I love a good coffee table book, and not because I think that their appearance in my living room will perhaps serve to make me more interesting. It's their larger than average size, their weightiness, and their gorgeously glossy pictures. They're just wonderful to flick through when you're taking a few minutes out of your day to enjoy a cup of tea and can't bear to scroll through your phone any more. I'm a page turner not a screen swiper and, in my eyes, a cold metal object is no match for the delightfully nostalgic smell of ink on paper.
As someone with a fondness for home comforts ... food, drink, furniture, fripperies ... it's probably no surprise that the book I reach for on a regular basis is Soho House's Eat Drink Nap. It's the most amazing lifestyle book and is packed full of recipes and design tips from all of the different Houses across the world, each with their individual sense of style. I've never been, but from the photographs, Babington House has to be my favourite as I love the mix of muted colours, natural surfaces and vintage furniture ... and it's got the most amazing spa, too. It has a really traditional but homely feel to it. Somewhere you could imagine kicking off your welly boots after a stroll around the grounds and then sitting back in a cosy armchair with a gin and tonic. Bliss, right?
With my love of a well stocked home bar and a tall drink on a Friday night, it will come as no surprise to you that the book's cocktail pages are perhaps the most thumbed. The one drink, in fact the only drink, that has me reaching for the vodka bottle as opposed to the gin, is the Soho Mule: 50ml of Grey Goose vodka, 20ml of home-made ginger syrup, a good shake with a single ice cube, top with ice and soda water and garnish with a chunk of crystallised ginger on a stick ... HEAVENLY! The home-made ginger syrup recipe is also in the book if you fancy giving it a try.
But the pages that I'm most interested in at the moment, are the garden ones ... specifically, the garden at Babington House (I really do need to visit there, don't I?!). There's a walled garden which looks so lovely, and the House's menus are designed around what's grown there and what's in season. This is something that we need to replicate in our own garden ... a proper planting plan! I want to do more home cooking for friends and family using produce that we've grown ourselves. It's a September resolution, which we all know are far better and more likely to succeed than January resolutions.
It really is an absolute joy of a book and would make an amazing gift for food, drink and design lovers. There are even whole chapters on throwing fantastic parties and making the perfect bed. And as we've just decided to host Christmas at our house, I'm devouring every single word. I need all the help I can get. Do you have any favourite lifestyle of coffee table books that I should I add to my reading list? I'd love to know!
This post was written in collaboration with Soho Home.