The clocks have gone back, and November is here! Before the Christmas madness kicks in, November really does hold its own for things to do and enjoy throughout the month. From Bonfire night to Thanksgiving, spontaneous drinks and finding the cosiest pubs to curl up in – we have you covered.


The Cult of Beauty at the Wellcome collection is a new free exhibition delving into the sometimes-terrifying world of beauty and how beauty standards have been skewered. Featuring over 200 objects and artworks, curated by Janice Li, it considers themes ‘The Ideals of Beauty,’ ‘The Industry of Beauty’, and ‘Subverting Beauty’ in a challenge of our accepted notions.

David Hockney: Drawing from Life returns to the National Portrait Gallery, opening on the 2nd November, after only being open for 20 days back in 2020 before the pandemic hit. The exhibition champions the artist’s work across the last six decades and 30 new works which will be displayed for the first time, including the painting of Harry Styles.

To get in the Christmas spirit (and to try beat the December crowds), at the end of the month we are heading north to visit Chatsworth House for their Christmas light trail and staying at the beautiful Wildhive Callow Hall in the Derbyshire countryside. When speaking to Oliver Shah for our recent Tusting Talks, he said that nice luggage makes travel all the more exciting, and I completely agree. We’re escaping London for only 2 days/1 night but packing up a gorgeous Weekender Bag makes it feel that bit more special.


The Walmer Castle in Notting Hill has finally reopened under the brilliant new ownership of husband and wife team Jack and Poppy Greenall, owners of the successful and local favourite The Surprise pub in Chelsea. Having been carefully restored there is a bar and casual dining space downstairs and a more intimate formal dining room upstairs of the pub. The new opening is sure to be a hit and the perfect spot to enjoy a Sunday roast. Think chunky knits with a cross body Hettie and you’re sorted.

Theatres are becoming the hot new spots for dining, as we’ve seen with The National Theatre, and the new makeover of the Boulevard Theatre in Soho is following suit. A new restaurant by Kitty Fischer’s is opening in the Soho spot, offering Café Kitty. Dining is available to everyone but will offer theatre menus for those with tickets and will be open late into the night, fitting for festive evenings out.

Tis the season for parties and surprise guests and you might occasionally want to deviate from the bowl of Torres, so here is my go-to aperitivo snack come winter which seems to be a crowd pleaser – although there will always be that one person wanting some fancy crisps. Just spoon soft gorgonzola into chicory leaves, add a sprinkle of crushed pecans (walnuts also work) and drizzle with honey.


Russell Norman’s acclaimed restaurant, Trattoria Brutto, has released it’s first cook book, Brutto: A (Simple) Florentine Cookbook, and I could not be more thrilled. Filled with menu favourites such as Penne with tomato and vodka and my absolute favourite puntarelle salad with anchovy dressing – this is the food of Florence, simple ingredients, exceptionally good for you to make at home.

I have long been a fan of Alain de Botton and an avid reader of his books, and his work creating The School of Life. In his new book, A Therapeutic Journey, de Botton explores the arc of a mental health journey, from crisis to recuperation. With our mental health being so prevalent in today’s everyday life, it feels like a timely read to check in on oneself and it might be one of those books you pass on to a friend for them to do the same.

Opinions by Roxane Gay was published just last month and I’ve just started reading it. Praised for her ability to blend the personal and political in a way that feels simultaneously gentle and brutal, Gay covers topics from sexual assault to cookery programmes. The collection of essays brings together her previously published columns from The New York Times, The Guardian and more. “We write and write and write and very little changes because the people who truly need to hear those words are not listening, are incapable of listening” Gay opens with in her introduction. Regardless of your opinions of the topics that Gay covers, you’ll be sure to be thinking and discussing them by the end of the read.


The hotly anticipated Napoleon is released in cinema’s this month (22nd November) and It’s another one of those films that you know is worth seeing on the big screen rather than in your living room. Directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay by David Scarpa, Napoleon tells the story of the military leader’s origins and swift, ruthless climb to emperor. That is viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine.

And for those dark evenings at home, sci-fi rom com Fingernails, streams on Apple TV+ from the 3rd November. Exploring a world where the invention of a ‘Love Test’ shows how much mutual love exists in a romantic relationship. With a nod to the changing world of AI, can human feelings be slotted into an algorithm? It’s a film that celebrates the idiosyncrasies, contradictions, and messy reality of falling in love: sometimes it can’t be second-guessed or measured in any logical way.


Bag of the month:

It has to be the Hettie, cross body style! Whether you’re at an exhibition or have your hands full of mulled wine (too early?) it is the perfect bag to pop over your coat and not need to fuss over. Perfect for also transitioning from day activities to dinner being sleek and elegant, just take off the shoulder strap and you’re good to go!

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