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Guinea Confidential: October

Guinea's Monthly Lifestyle Blog


October is such a cosy month, where we can still expect the odd gloriously fabulous day, as we adjust to the nights drawing in. Fires are being lit, blankets are being brought out, and with any luck the house is filled with the scent of something delicious slow cooking. So put on your cosiest knitwear, grab a cuppa and settle in for this month's recommendations from the Guinea team.

Rest, Read, Relax

Usually, we like to recommend the latest releases, but this month will feature, not only a hot off the press publication, but a British classic too!



First we have, Chatsworth: The Gardens and the People Who Made Them by Alan Titchmarsh. This wonderful book, with a forward by The Duke of Devonshire, features plenty of stunning photographs and is a coffee table book which you can easily dip in and out of when the mood strikes.  If you click on this link, to buy a copy from the Chatsworth website, you can get yourself a signed copy!

Now this Classic recommendation, also has a surprising link to Alan Titchmarsh, as he championed this read during The Big Read in 2003, it is the amazingly atmospheric Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. 


First published in 1938, this novel has never been out of print since! Emma, our team blogger, says this is one of her top 3 all time favourite books, and listens to the audiobook at least once a year, if not more than once!!


Set primarily on the Cornish coast, it is the first person narrative of the second Mrs de Winter, who has married her much older, recently windowed husband, Maxim, and finds herself living in the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, at their grand house Manderley.




Autumnal scene. A garden chair and table. A open book sits beside, a cup of coffee, reading glasses and a vase of dried flowers

Seasonally Scrummy


October is the month when slow cooking begins in earnest: stews, braised meat dishes which melt from the bone, casseroles left to intensify in flavour, soups which gently simmer… 


Well it would be rude, now I've got you salivating, if I didn't share one of the Guinea teams favourite recipes. This ‘Braised Lamb with Sweet Potato and Haricot Beans’ by Mary Berry is indulgent comfort food. Perfect for a cold and rainy day.

Guinea's Must See, Must Do

For this month's must see, must do, we are concentrating on, what is on in the West End! Click on the headers for more…



The Mousetrap

St. Martin's Theatre 


This is the world's longest running play for good reason. This play, written by the queen of crime Agatha Christie, has managed to keep its ending secret for years - so no spoilers here - though I have heard if you annoy your taxi driver they will reveal the killer! Perfect for any time of year, but the dismal weather of autumn does rather lends itself to a cosy murder mystery in an isolated location…



Private Lives

Ambassadors Theatre

Running: 31 Aug 2023 - 25 Nov 2023


This Noel Coward play focuses around two sets of newly weds - however drama and comedy ensues when ex-husband and ex-wife, Elyot and Amanda,  discover they are honeymooning in adjoining rooms with their new spouses!


With the pithing and poignant dialogue of Noel Coward, being delivered by two stalwart actors, you are in for a real treat.




Noises Off

Theatre Royal Haymarket

Running: 27 Sep 2023 - 16 Dec 2023


Absolutely, outrageously funny, this farce of a play within a play, will have you crying with laughter and wondering however they manage to remember it all! 


Red velvet covered theatre seats

Popcorn Picks

Chatsworth has been the backdrop for many big budget films, and we thought it would be fun to tie in with our Guinea Confidential book recommendations, by recommending some films which use Chatsworth as a location. 


Now these have been out a while, so you may have seen before, but you might have forgotten just how much you enjoyed them, so grab some popcorn, dust off those DVDs, or start streaming…


The Duchess

Watched and enjoyed by our head of design, Judie, this film explores the true life of one of Chatsworth's most scandalous, and maybe misunderstood, ancestors; Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.




Pride and Prejudice

This 2005 adaptation stars Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFadyen is gloriously photographed and has a beautiful score to boot. The story is well known and sometimes all you crave is the comfort of the familiar. A favourite of Rowan, in our order fulfilment team. 




Death comes to Pemberley.

If you watched Pride and Prejudice and just cant get enough of Mr Darcy, why not give this BBC production a go, based on the novel by P.D James. A who-done-it featuring your favourite Pride and Prejudice characters.

 popcorn and tv remote

Guinea's Lifesaver Lifehacks

Ever heard of a Boo Basket?

We all know, and groan, about Halloween becoming increasingly commercialised - as nurseries and schools are doing themed days, which can lead to pressure and pestering at home for chocolates and decorations.


However this is a lovely idea from America, for children or adults alike, which is ideal for those of us that live in rural areas, or are not keen on taking the kids or grandkids trick or treating.


A boo basket, boo bag, boo box, whatever you want to call it it, is a container which contains all kinds of treats and goodies.


Here are some ideas for boo bags for different ages.


For children: stickers, colouring book, face paint, chocolate, sweets, toys.


Teenagers: a voucher for a coffee shop - to get that pumpkin spice latte, themed mug, a cosy blanket or hoody, chocolates or biscuits.


Adult: Autumnal scented candle or reed diffusers (we highly recommend the Jo Malone Wild berry and bramble diffuser), themed mug, flavoured coffee syrup, packet mixes for baking - or maybe some already baked goods.


boo basket with mugs, sweets, baking

If you want like the idea but don't know where to start, or just don't have time to make one yourself, how about one of the limited edition Halloween hampers from Fortnam and Mason or an autumnal themed box from Treatbox.