Caye Caulker – Belize

The tiny island of Caye Caulker is infamous for its snorkelling and diving adventures, diverse wildlife and hammock lifestyle. Then there’s the wooden houses on stilts, sandy streets and palm trees. Caye Caulker is aptly known for its ‘Go Slow’ motto, a sentiment unique to an island that has ruled out cars, meaning that the locals ride bicycles and take golf cart taxis.

Although Caye Caulker is only just off the coast of Belize, its culture is set apart from the rest of Central America, this five-mile island has a distinct identity of its own. Fusing a population of Mestizo refugee descendants, those who speak English-based Creole and a growing number of Chinese families, the island has a cultural blend that is distinctively vibrant and evolving.

Unmissable

Go snorkelling or diving around the world’s second-largest barrier reef.

Visit Shark Ray Alley to swim with sea turtles, stingrays, sharks and a nearby sunken shipping container.

Rent a sea kayak on the north of the island and explore the dense mangrove forest, past the Split.

Stroll on Front Street and enjoy the local artisan shops.

Eat freshly caught sea food from one of the many restaurants scattered around the island.

Lizzie for SMUG – The Pattern Collection

Following several years of experience in buying, styling and curating for SMUG, Lizzie Evans has produced her own inspired pattern collection. Brights, pastels, geometrics, looser brush strokes and splatters, amalgamate in her fresh illustrative style. Wrapping paper, tote bags, cushions and more products, are planned to launch upstairs at SMUG, before Christmas.

Visit SMUG

13 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA

+ 44(0)2073540253 | @IFEELSMUG

These Charming Things

Advocating independent designers and putting all of her favourites in one place, Jessica Clark has created These Charming Things; an online store supporting many small creative businesses in the line of paper goods and stationery.

One product available to buy on These Charming Things is Katie Housley stationery. Her unique collections, many of which are finished by hand, are inspired by nature, plants, texture and colour.

San Pedro de Atacama – Chile

The Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama, is a popular oasis for people wanting to see some of northern Chile’s most impressive landscapes. Abundant in volcanoes, steaming geysers, salt lakes, thermal spas, intense lagoons and a host of breathtaking rock formations, it is a must-see.

The town itself, centred around a picturesque square and a humble church, is around one hundred kilometres from Calama. While it has become a hub for tour agencies, cafés and tourist accommodation, the dusty streets of San Pedro retain a laid-back place to have as a base for the myriad of tours around the area.

For those heading to Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, this town is a great starting or finishing point for the three/four day tours.

 

Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee

Twentysomething Jean Louise returns to Maycomb from New York City on her annual two week visit. As she readjusts to slow-paced Alabama life, she is faced with an aging Atticus, childhood recollections of Jem and the formidable scrutiny of her aunt Alexandra.

From her disillusions following the County Citizen’s Council meeting, the novel traces Jean Louise’s bittersweet return and her discovery of the abhorrent truths about her family and neighbours.

Go Set a Watchman depicts the civil rights tensions and political unrest in America’s Civil Rights era. In fleeting, vivid passages the divisions and prejudices between races, generations and states are captured.

While this novel is set 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird and was originally published as a sequel, it raises different questions, imparts unfamiliar characterisations and adds new meaning to an unforgettable classic.

The House of Spirits / La Casa de los Espíritus – Isabel Allende

Only the clairvoyant Clara and her otherworldly features can temper Esteban Trueba and his desires and political schemes. Their daughter, Blanca, utterly enrages him with her unwavering love and longing for a man Esteban forbids. Then there is Alba, his granddaughter and greatest joy, whose fiery ambition will lead the Truebas into a revolutionary future.

In a whimsical story of Latin melodrama, the personal and political passions and struggles of three generations of the Trueba family wind up in a turning point that finds them on opposing sides. Allende uncovers a family whose ties and contempt are deeper and more enduring than the political loyalty that came between them.

In a bizarre and exaggerated plot, the turbulent contention between capitalists, militarists and Marxists is intertwined with magical realism. Spanning over decades and lives in a world where there are green-haired women and horse-sized dogs, who love marmalade, The House of Spirits is a powerful and original story.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

Life was never easy for Harry Potter and living in his shadow is not any different. The staring and pointing, the  rumours and legacy, make Hogwarts tiresome and unenjoyable for Albus.

While Harry contends with working life in London, at the Ministry of Magic, his youngest and most puzzling child encounters forces of darkness and ominous futures. In a time-twisting plot, tensions and knotty ramifications are the result of meddling journeys through time.

Based on an original story by J K Rowling, Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series. The script conjures together a balance between discernible Pottery and a new glimpse into a tenuous past. Thorne adds a deep level of maturity to the wizarding world, capturing teenage insecurities and family bonds; the story of his script is less about rewriting what has transpired and more about how events shaped the future.