Iona’s September Hotlist

After a dubious summer on the weather front, I’m welcoming September with open arms. Back to school, back to work, the last of summer in the air with a touch of autumn. Don’t hate me for wishing autumn upon us, but a jumper, boots and a cozy coat make me feel great. Not to mention Tusting’s Autumn Winter collection drops this month – there are some beautiful bags to come.


I was lucky enough to have a private tour of the ‘Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own’ sale at Sotheby’s, and it was such a treat. If you’re a Queen fan, you’ll find original lyrics, costumes and Freddie’s famous piano, along with more personal items from his life and home, which have been meticulously preserved at Garden Lodge for over three decades. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the entire collection of belongings from across Mercury’s life before the sale begins on the 5th of September. I particularly enjoyed the guest book signed by his rather famous friends.


Fashion fans unite as the Victoria & Albert Museum opens the first UK exhibition dedicated to the work of French couturier Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel – ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ on the 16th of September. The exhibition explores the beginnings of the House of CHANEL and the evolution of the iconic designs which, to this day, influence how women dress. Be sure to book, as this one will be a hit, perfect for an Autumn afternoon.


Did you know that at the Tusting workshop in Lavendon, we have a showroom you can come and visit for private shopping. If you’re in London or exploring the area, do consider a visit. We’re only an hour and a half from London by train, and situated centrally by road between the Cotswolds, Derbyshire, Oxford and Cambridge. Be sure to pop in and view the new upcoming AW23 collection in person. It’s hard not to fall in love with a bag once you try it on and see where they are made.


Catch the end of the BBC proms at the Royal Albert Hall (which conclude on the 9th of September) to be transported through classical music. Max Richter is one of my favourite composers, and by fluke, I managed to get tickets for a performance of Recomposed, which also happens to be my favourite work of his – Prom 68, if you too are a fan. Take this as your fluke sign to get the last of the tickets!


Lucy Prebble’s critically acclaimed play, The Effect, returns to The National Theatre in a moving new production directed by Jamie Lloyd. With a star-studded cast, Paapa Essiedu (Black Mirror, I May Destroy You) and Taylor Russell (Bones and All) lead the intimate examination of love and ethics, leaving you thinking about the play days after viewing. Performances are running until the 7th of October – don’t miss this one.


It’s as if we all remembered how great the cinema is post Barbie and Oppenheimer and whilst there may be some delays to upcoming productions because of the strikes within the industry, I’m looking forward to the release of ‘A Haunting in Venice’, loosely based on the Agatha Christie novel Hallowe’en. It’s hard not to love a Poirot, and the sequel to Death on the Nile is set to take a more frightful turn. Be sure to take someone along to hold their hand for the jumps.


I’ve long been a fan of Julius Roberts and following his farm journey and recipes on Instagram, so I was thrilled when he announced his cookbook coming in September earlier this year and I immediately pre-ordered it. The Farm Table shares honest tales of farming life and easy, thoughtful seasonal recipes. It’ll be perfect to get stuck into during the autumn. The Farm Table, out 28th September.


Next on my bedside table is ‘Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma’ by Claire Federer, and I’m excited to deep-dive on this. One for opinion lovers, Monsters is a forensic and incisive exploration of the relationship between creativity and morality, questioning to what extent it is acceptable to appreciate the art of monstrous individuals in a supposedly compassionate society. Interrogating her own responses and behaviour, pushing the reader to do the same, Dederer explores how we experience art in the age of #MeToo, and whether we can separate an artist’s work from their biography.


After the sad closure of 202 in Notting Hill, there has been a gap in the neighbourhood for a great lunch spot and convenient meeting place, however that gap is soon to be filled by Wild opening this month. The menu is set to be an ode to Mediterranean kitchens with fresh seasonal dishes. They’ll also be opening for breakfast making it a great meeting spot for a work date or a weekend with the paper.


The National Theatre is having a moment. With the new restaurant Lasdun having just opened, the theatre is also welcoming Forza Wine for small plates, natural wines and seasonal cocktails. Being a hotspot with their South London rooftop, there are bringing the inimitable energy to Southbank. Convenient timing to grab a pre-dinner bite and drink before watching The Effect.

Bag of the month

It has to be one of the new Autumn/Winter colourways in the mini Holly. I’ve not lusted over a bag like this in a long time. I’m counting down the days until we launch in September to get my hands on one. Make sure you’re subscribed to stay up to date on the drop date! And whilst I can’t yet sneak you a picture for you to get excited about, imagine the smoothest rich chestnut conker colour… that’s all I can say!

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