Media Lunch for Rosie Nixon, Editor of Hello! for her debut novel The Stylist

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Where: Soho House daaarling.

The Event
I happily accepted the invitation to the Media Lunch for Rosie Nixon, Editor of Hello! for her debut novel The Stylist -and not only because I was keen to step inside Soho House and see what secrets, and creative type, were hidden inside.

Once I had missioned along Shaftesbury Avenue, not for the faint hearted, and divined which of the doors would let me into the ‘house’ I was wafted through to the red room -I believe chosen purposefully because of the notable red gown both on the front cover of the book and a running theme throughout the narrative.

Introduced to the lovely ladies from Midas PR and Harlequin who promptly popped a glass of Prosecco in my hand I felt like a member of an elite inner circle -although my hair was more frizzy than glossy. Rosie arrived soon after and was glowing and wearing a beautiful floral dress and an infectious megawatt smile -she was also on the cusp of giving birth, thankfully an event which did not take place during lunch!

Working in PR myself it was a bit like a double whammy I got to learn about how they work at the various places; Glamour, Lorraine, Yours magazine -and also had some really interesting conversations both about The Stylist and other upcoming books they were working on and looking forward to reading. Happily I learned about a book being worked on that has been written by the writer of Death in Paradise -a cosy murder mystery set in the Caribbean watch it you’ll love it!

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The lunch was a variety of mixed platters for starter, main and dessert and all delicious especially the parma ham and melon salad, duck with rainbow chard and star anise and the yogurt and honey panna cotta with figs. The amusing food deliveries were the giant bowl of chips which were devoured and cancelled any illusion that women just want superfoods, and the blackberry crumble that came in one giant sizzling bowl as if it was to represented to a giant with a ladle as a spoon.

Of course drinks were accompanied throughout -white or red wine- as ladies who do lunch do drink.

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A really lovely lunch well it went on until 3pm… Rosie was and is quite obviously excited about her book and the conversation both with her and the other creative women was interesting and extremely entertaining.

Book reviews on the way…

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Colombian Holiday Reading

Tripping off to the stunning country of Colombia for ten days taking in: the capital city of Bogotá with it’s historic quarters and emerald jewellery shops, the coffee triangle of Pereira, then moving onto the natural beauty of Tyrona Park and Santa Marta before ending in the colonial Caribbean city of Cartagena  -books had to be carefully selected and packed!

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The third book in the Victor Legris Mysteries, The Montmartre Investigation by Claude Izner was read whilst staying at the stunning Hacienda San Jose in Pereira.

We fortuitously had the place to ourselves so enjoyed the luxury of a private swimming pool where we enjoyed a few too many Ron Coca in the evenings. The service was excellent and the rooms were traditionally decorated, and styled, in dark wood which complimented the lush green surrounding of the coffee region.

The book : 

November 1891. The body of a young woman is discovered at a crossroads on Boulevard Montmartre. Barefoot and dressed in red, she has been strangled and her face disfigured. That same day a single red shoe is delivered to Victor Legris’s Parisian bookshop. Suspecting more than just coincidence, the bookseller sleuth and his assistant Jojo are soon engaged in seeking out the identity of both victim and murderer. In this third investigation set in belle-époque Paris, we are drawn with Victor into the city’s nightlife and the legendary Moulin Rouge immortalised by Toulouse-Lautrec, who features in the story.

The story was stronger and more interesting than the first two I have read in the series. The plot juicer and the setting of the Moulin Rouge and culture of Cabaret was a welcome addition. Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed it, however my continued niggle is that I just don’t like Victor (seems like it should be quite a big problem seeing as though he is the main character -but it’s not). His jealousies and overbearing attitude to the wonderful Tasha continues unabated which is just an irritating part of his personality and not one I feel is entirely justified.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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Not  a book more a menu … and one which made very interesting, if slightly disconcerting, reading.

 

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Well obviously one of his books was going to make an appearance….

Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

I started reading this in Cartagena and continue to read this back at home in London – in a word (or three) I am hooked. Márquez’s flair for description and attention to detail in each of his characters is a thing of pure beauty. There’s no need to blather on extolling the man’s writing prowess, simply say his name and people will read his book no questions asked. Genius.

WP_20150926_09_46_02_ProAlso a quick shout out to the city itself. In Caratgena we stayed at a wonderfully luxurious hotel called the Anandá which was a perfect way to end the holiday.  The rooftop jacuzzi in particular was an excellent place to cool off, after a hot day exploring, and to watch the sun set, with panoramic views across the  colonial style rooftops and a very good cocktail (gin and cucumber infused vodka!!). The walled-city alone is totally worth the visit, and we spent many a pleasant hour idly walking the narrow streets admiring the colourful architecture. Also the restaurants here are amazing  -if you love seafood- with 5 course tasting menus costing around £25 per person ( heartily recommend Alma Restaurant).

Other books I would take on your travels to Colombia-nwe had these two with us and dipped in a couple of times having read them both before…

  • The Robber of Memories: A River Journey Through Colombia by Michael Jacobs
  • Cocaine Train: Tracing My Bloodline Through Colombia by Stephen Smith

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Finally I leave you with a quote from this guy…

Nowhere is sadder than an empty bed