Daisy Hoppen: The Best Things to Do in August

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What to see, watch, listen, shop, eat and read: Daisy Hoppen shares a list of recommendations for the summer month

See: Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Photopoetry at The Photographers Gallery, until September 8

A self-taught and Mexico-born photographer, Manuel Álvarez Bravo has a wonderfully poetic life story – from meeting Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, to later in his life being exhibited alongside standout photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson and Edward Steichen. This show, curated by Print Sales, looks at a rare selection of platinum and silver gelatin prints by Bravo – featuring images of his beloved Mexico, people, places and moments in time.

See: Last Supper in Pompeii at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until January 12

I am a history nerd. When I visited Pompeii I remember being overwhelmed by the scale of what is still available for a modern-day viewer to see and understand about a period from so many centuries past. This new show looks to focus less on the terror and devastation caused by the volcanic eruption and more celebrate the life that the city enjoyed – food, wine, olive oil, fruit and vegetables – often showcased through intricate mosaics and wall paintings. The exhibition includes around 300 objects with loans coming from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli and sites around the volcano, many leaving Italy for the first time. In addition, this is the first time that an outside museum has been allowed to carry out conservation work on its artefacts. For any food or history lover, this show has so much to enjoy and learn from.

Watch: Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, out now

In heatwaves cinemas can provide air-conditioned respites from the reality of a muggy city. This month I am most (rather predictably) looking forward to seeing Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. Widely slated to be Tarantino’s best work since Pulp Fiction, the cast also boasts the legends that are Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio – best watched with ice-cold sparkling water or expensive champagne surely? 

Watch: The Princess Bride at Somerset House, August 11

Should an outdoor cinema experience tempt you more, Somerset House is back with its well-loved cinema series. This year they are showing one of my favourite films of all time The Princess Bride – which allegedly features the most romantic kiss of all time, or so the script says...

Watch: Solange Knowles’ film When I Get Home at the V&A, August 30

For those looking for live sounds, the V&A’s August Late events have a wonderful program including a screening of Solange Knowles’ art film When I Get Home on August 30.

Listen: Desert Island Discs

Thinking ahead – dreaming even – of holidays, I am downloading podcasts to catch up on while lying on hot rocks and beaches later this month. My forever favourite is Desert Island Discs, new and past episodes I plan to drift off to include:

  • Nile Rodgers: not only does he have one of the most uplifting playlists, his story is beyond incredible and his recounters of walking the grid of New York City is wonderful listening. 
  • Philip Treacy: One of England’s most exceptional and renowned hat designers, Philip recounts his journey from childhood in Ireland through the Lee McQueen era to modern day.
  • Bruce Springsteen: Who doesn’t want to hear what Bruce would take to the island?!
  • Berry Gordy: Motown’s founder, regarded as the patron of iconic music names such as Diana Ross & The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson to name but a few. Exceptional finger-tapping playlist!
  • Stephen Fry: Just a brilliant story and insight into his world, often dark but always fascinating and inquisitive. As a huge Harry Potter fan, his audiobooks mean that his voice is like honey to me. 
  • Emily Eavis: Hearing Glastonbury through the words of festival organiser Emily Eavis feels special and insider-y, again, what a playlist.
  • Louis Theroux: One of my top five crushes, I was eager to hear his podcast when it released. His voice is so familiar, the story is almost more important to me than the music – but when he unveils what his and his wife’s first dance was to, you love him even more…
  • Billie Jean King: Truly inspirational.
  • David Byrne: Another music giant with a playlist you imagine must have been so hard to shorten to the set number of tracks allowed.
  • Amanda Levete: Such an important female force in the world of architecture and design, her life and story is a fascinating listen.
  • Wayne McGregor: I am a lifelong ballet lover, so to hear Wayne speak about his process and his favourite tracks is such a privilege.

