Sometimes we give books a break. And when we do? From cool cocktails to contemporary culture and sexy suitcases to sensual scents, here’s what we’ve been enjoying of late…

We’re Indulging On…

Healthy desserts? Oh yes, and Honey and Date‘s award-winning creations are insanely indulgent – but delightfully sinless, being made with raw, natural ingredients only. The salted caramel and peanut butter, tiramisu and strawberries and cream cakes might be free from free from gluten, dairy, refined sugar and preservatives, they’re definitely packed full of flavour. The latest addition to the range is a limited edition Sakura cake – an impossibly pretty cherry and cream delight inspired by Japanese cherry blossom.

We’re Carrying…

Holiday season is upon us. And please don’t judge us for wanting a suitcase to match our Reading in Heels boxes, okay? From Cali-cool luggage brand Calpack, we’ll be carrying on our essentials in one of their deliciously elegant marble print suitcases. The Astyll suitcase comes in black and white shades, and you’re sure to spot either of them almost instantly at baggage claim too… From a practical point of view, there’s 360-degree spinner wheels and a waterproof interior, plus a combination lock for security. Something a little cooler and less Instachic? Crash Baggage‘s pre-dented Icon suitcases. Luggage handlers, DO YOUR WORST!

We’re Swiping…

But no, NOT LIKE THAT! Time to take time away from the screen and get inspired by some interactive art. These frames don’t come cheap, but Meural‘s astounding digital art frames give you access to more than 30,000 works of art – all you need to do is to swipe and voila, new art! Wow, just wow.

We’re Booking…

…our stay at Mexico’s Hotel Esencia, which was originally built as the private home of an Italian duchess. Eleven suites are to be found on the beach at Xpu-ha, next to the Yucatán jungle – and the Sunday Times reckons that it’s the “most heavenly hotel on earth.” Not sure if they know something about intergalactic hotels we don’t, but suffice to say it’s pretty damn lovely. Spa treatments use “ingredients harvested from the waters of the Caribbean and the soil of surrounding Mayan jungles”, and the restaurants are all about locally-sourced produce – combining Mexican and Mediterranean flavours. And the rooms? Your friends and everyone else on Instagram will hate you.

We’re Visiting…

The Tate Modern’s latest show, Shape of Light. The exhibition explores the relationship between abstract art and photography – over the last century. Expect works from the likes of Man Ray, Barbara Kasten and Alfred Stieglitz, along with pieces custom-made for Shape of Light. We’ll also be booking tickets for Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier at the Design Museum – which promises to be absolutely astounding too. The Paris-based designer actually co-curated the solo exhibition before passing away in November 2017. Not forgetting Idea of North at BALTIC of course -a show entirely dedicated to northern identity and imagination.

We’re singing along to….

The lyrics! The video! The costumes! Just when we thought we couldn’t love Janelle Monae any more, she releases Pynk. There’s no stopping this woman.

We’re Heralding…

The return of the buffet! Obviously it never really went anywhere, but we’re quite pleased that wordsmith extraordinaire and RIH fave Grace Dent has dedicated an entire article in this month’s Vogue to buffet being back… in vogue?!

“To be frank, if you come to one of my parties and the sight of my cheese’n’pineapple porcupine centrepiece fails to render you emotional, I care not for your opinion. If you don’t love a table groaning with fancy salads, pimped-up couscous, show-stopping trifle and a cubic ton of my grandmother’s own recipe Coronation Chicken, watching friends gravitate towards it with plates and sharp elbows, then, sweetie, you’re not really an eater.” YES. Invite friends, host buffet, spread JOY.

We’re Foraging…

…through urban landscapes in search of olfactory inspiration. Just months after the launch of their wonderful F. Scott Fitzgerald-inspired fragrance duo Scherzo and Tender (as featured in our April boxes), London perfumers Miller Harris have released a trio of new scents in time for summer. The Forage trio includes three perfumes all conceived through a little foraging through the parks, rooftops and urban landscapes of the Big Smoke. First, let’s get LOST (in the city) – with a bright, pretty concoction contrasting verdant green ferns and unruly weeds with the grey concrete of skyscrapers and “sharp pink snap of wild rhubarb, making the senses fizz” – it’s feminine, fresh and a little sexy.

Next, time to become HIDDEN (on the rooftops) – a space which provides a home to scores of honeybees. The fragrance itself combines honey-tinged florals with crisp rooftop garden notes – it’s a sunny, sensual scent for summer evenings. Lastly let’s WANDER (through the parks) with an enchanting, slightly woody scent with notes of citrus and spiky, earthy green spaces. Each of the fragrances is unique and just a little magical – not unlike London itself. And – as with London – best discovered and explored in person…

We’re Drinking…

Long summer evenings spent in the park or at the beach call for a tipple or two. Forget Prosecco or even chilled rosé and try Long Flint‘s sublime single serve cocktails. Handcrafted in London, the cocktails feature handmade tonics, sodas and seltzers, combined with premium craft spirits. Our favourite has to been the Grapefruit, Sour Cherry & Mezcal Paloma, which is sweet yet intriguingly smoky and sharp. The Rhubarb and Vodka Seltzer is the perfect refresher for sunny days, while the Ginger and Rum Fuego is excellent served over ice and finished with fresh lime. Gin fans have cocktails aplenty to choose from – whether it’s a punchy Negroni Sbagliato or a Hibiscus G&T.

We’re Watching…

Rape, horror, sex and retribution… French director Coralie Fargeat’s debut feature film might sound anything but feminist, but Revenge serves up a cinematic sucker-punch and girl power aplenty. A pretty protagonist raped by her lover’s pals and then hunted through the California desert and then? Revenge, as our star is brought back from the dead. Suspend your disbelief – you’ll be cheering our avenging angel until the final credits roll.