February with Bam
We're already through February, which brought with it a thousand downpours, a worldwide flu outbreak and the beginning of the Six Nations rugby tournament (including Ireland's catastrophic loss to England - boo). But it's been a good month for Bam, with fabulous floral shoots, countryside(ish) mini-breaks and riverside roasts. Welcome to February's best bits.
WHERE WE WENT: Richmond Hill Hotel, Surrey
How better to celebrate the Leap Year than going on an extravagant and much-needed holiday, errrr, 20 minutes down the road? It might be taking the word "staycation" to a whole new level, but we don't mind - we love Richmond, come rain or shine, and the Richmond Hill Hotel, with its elegant Georgian exterior and sunset views over the winding Thames, provided the ultimate backdrop to our restorative little escape.
The vibrant, maximalist 144 cocktail bar, designed by the award-winning Russell Sage Studio, was a velvet-trimmed dream, and the extensive (read: never-ending) breakfast spread almost had us requiring special help to roll back to our room afterwards, but my favourite part was the classic blue, free-standing bath in the middle of the bathroom. There is nothing quite like lowering yourself into chin-height bubbles, a glass of Barolo in hand, before winning three aggressive games of rummy, to recover from a week of pitch decks and shoot prep.
WHAT WE ATE: Roasted vegan gratin with all the trimmings, the White Hart Barnes
I'll admit that since going vegan in 2018, I had never gone out specifically for a vegan Sunday roast. I don't know why - maybe it's because Sunday pub trips are usually centred around endless portions of thick-cut chips, eaten between sipping Old Mout cider and shouting at the TV screen, or maybe because I always thought they might be a bit expensive for what I expected them to be. Either way, all presumptions about vegan roasts are now quashed, thanks to the White Hart's completely delectable gratin with accompanying country veg.
Maybe I'm biased by the fact we sat beside the fire, the rugby screen above us on one side, a window onto the River Thames on the other, or because I'm a sucker for a tiny caramelised carrot (I actually dropped one on the floor and then picked it back up and ate it, I was so desperate not to miss out on even one).
Next time you're perusing the banks of the Thames and feel like a most delicious, guilt-free lunch (no cheese = no guilt, right?), head to the White Hart to warm yours.
WHAT WE BOUGHT: The Eye - an anthology of creative visionaries, by Nathan Williams
Yes. it makes aesthetically stunning interior fodder and happens to look great on my forest-green lacquered chair, but Kinfolk co-founder Nathan William's The Eye is also a genuinely intriguing and inspiring glimpse into the lives and minds of the world's most influential creative directors.
Ever wondered what Grace Coddington's favourite genre of movies is, or what Yohji Yamamoto studied before beginning his long and successful career as one of Japan's most revered fashion designers? Well, now I know. There's nothing like holing up on a rainy spring morning with a coffee in hand, the weight of stories ready to inspire in your lap.
WHAT WE READ: Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson
This month, luxury pyjama company Desmond & Dempsey began an exciting and unexpected collaboration as part of their Sunday Paper publication. Their new book club, Sunday Reads, is a collaboration between the PJ design duo and London publishing house Hachette, who send out latest releases to chosen participants on a monthly basis in return for an honest review. Simples.
The first on the list was Jacqueline Woodson's Red at the Bone; a dazzling, poignant, and profoundly moving glimpse into the lives of a multi-generational Brooklyn family – broken yet bound by unrequited love and lost youth. Though not a classically fast-paced page turner, Woodson's story will sweep you up in its tender memories and encourage you to consider vital questions around motherhood, class, race, sexuality and identity in America.
Find the full review here.
Image: The Orion Publishing Group
WHAT WE LISTENED TO: Bam's February Spotify playlist - Give It a Try
The beginning of the year is many people's time to finally do that thing they've been putting off for months. This little collection of tunes will hopefully inspire those of us who need that extra little push, the extra bit of courage to just give it a try.
Personal faves include Pusher by German artist BLVTH (ever wondered what your entrance song would be if you were to fight in WWE? This would be mine) and the age-old "everything will be fine" feeling-inducer, Gravity Rides Everything by Modest Mouse.
Image: Bam Bam Madame