Iona’s April Hotlist

Spring is that you?  With April incoming, we talk to Tusting’s Head of Marketing, Iona.  A true Londoner, Iona has her finger on the pulse of the best weekend escapes, restaurants-on-the-rise and things to do in the city.  We get her hotlist for April of what she’ll be filling her downtime with – all suitably accompanied by a trusty Tusting bag of course. 

Visiting: I’m escaping the city, throwing everything in my Explorer, and heading to Heckfield Place for Easter weekend. We timed it well by fluke that their hotly anticipated new spa, or as they like to call Bothy, opens on the 6th April to all hotel guests. Phone on ‘airplane’ mode, I’ll be enjoying long walks come rain or shine and ending the days in their Moon bar with a cocktail. 

For the perfect day trip out of the city for those who enjoy a long walk, Blenheim Palace is a favourite spot – only 1.5 hrs from London by car, with something for all the family. The long country walks on the grounds of the palace have stunning views in the spring – daffodils, lambs and tree blossom, all with the palace as a backdrop. Round off your walk with a drink in the pub in Woodstock.

Dining: Notting Hill has had a resurgence in dining since covid, and it’s fastest finger first for reservations. Zephyr, Kuro Eatery and Sumi are all new neighboured favourites. But it’s Dorian which I’m most excited to return to since their soft launch. With a menu focused entirely on the quality of ingredients created by head chef Max Coen – ex two-Michelin-star Kitchen Table, two-star Ikon and three-star Frantzen – the Notting Hill hotspot is full of atmosphere, dishes which pack a punch and drinks to match. Date night is sorted with my Mini Hazel in tow.

Reading: Skye McAlpine, A Table full of love: Recipes to Comfort, Seduce, Celebrate & Everything else in-between. I love reading cook books for enjoyment as much as making the recipes. With beautiful photography and eloquent meaningful writing, make a cup of tea, curl up and get lost in recipes.

Watching: The best-selling novel by Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life, makes it stage debut in London at the Harold Pinter theatre with a star-studded cast. If you loved the book, it is a must-see with tickets flying like hotcakes. Thankfully, I can fit a pack of tissues in my Hettie to prepare for an emotional rollercoaster of an evening.

For the nights when April showers arrive, lock me inside, I love the National Theatre at Home, where the viewing may even be better than at the theatre, and you can watch everything you missed the chance to see in person. With cinematic filming, it’s unmissable theatre right whenever you want it.

April buys: I’ve just moved house and I adore stationery, so it feels like a good time to treat myself to some gorgeous cards. In such a digital world, I love sending notes to brighten up someone’s day. I love Scribble & Daub stationery, all hand painted by Caroline Kent. I already have quite a collection and I’ve even framed a few special ones. 

Bag of the month: The George Tote. I am in love with this bag! It allows me to go from my morning Barrys workout straight to meetings, onto a photo shoot and ending at a dinner with the utmost in understated luxury – whilst carrying around the kitchen sink.

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