As the end of the year approaches we thought we'd cast our minds back over some of the homewares, books and clothing that hit our radar in 2018, and pick out a few of our favourite things. Here's what set our hearts a-flutter and gave us all the feels this year:
In the kitchen: The beautiful How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry
By one of our very favourite food writers, Diana Henry's How to Eat a Peach is a gorgeous interweaving of recipes, memories and stories. It also offers menus for various different situations, making it an essential source of inspiration for anyone needing to whip up something sumptuous for a dinner party or a family meal. The dishes are exquisite yet attainable, simple yet impressive. This is a cookbook to curl up with in front of the fire and plan all the gatherings you'd love to host.
A constant companion on adventures: A trusty linen towel
If, like us, you love being outdoors and travelling, you'll know just how useful it is to have a lightweight, quick-drying linen towel. This one accompanied us to mountain lakes, the local lido, kayaking on a river and on a trip to Paris. It's the perfect travel partner.
Wool beret: A bad-hair day saviour
This little hat (similar here) has been a saviour for those in-between hair wash days, looking stylish without being shouty. It works with every outfit and most autumnal and wintry occasions, from a windy walk on the hills to a shopping trip in the city.
Book: The Years by Annie Ernaux
Do you ever read a book and then immediately forget what you've just read? With this book that's not a danger: it's an incredible memoir that encapsulates a whole generation's history in France, and it will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Written in spare, unemotional prose, The Years creeps up on you until you realise that it's not just a story of one woman's life, but a far wider, more resonating, story. We also recommend this book about how a book of lists helped the author piece together the life of her long-lost grandmother, and can't wait to read this over the Christmas holidays.
Shoes: rediscovering an old pair of boots that go with everything
It's so great rediscovering something that has languished in the back of the wardrobe or shoe basket. Having spent the entire summer in clogs and Saltwater sandals, looking for new-season inspiration we came across this fabulous Instagram account and noticed that the same pair of black ankle boots appeared over and over, with all sorts of outfits. Remembering an old pair (a cheaper version of these here) of our own that were very similar, we dug them out and have been wearing them with everything ever since.
The perfect candle: And a trip down memory lane
Smell is well known to have powerful connections to memory, so we were thrilled to discover these genius candles. Based on the smells and atmosphere of certain places or things, the Horse's Neck candle took us straight back to our childhood riding horses. We've had one on the mantlepiece ever since. These make lovely gifts, too, whether you want to evoke the smells of a 'gentleman's shed' or a quiet reading room.
A podcast to lift the spirits: On Being with Krista Tippett
Perfect for listening to whilst soaking in the bath, walking the dog or doing chores, On Being offers thoughtful and inspiring conversations with poets, artists, philosophers and writers ranging from discussions on the myth of closure to different ways to think about life and work. A balm for the soul.
Around the house: a hard-working linen tea towel
For the everyday spills, wipes, dusting and domestic zjooshing, our linen tea towels have been homeware essentials all through the year. They've seen us through children's birthday parties, summer picnics and festive gatherings. Easy to care for, great-looking and highly absorbent, we just couldn't have done without them.
What are your favourite homewares, clothes and other daily essentials from this year? We'd love to hear them in the comments below.