Culture, Lifestyle, Style

WHEN WE’RE NOT READING?

Sometimes we give books a break. And when we do? From luxury incense to London’s most Instagrammable, here’s what we’ve been enjoying of late…

We’re Swapping…

Scented candles for MAAPS Iuxury incense. Crafted in Los Angeles, MAAPS’ luxury incense sticks are made from bamboo, organic essential oils and natural resins. Our favourites? Super sexy Knoll, which combines tobacco, vanilla and oaked bourbon; and Rift – a blend of sweet fennel, smoked rose and musk. When you’re not burning incense, the brass and copper holders look super chic too.

We’re Obsessed With…

…Unicorn lattes! Gloriously glamorous chocolate brand Saint Aymes has opened an appropriately decadent store in London’s Connaught Village. The boutique and café serves up teas and chocolates alongside macarons and even the aforementioned unicorn lattes and hot chocolates, which are accented with 23ct gold. With a beautifully-designed Insta-perfect interior, the café has attracted bloggers aplenty since opening recently. Wisteria frames the café’s windows, while the walls are adorned with flowers. Impossibly pretty, incredibly chic.

We’re Listening To…

Tracey Thorn’s Sister – featuring Corinne Bailey Rae, no less – from her new album, Record. Lyrics, melody, beats – welcome back Tracy!

We’re Wearing…

Understated new label Ninety Percent shares 90% of its “profits between charitable causes and those who make our collection happen.” And you – the person wearing the brand’s garments – can vote on the causes you’d like to support. Each garment’s care label features a unique number enabling you to cast your vote via Ninety Percent’s website. Clever. The ethical brand’s collection is made from organic fabrics, in factories which prioritise worker welfare. As for the clothes – think simple, luxurious basics perfect to dress up or down. Time to #DressBetter.

We’re Staying At…

“China’s coolest new hotel” – according to the folks who should know at CN Traveller. The brand new Amanyangyun hotel really is an incredible place to say. 50 Ming and Qing Dynasty village houses surrounded by more than 10,000 ancient trees might sound like an unusual starting point for a hotel, but the result – and the story behind it – is extraordinary. Minimal interiors complement the beautiful old buildings, and the Shanghai resort also offers courses in classical Chinese pursuits such as calligraphy and tea-making. Of course, there’s no skimping on luxury – with a luxury spa and top notch dining available to guests. All in all, one truly remarkable retreat.

We’re Watching…

Captivating performances in the brilliant I, Tonya. Margot Robbie produced it too.

We’re Loving…

Hadley Freeman’s brilliant columns. “I’m sick of ‘Poor Jen’ sexism on repeat. This is The One Where Aniston Was Just Fine”. Read it.

We’re Drinking…

…Mindfully! Boxed wines don’t get a great rep, but When In Rome are turning that misconception on its head with a range of excellent wines – in boxes. Don’t open a bottle and finish it because you feel you ‘should’. Buy one of When In Rome’s delicious boxes wines and have a single glass. Maybe two. And there’s sustainability too. “When in Rome’s mission is to reduce that unholy pile of single-use wine bottles. We start by hand-picking premium quality craft wine from some of Italy’s best small and independent producers and they box it for us in the vineyard and send it to the UK by train.” The wine itself? Delicious – and boxes stay fresh for up to six weeks too. And When In Rome even does subscriptions… Where do we sign up?

We’re Visiting…

Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins presents a more diverse view of life. Those living on the fringes of society – across subcultures and countercultures to minorities and the marginalised – are the subject of the latest exhibition at the Barbican, as snapped by 20 photographers from across the globe. Expect “communities of sexual experimenters, romantic rebels, outlaws, survivalists, the economically dispossessed and those who openly flout social convention, the works present the outsider as an agent of change” – no need to explain that the show is an absolute must-see for our times.

We’re Enjoying…

Slathering on Le Labo’s beautiful bodycare. You know – Le Labo – the uber-cool perfume brand that sells rather spendy, but absolutely beautiful scents? That one. They now have a wonderful bodycare range – from hand lotions and lip balms to shampoos and scrubs. The best bit? Their exquisite, unique scents. The even better bit? They are actually pretty affordable. We’re obsessed with the Hinoki body cream, and the Basil shower gel – plus there’s even a Discovery Set if you’d like to try before you commit. Perfect for holidays too…

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