Blog

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

Friday column: Olivia Colman’s barnstorming performance in The Favourite

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 11th January 2019

January isn’t my favourite month of the year. It’s cold and bleak, Christmas bills are flooding in and it’s tax return time too. To make matters worse, I’m doing Dry January. Actually, I do it every year – a habit dating back to my Evening Standard days, when most of the news room gave their livers a much-needed rest for four whole weeks. But in amongst the January gloom there’s ...keep reading

Friday column: Happy Christmas 2018

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 21st December 2018

The Christmas tree is up, festooned with decorations and, thanks to our wonky wooden floor, leaning at a jaunty angle. One of my favourite moments of the festive season is opening the cupboard under the stairs and hauling out the dusty ragbag of baubles, hearts, stars and angels we’ve collected over the years. They all have their own history, from the glittery heart my daughter’s teacher Annie gave her in ...keep reading

Friday column: From Harry Potter to Claire Foy

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 16th November 2018

It felt strange to be sitting in a café overlooking Edinburgh Castle as this week’s Brexit dramas unfolded in London. During my reporting years I would have been in the thick of it, notebook in hand, waiting for the key players to emerge from meeting rooms and discussions. Yet this week I was miles from the drama, happily sipping a flat white in The Elephant House, one of the Edinburgh ...keep reading

Book review: Roar by Cecelia Ahern

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 7th November 2018

I’ve been an admirer of Cecelia Ahern for years. She wrote her first novel, the bestselling PS, I Love You, at the tender age of 21, and in the intervening years she has published 14 more. In the process she’s sold 25 million books worldwide and has been published in more than 40 countries. Pretty impressive for a woman who’s still in her 30s. When I heard Ahern speak at ...keep reading

Friday column: The Hoxton goes to New York

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 26th October 2018

“Have you ever stayed at a Hoxton before?” asked the charming hotel receptionist. “I’ve stayed at all of them,” I said proudly, sounding like a middle-aged Hoxton groupie. We’d just arrived at the Hoxton’s first US outpost – in the chic neighbourhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Actually, I won’t be able to keep my record of staying in every Hoxton for long because the hotel group is expanding rapidly. To date it ...keep reading

Book review: Mum in the Middle

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 13th October 2018

I’ve known Jane Wenham-Jones for years. A real life-enhancer, usually sporting rainbow-coloured hair, Jane writes novels, short stories and columns, interviews authors at literary events and often pops up on TV and radio too. It’s been a while since she wrote a novel though so I was eagerly anticipating her new book, Mum in the Middle. I’m pleased to report that it’s a cracker of a book, mainly because Jane ...keep reading

Friday column: Walking boots

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 5th October 2018

The first time I went to the Lake District with my husband I arrived in plimsolls and insisted they were fine for walking. I was stunned when he pointed at the mountain opposite the house where we were staying and said: “We’ll climb that one tomorrow.” At the time my idea of a walk was a gentle stroll through Battersea Park so Cat Bells and Maiden Moor looked like Mount ...keep reading

Friday column: The thriller to look out for

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 14th September 2018

One of the best things about being a book reviewer is receiving new novels to review (I’m not sure our lovely postman agrees). It’s even better if the novel in question is brilliant, which The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides most definitely is. Michaelides is a successful scriptwriter (his credits include The Devil You Know, starring Rosamund Pike) but The Silent Patient is his first novel. He was inspired to ...keep reading

Book review: Sky’s the Limit

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 1st September 2018

Janie Millman and her husband Michael Wilson are two of the most life-enhancing people I know. I met them when Janie spoke about her sparkling first novel, Life’s a Drag, at the Purbeck Literary Festival two years ago and they were brilliant company. They regaled us with the story of how they’d bought an 18th century townhouse in south west France on a complete whim after spotting a picture in ...keep reading

Friday column: The end of summer

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 31st August 2018

Exasperated tenants have been venting their anger about having to put up with Dickensian squalor and ruthless landlords. Members of the Generation Rent group asked renters to post their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #ventyourrent and were inundated with tales of woe. They ranged from stories of damp and mould to a landlord who constructed a glass-bricked room inside the tenant’s flat to sleep in when he visited from ...keep reading

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