Blog

Welcome to House With No Name. I write about everything from books and films to education, family and France.

My treasured Catherine Walker dress

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 24th May 2016

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time yesterday, Kate looking stunning in a bright green Catherine Walker dress. Catherine Walker, of course, was one of Princess Diana’s favourite designers, which got me to thinking about the day I bought the most expensive item in my wardrobe. As a freelance writer I spend most of my time in a uniform of Mint Velvet jeans, ...keep reading

Book review: Out of Practice by Penny Parkes

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 22nd May 2016

A GPs’ surgery is a brilliant setting for a novel, especially when it’s staffed by a group of doctors who all have their own issues to deal with. There’s newly arrived Holly Graham, who’s just moved to Larkford to make a fresh start with her philandering husband (what she sees in him I don’t know). Then there’s handsome Dan Carter, who’s trying to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and a ...keep reading

A weekend in Amsterdam

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 20th May 2016

The news that The Hoxton has opened a new hotel in Amsterdam was a good enough excuse for me. I was looking for a place to celebrate a scarily big wedding anniversary so the combination of The Hoxton, a stunning city and a sunny spell in May sealed the deal. And yes, The Hoxton’s new outpost in Amsterdam is every bit as brilliant as its two London siblings. It opened a year ...keep reading

Book review: The Girls by Lisa Jewell

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 14th May 2016

I’ve been a fan of Lisa Jewell’s books for as long as I can remember. I read her first novel, Ralph’s Party, after the high-brow poet and academic Tom Paulin reviewed it on Newsnight Review in 1999. He unexpectedly declared that Ralph’s Party was “a breath of fresh air,” even though I’m sure it wasn’t his usual reading fare. The Girls is Jewell’s 13th novel and it’s a stunning read, one of her best. The book is ...keep reading

The Squash Court: my new favourite shop

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 23rd April 2016

When I was a teenager all the cool girls at my school lived in Wimborne. They wore the chicest clothes, shopped at Chelsea Girl in Bournemouth on Saturdays (the height of sophistication) and unlike the rest of us knew enough boys to invite a whole load of them to parties. So it was a bit of a surprise when I moved back to Dorset to find that Wimborne is actually ...keep reading

Happy 90th birthday to the Queen

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 21st April 2016

How appropriate on the Queen’s 90th birthday to receive the brand-new paperback edition of one of my favourite children’s books – The Queen’s Handbag by Steve Antony. It’s even more appropriate considering that little Mia Tindall, Princess Anne’s granddaughter, stole the show in Annie Liebovitz’s stunning portrait of the Queen with seven of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. How? Because in an apparently unscripted moment, she picked up her great-granny’s £1,000 ...keep reading

Book review: All at Sea by Decca Aitkenhead

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 15th April 2016

“On a hot still morning on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, Decca Aitkenhead’s life changed for ever.” So runs the blurb for All at Sea, Decca Aitkenhead’s haunting memoir about her late partner Tony Wilkinson. This remarkable book recounts his early life (he was adopted by a white couple and grew up in Leeds) and his transformation from a dreadlocked criminal with a history of drug dealing and violence to a much-loved ...keep reading

Book review: Missing, Presumed

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 12th April 2016

Barely a week goes by without a new crime novel being tipped for bestsellerdom. Now, following in the footsteps of The Girl on the Train, The Widow and I Let You Go comes another one – and trust me, Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner is a surefire winner. There’s no doubt that Steiner’s second novel is pacy, compelling and very well written ­ but what makes it stand out from the ...keep reading

Meg Rosoff wins Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 6th April 2016

Congratulations to Meg Rosoff, who has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s biggest prize for children’s and young adult literature. The £430,000 award, which honours the entire body of Rosoff’s work, is hugely deserved. The jury’s citation reads as follows:“Meg Rosoff’s young adult novels speak to the emotions as well as the intellect. In sparkling prose, she writes about the search for meaning and identity in a peculiar and bizarre ...keep reading

Book review: The Lion Inside

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 17th March 2016

The very best picture books for young children have a crystal clear message at their heart. And that’s what makes The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field a real winner. It’s a sweet story, told in rhyme, about a tiny mouse who lives under a rock and is ignored by everyone he encounters. Worse still, he’s trodden on, sat on and has no friends at all. But in ...keep reading

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