Iona’s August Hotlist

With the whirlwind of tennis, racing, sunshine that was July, a calmer August is ahead – slightly. Exploring further afield the rapture of Edinburgh Festival and The Fringe, a controversial London dining update and perhaps Iona’s favourite bag yet… read on for all that August has in store.


The Edinburgh Fringe… or even just Edinburgh. There is simply so much to see and do in Edinburgh during August that it’s impossible to pick favourites – the city positively vibrates with a party atmosphere at this time of year. It never fails to surprise with its stunning scenery and the restaurant scene makes for wonderful resting points to reflect on all the entertainment, whether that’s on-street or actually paid-for.

Glorious Goodwood… correctly known as the Qatar Goodwood Festival, is another highlight of the English summer racing season and another wonderful excuse to dress up and enjoy some amazing sport in a very social environment.

And at the end of the month, over the bank holiday weekend, I’ve got Hampton Court Palace in my sights for the food festival. This former residence of Henry VIII is a stunning venue all by itself, but with all the tastebud temptation that’s on offer, it’s a food lover’s heavenly day out.


Situated at the epicentre of the National Theatre on London’s South Bank and named after the architect Denys Lasdun, Lasdun restaurant is a welcome addition to the area for diners to experience the best culinary and culture under one roof. Taking inspiration from modernist design (be sure to look up and clock the restaurant ceiling) along with timeless brasserie dishes, this spot makes a great pre-theatre dinner more than a quick bite as sustenance and almost becomes the main event.

After the news that Hotel Cafe Royal will be charging solo diners double (DOUBLE!) to eat alone, blaming rising prices and that people at a table for one take up the same space as two, Brutto has responded to the news by offering all solo diners a free spritz, “solo diners always welcome’’. Regardless of your relationship status, I’ve always found solo dinner dates a treat with a good book and an evening to enjoy contemplating life. Brutto, already being a firm favourite, has bumped further up my list of London gems. Grab your Hettie and head to Farringdon; I’ll see you there.


If it hasn’t been clear from this monthly series, I am hugely interested in food – note I don’t particularly enjoy the term foodie – and reading about food brings me just as much joy, Diana Henry’s ‘How to Eat a Peach’ is on my favourite book list. So, when I picked up Clare Finney’s ‘Hungry Heart’, I quite simply struggled to put it down and savoured every page the way one does with each spoonful of a favourite dessert. The memoir is a heartfelt exploration of the influences of food on one’s life and relationships, enabling you to reflect on your own journey with food, the rituals and those moments in life which have been defined by a dish. Read it, devour it.


Were you team Barbie or team Oppenheimer? Or did you do a double sitting? If you have not been to see either, I recommend you do – both different cinematic experiences but equally brilliant. Take inspiration from Laura Whitmore at the Barbie premiere with our blush Mini Holly.

For something at home, ‘Only Murders in the Building’ returns on the 8th of August (Disney+) for season three. The whodunit comedy based around three neighbours being true crime fanatics and starting their own podcast whilst solving murder cases sees Meryl Streep join the cast this season after admitting she was a huge fan of the show. If the weather does not improve, this is my stay-in-to-watch.
Bag of the Month
The new Como Explorers have captured my heart. With the extremely handy trolley slip located on the back of the small bag, it seamlessly fits on top of my wheely suitcase so that I can glide along towards a train or plane without the faff of slipping bags! Hampton Court may lose out to a weekend away for the bank holiday with the full set, but in the meantime, I’m already packed for my week in Menorca…

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