New Music, Old Films & Everything Else We’re Loving This Month

By Olivia Emily

1 month ago

Sunshine, where are you?

Did we skip over spring and summer and land straight in dreary autumn? It certainly feels that way. We’re cutting through the gloom, rain and ever-present cloud cover with these fun bits and bobs. Here’s everything we’re loving right now at C&TH HQ, plus our top cultural recommendations for June 2024.

Find More Recommendations In The Culture Radar

Our Top Recommendations This Month: June 2024

Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 301 of Bridgerton

(L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington (c) Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024


Olivia Emily: Need I say more? Bridgerton is back with a bang, and I am thrilled that June means four more episodes are coming my way. I wrote a big, indulgent piece of very important journalism earlier this month predicting what will happen in season 3 part 2. Let’s see…

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Tessa Dunthorne: I recently finished Hot Milk by Deborah Levy – it’s the kind of book that makes you want to be breathing in seasalt air (preferably in balmy Spain). It’s a coming-of-age story following Sophia and her ailing mother Rose as they try to find the cause of Rose’s mysterious illness – further complicated by the fact that by all appearances the illness’ symptoms are psychosomatic. As Sophia meets beautiful Ingrid, she begins to sever her codependent relationship with her mother. Brilliant book with such a distinct style of writing from Levy.

Hit Me Hard and Soft by Billie Eilish

Martha Davies: While a Billie Eilish record might not seem like the perfect summer soundtrack, Hit Me Hard and Soft is just that. ‘Birds of a Feather’ and ‘Lunch’ are at the top of my playlist right now, but the whole album is a winner.

Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (c) TM & Copyright © 2002 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

Charlie Colville: It’s an oldie, but still a goldie. The more recent buzz surrounding Kate Hudson’s buttery yellow slip dress in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days led me down a rabbit hole of TikToks, shopping edits and Wikipedia pages until I finally gave in and rewatched the 2003 romcom. And despite over 20 years passing since its release, the whirlwind onscreen romance still has its smile-inducing magic.

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

Ellie Smith: Firmly in my romcom era post The Idea Of You, I picked up this aptly named book from Curtis Sittenfeld, which came out last year. The premise is not entirely dissimilar from the Anne Hathaway film: it follows comedy writer Sally Milz who falls for popstar Noah Brewster after he guest stars on her show (the equivalent of Saturday Night Live). Loving it so far – and I was excited to hear it’s also being adapted into a film (of course by Reese Witherspoon).

Emily Carey as Harriet Manners in Geek Girl

Emily Carey as Harriet Manners in Geek Girl. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2024

Geek Girl

Olivia Emily: This super sweet Netflix series is seriously indulging my inner teenager. Geek Girl follows Harriet Manners (Emily Carey, who you might recognise from House of the Dragon), an awkward teenager stumbling through school who is one day scouted by a modelling agent. And thus her world turns upside down…

The Story Behind Netflix’s Geek Girl

Floozie Cookies’ Shakes

Tessa Dunthorne: There’s a nostalgia to Floozie Cookies’ Make-A-Shake station… Reminds me of being 13 and getting my after school kicks at shake stores in my hometown. The new offer allows you to choose a base and then top it with sauces and snacks – I’ve tried the vanilla shake with caramel sauce, peanut butter and Kit Kat, and I’m definitely going to be back to try a different combo (once my blood sugar returns to normal).

Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Rebecca Cox: A completely ordinary family holiday week documented in a brilliant and captivating way that perfectly illustrates just how extraordinary the small and simple pleasures and great, expansive loves in life truly are. Expect lots of laughing and a few tears, too. Bonus diverse sexual orientation representation for Pride month, too.

Eating… Lots Of Great Things

Ellie Smith: I have a couple of foodie recommendations this month. Firstly, Ixchel on the King’s Road – this buzzy Mexican restaurant is a must if you, like me, are a sucker for tacos and spicy margs. It has gorgeous interiors (think Tulum-style terracotta tables and beachy vibes), a lively atmosphere, and most importantly very tasty food, with a focus on twists on traditional dishes: ceviches, quesadillas, grilled meats and salads. And Balham’s new sushi restaurant Freak Scene, opened by ex-Nobu chef Scott Hallsworth. It serves seriously good sushi – but be sure to save space for the robata dishes too (would recommend the sticky miso aubergine and the black cod).

Gabriel (SION DANIEL YOUNG) & Andy (FRA FEE). © BBC/Duck Soup Films/Simon Ridgway

Lost Boys & Fairies

Rebecca Cox: Also in line with Pride month releases, BBC’s Lost Boys & Fairies is a captivating and heartbreaking depiction of a gay couple’s journey to adoption, and how tragedy intervenes. I would have liked to see the story play out minus the tragedy, as the journey to adopt from a queer perspective is more than enough to carry the plot. As an aside, my lovely friend Leon speaks openly about his journey as a gay solo adopter and you can read his story in my book How To Be A Happy Single Parent (shameless plug).

The True Story Behind Lost Boys & Fairies

House of Pride LGBTQIA+ Tastemakers Panel at Home House

Rebecca Cox: Speaking of shameless plugs, I’m speaking on a Pride panel at Home House on Monday 24 June as part of their annual Pride celebrations, as well as joining their house party on the Wednesday, and probably hitting the London Pride celebrations at the weekend.

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

Olivia Emily: Last month, I read Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, years after the hype had faded to grey (and loved it). This month, I’ve picked up O’Farrell’s The Marriage Portrait, her latest work which made the shortlist for the Women’s Prize last year. I love her writing style: both novels write with an unnerving sense of inevitability, with the end clear right from the start. And yet the poetry of O’Farrell’s prose propels you through the story despite that inescapable, tragic end.