Shop: The Row’s Workwear Capsule at Net-a-Porter

Any woman who wears The Row is generally chic and superior in my eyes. This month, Net-a-Porter has collaborated with the brand on a very special capsule collection all inspired by the colour chambray blue melange. The Row is known for simplicity and perfection, so look for easy but beautiful sillhoutes and separates, as well as perhaps one of the most perfect bare sandals for summer.

Shop: Summer spending

While all the main retailers are starting to receive their winter collections, we are all living for summer still, my summer shopping list includes:

  • Lavender Organic Hand Sanitiser, especially for travelling.
  • A Fern Fan: a must for hot summers, tubes and trains. 
  • Meadows: a new brand I have recently discovered that essentially does that perfect embroidered vintage style cheese-cloth dress but brought up-to-date for today.
  • Doen: Romantic and feminine, this brand is perfect for swanning and wafting around in.
  • Pearls: Pearls increase in luminosity when they are worn more on naked skin, I love the idea of Sophie Bille Brahe’s ‘Peggy’ necklace with only a black Eres swimming costume.
  • Amanda Harrington’s New Skin Body and New Skin Face range which include glycolic acid (to ensure rapid exfoliation and beautifully smooth skin to apply the tan to). Her other USP is her Body Brushes which she recommends using to apply the tan – swish and swoosh your skin to flawlessness.

Eat: Wun’s

My family are voracious eaters, and when we were growing up, Sundays were often spent at the Royal China in Bayswater watching a lazy susan spinning around loaded with dim sum. With this in mind a new, well-recommended Asian restaurant is always welcome to London’s restaurant scene. Capturing the spirit of 1960s late nights in Hong Kong, Wun’s in Soho is founded by husband and wife duo Z He and Alex Peffly, who are the brains behind Bun House and Pleasant Lady. The highlight of the menu must be the ‘My Gran’s secret recipe for sour plum braised duck’, but they will also have clay-pot rice dishes of house soy-braised aubergine rice and Iberico char-siu rice, along with a selection of meat skewers. Complimenting this feast will be an extensive beer list from local Hong Kong-based craft beer companies such as Moonzen and Young Master.

Eat: Hoste

Many years ago, I met a girl called Laura Jackson while waitressing. We bonded over working three-day weddings in between our week jobs, learning how to navigate a huge party with canapé trays, balancing multiple plates on our arms, and more. Years later, she began hosting incredible supper clubs, which she is now formalising with her new company Hoste. Keep an eye out for supper clubs being announced for September and onwards, and as always with Laura’s expect beautiful attention to detail but most importantly food you want to devour and drinks that you wish would never end.

Eat: Allpress Espresso

To celebrate 30 years of Allpress, the much-loved coffee institution is launching a series of summer lates in their Dalston garden with a line-up that includes: Margot Henderson of Rochelle Canteen, Claire Ptak of Violet, Max Halley of Max’s Sandwich shop, Freddie Jansen of Snackbar, Olia Hercules, Bad Sports, Three Sheets, and an exclusive Tennessee Nitro Espresso Martini from Mr Lyan Studios using Allpress coffee. The ‘Lates’ began on Friday July 26 and will run on weekends until the end of September, with the Allpress Dalston roastery garden open late into the evening for the first time.

Eat: Endo at the Rotunda 

Giles Coren gave Endo at the Rotunda an astonishing review when he visited earlier this year. Along with the most incredible menu, the restaurant has a rather eye-watering price list. However, this month it’s opening reservations for lunchtime. For any lovers of Japanese cuisine, my spies tell me that this is the best to be found in London and well worth the cheque at the end of the meal.


The Making of Poetry by Adam Nicolson is an exciting new book that has just come out. Documenting a period from the summer of 1797 to the autumn of 1798, the book follows two great English poets – Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth – as they spend a year in the Quantock Hills in Somerset (coincidentally at the same time), where they producing some of their most exceptional work. For this book, Nicolson spent a year in the very same area, reliving their walks and lives. Widely regarded as one of the best new publications on poetry, it’s definitely something I plan on reading this summer.