *all* the chocolate, and then come and see me. These are so getting made this weekend. I like the comment that they last 5 days. Um, more like one?
Anyway, the blog…after a recent trip to a Venezualan cafe (delicious, by the way), I was definitely intrigued by My Colombian Kitchen. There’s a spicy (savoury) orange salad, stuffed potatoes and hot avocado sauce. And chocolate. What’s not to like?
I was searching for something else which will feature on the blog soon when I came across the blog Ornamental Passions, dedicated to noticing all those small details on buildings’ windowframes and doormantels, carved plaques and now-baffling statues that London teems with. To my delight, one of the first posts I read shed light on this statue that I often pass in Lincolns Inn Fields.
I’ve followed Kristabel at I Want You To Know on and off for about three years now, and she’s the reason I’ve given Boden’s clothes a go again, after thinking of them as Country-Sloane-central all my life. She’s also a girl after my own heart with her love of travel.
However, apart from her style, energy and love of colour (yes! SUCH a relief to find a style blogger who’s not always mooching round in shades of beige, looking smug/sulky), what makes Kristabel hit it out the park is her blogging with a conscience.
Unlike other writers, whose “what I’ve learnt” posts breathe of carefully-constructed interview-style answers and humble-bragging, Kristabel is honest about the learning curve she’s out herself on and the challenges of being self-employed. Even greater to see are these deeply authentic posts about black, female entrepreneurs, ethical gift guides (with gifts that you actually want), and interviews with other business-women about being the different one in the room. For my vote, the entrepreneurs posts could be a series on a par with A Cup of Jo’s Motherhood Around the World: direct, honest and enlightening.
I particularly liked the point that whilst the fashion sector claims to champion difference, the money-trail is far more cautious. And I’d suggest that there’s an element of questioning to be done about if marketing commissioning editors and their teams actually know where to go and look for the new voices. Diagnostic algorithms on your own social media feed are hardly going to help…
Much to chew on, and always worth a read. Plus, what a great gallery wall!
(All images via Kristabel’s blog)
Is Mrs Ford’s diary, a modern-day Diary of the Provincial Lady. Her musings on Village life and talks on roses, or children at university always make me smile.
A pom-pom tote from Oh Joy, a blog I always enjoy for its mix of food, family and Los Angeles colour and design.
A riff on Blog of the Week, as tout le monde tells me blogging is dead. Whatever.
I love a good podcast too, as those who’ve had me bang on about Chat 10 Looks 3 or Backlisted will attest. This one features two women who made a sci fi film in the first episode, and the other two broadcasts of The Violet Sessions so far sound just as good. One to settle in with on the train home / the sofa and a cup of tea – serving suggestion included above courtesy of Raphaelle Peale, my photo from the Met.
More autumn reading? I also saw this in New York and sort of regret holding off buying it. The cover might be carefully designed to appeal to current taste but the writing seems good (funny, well-paced, rhythmic) & has whetted my appetite:
“However the table is arranged!” the Count would exclaim. “Delightful conversation! I’ll have you know, dear sister, that careless seating has torn asunder the best of marriages and ended the longest of detentes. In fact, if Paris had not been seated next to Helen when he dined at the court of Menaleus there would never have been a Trojan war.”
A charming rejoinder, no doubt, reflected the Count from across the passage of the years. But where were the Obolenskys and the Minsky-Polotovs now?
With Hector and Achilles.
“Your table is ready, Count Rostov.”
“Ah. Thank you, Andrey.”
Another great post from Cate St Hill, which I actually found after coming back from Berlin. We must have walked right by Interbau on the way to the Tiergarten. Oh well, time for another trip.
I actually prefer Cate’s older architecture posts to her posts on Lifestyle as I love seeing new buildings through her trained eyes.