Instead of endlessly browsing Netflix for something decent to watch in the evening, we have been taking the opportunity to revisit a bunch of favourite films. I am not interested in seeing anything remotely challenging at the moment, it seems that real life is providing enough grit and sadness. Some escapism of the gentle, romantic sort suits me much better right now. The other night we watched A Room with a View, I haven’t seen it in ages and it was every bit as lovely as I remembered. Beautiful settings, a sweet story and lots of giggles to be had at the awkward genteel English and their preoccupation with manners and etiquette.

And of course I must mention Lucy Honeychurch’s outfits. If you are still not convinced about volume sleeves, this movie will do the trick. Plenty of square necklines, lace and embroidery too, all of which are key ingredients to this summers fashion looks.

That pale blue dress with the wide yoke and full sleeves… I feel like I have seen this look on Instagram 100 times just today – hat included! Cutter Brooks have helpfully put together great versions of some of the iconic moments from the film. Here is the tennis look, the meadow scene and the plait and boater hat combo.

Personally I am looking forward to putting on this cotton broderie dress, also know as the Suffragette dress because every time I wear it, someone asks if I have chained myself to any railings recently. But I love it very much. From Topshop a few years ago but you can get similar at most retailers right now or if you are lucky, you might find a vintage one.

Moving on. Robin Lucas has spent his time in lockdown creating a new vegetable garden. Talk about making the time at home count! Looking at this photo I feel as though I have been transported straight into a Beatrix Potter story, Mr McGregor just out of shot as he chases Peter Rabbit away. So beautiful and so very low key. Nothing fancy, all the materials found on site. Just lots of hard work and a good dose of that magic touch that money can’t buy. The gorgeous fence is particularly wonderful and would be quite simple to replicate. You can see more of the garden and listen to Robin talk about it here.

I have noticed a lot of references to the classic children’s book The Secret Garden recently – seems I’m not the only one entertaining my nostalgic side right now. To anyone with fond memories of that story I would highly recommend this book, also by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The making of a Marchioness is a really enjoyable Cinderella story with a bit of mystery thrown in. I wish I hadn’t read it already so I could experience it for the first time.

My edition is published by Persephone Books, they specialise in forgotten books by women writers. Here is a snap I took in their store in Bloomsbury a while ago. Would very happily browse away in there for a couple of hours right now.

Such a lovely store, I can’t wait to visit once we are allowed shop again. Until then I will support them by ordering my next batch of books through their website. Must always have a pile of good books on the nightstand!

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