Iona’s October Hotlist

October is here and with it we see the joys of autumn: a fresh chill in the air, the leaves turning golden and I can finally live in knitwear. I love October for soaking up the changing seasons and it feels like the last calm month before Christmas chaos kicks in, that’s not to say there isn’t plenty going on across the month ahead – grab your Tusting and head into town!


Frieze London and Frieze Masters is back in Regent’s Park from the 11th-15th October and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the London fair. This year’s London fairs are also raising awareness and funs for vital green initiatives, and you can get involved here. I’d recommend a cross body Hettie for your art perusal so that you can have a glass of champagne in hand. If you fancy a day out but not paying for the ticket, still head to Regent’s Park to enjoy the Frieze Sculptures for a culture fix amongst the autumn colours.

Every year I love heading to BFI London Film Festival, 4th October – 15th October, to catch the premieres of some of the best cinema for the year. Hot films for this years festival are Saltburn, All of Us are Strangers and The Killer. With a chance to hear from the directors and actors, it’s an insight into the art process of cinema. Tickets start from £10 and go incredibly quickly.


The Limit, adapted with Sam Steiner from his award-winning play Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, director Ed Madden and choreographer Kristen McNally reimagine this modern classic as a bold, playful and romantic work of dance-theatre with an original score by Isobel Waller-Bridge. Visiting the Royal Opera House feels like such a treat, from the gorgeous architecture to the brilliant dancing. The Hettie is my bag of choice, discrete and sleek, perfect to rest in your lap during the performance.

As the dark nights roll in, staying home to watch a movie is a welcomed activity. Enter the slick feature debut from TV Director Chloe Domont, Fair Play, which follows the story of two Wall Street hedge fund analysts where sex and power and inextricably grafted together. An intelligent thriller to indulge in.

The former Old War Office, The OWO, will be home to the first Raffles hotel in London and  brings with it nine restaurants and three bars to create an all-new dining destination in central London. I’m looking forward to visiting Paper Moon which opened this week serving timeless flavours of Italy along with the courtyard restaurant, Café Laperouse, bringing a Parisian flair to Westminster. This is the perfect opportunity to use my Pecan Mini Holly and enjoy a date night.

Closer to home, Notting Hill is on a roll at the moment with the restaurant openings meaning there is something for everyone. Portobello 177 is a sleek dining room able to seat 50 diners. With a focus on sustainability and seasonality, head chef Shay Ola describes the menu as “sharing-style dishes, with a nod to Caribbean and Japanese barbecue culture”. If you aren’t partaking in Sober October, be sure to try their weekly wine ‘wild card’ to widen your palate further.


Next on my reading list is Sheep’s Clothing by Celia Dale, following the story of two women and their crimes. Described as a ‘dark and keenly observed tale’ with ‘Shirley Jackson-style sinister vibes’, I’m sure this will be devoured across a weekend with many cups of tea, or thrown in my George Tote for tube-travel entertainment.

Bag of the month:

The WNU x Tusting Weekend Holdall.

There is nothing I love more than a weekend away, be it a city break or cosying up in the countryside. Having gorgeous luggage makes the start of a trip so much more exciting to get packing. The gift of luggage for special occasions really is the most thoughtful present as you know your loved ones will use their bags throughout their life, collecting stories as they go.

My Top Tip: Plan ahead!

Something personalised makes the ultimate gift. Not to stress you out, but Christmas is fast approaching, and it’s a tad obvious when you’ve panic-ordered from Amazon on the 23rd December. Give your loved ones something they will cherish for years to come, which can be initialled or embossed with a message. You’re welcome!

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