Hitting the shops

Gingerbread PJs from ASOS, knitted hot water bottle cover and candles from Aerende (a shop that supports the underprivileged and struggling in society – the hot water bottle covers are knitted by a breast cancer survivor)


initial mugs from Anthropologie and Christmas biscuits from Ashton Belle, cups from Rita Konig

Asma’s Indian Kitchen and Polska by Zuza Zak

Donations, eg to Refuaid which gives refugees important language training and interest free loans to retrain in their new home to carry on with their previous careers, donations to Shelter or women’s refuges; SheSaysIndia


Coffee spoons and concrete origami paperweights from Havelock studios


A bit of comfort reading

Cakes and cool things

So it turns out that as well as a long and few fraught history, a strong food scene and beautiful scenery Charleston also has quite a few good shops.


Yes, big preppy chains (J Crew, Williams Sonoma) are there; yes, there a lot of one off art shops offering scented oils, pottery and paintings of sea scenes and oyster shells.


But there’s also a bookshop and bow-tie store, there’s many, many antiques shops, and there’s a string of bakeries and stationery shops on Cannon Street.


And food, obviously. All hail Hominy Grill and the Savannah Bee Company.


Lattice work


A french wired silk bonnet from circa 1812. Bringing back ALL the memories of Georgette Heyer’s epic shopping scenes (Frederica and Charis in the millinery shop in particular, to be honest.)

Festival moods


If in May the first music festivals come out, by late June / July it’s definitely the turn of the literary circuit and the London season seems fully underway as the talking set’s removal to various parks and country houses coincide with racing, cricket and tennis.


The one I did get to (thank you C) was the Queen’s Park literary festival where I went 100% fangirl at seeing Zadie Smith speak. But next year I’m saving time for the Garden Museum’s weekend (topics ranging from Elizabethan knot gardens to foraging)


and The Idler also had a splendidly louche-sounding weekend booked in at Fenton House earlier this year. Not a tent in sight, let alone a portaloo…


More fantasy shopping


As I don’t have pierced ears, and have no intention of changing that either, this set of earrings – like all the others I feature – are pure fantasy shopping, and none the worse for it. These are from The Adventurine.

From the family album


*Exactly* how I looked as a child (ho ho, not), although obviously I posted this for the fabulous jewellery set – brooch, ring, bracelet – and well-turned ankle of Marjorie Merriweather Post.

The short front skirt and sweeping train reminds me of Louisa’s wedding dress in The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (“as was the hideous fashion then”), although no signs of the frills of tulle and orange blossom here.