Show and Tell | May

Oak the Nordic Journal | Design Hunter

May, with all its promise of the sunny days ahead, is always my favourite month of the year. Despite today's (hopefully temporary) relapse to colder, wetter weather, the garden is growing more abundant by the day and and summer holidays are just around the corner.

Here's a quick round up of some of the things I've been doing, enjoying and wearing this month.

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Summer Entertaining | How to cook the perfect barbecue feast

Summer garden party | Design Hunter

The White Company certainly know how to throw a stylish garden party. On Friday I was invited along to their summer party at Eltham Palace for an afternoon filled with inspiration andideas for alfresco entertaining.

There was gorgeous styling from The White Company's current outdoor collection - their grey and white colour palette always feels so cool, fresh and summery and all of the pieces in their collection work together effortlessly - along with advice on which drinks to serve for a summer garden party from 31 Dover, table styling tips from interiors stylist Luke Batchelor  and a barbecue feast cooked by Tim Maddams, former head chef at River Cottage.

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At The Chapel | Somerset

At The Chapel, Bruton, Somerset | Design Hunter

A few weeks ago we took a trip down to Bruton in Somerset to stay at At the Chapel for our wedding anniversary. If my Instagram feed is anything to go by, it's a place that seems to be on every interiors blogger's wishlist of places to stay, and it was a destination that had been on mine for some time too. I'd seen dozens of pictures of the beautiful minimalist interiors on social media before we visited but honestly it's even better in real life.

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Adding some luxe minimal style to my living room with Lee Longlands

Luxe minimalist living room styling by Design Hunter for Lee Longlands

I've bought lots of pieces for my own home from Lee Longlands - we ordered our sofa from them a few years ago and I also picked up several lovely lamps from our local Leamington store during a clearance sale a little while back.

Still run as a family business the company has a history stretching back 110 years. Their bricks and mortar stores are based in the Midlands - from the lovely Portland stone art deco flagship store in Birmingham to showrooms in Abingdon, Derby, Cheltenham and Leamington, but they sell online too.

I've been a customer for years and love having the opportunity to work with local companies, so when they recently got in touch and invited me to collaborate with them on a home styling project it was something I was really excited to do.

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3 essential items for a bloggers toolkit

LaCie Porche Design mobile hard drive | Design Hunter

Before I became a blogger I certainly wouldn't have described myself as a tech geek. When I first began this blog back in 2009 you needed little more than a laptop and a camera to start a blog. But times have changed and while a laptop and a camera, along with a smartphone, remain the basic tools of the trade, most successful bloggers now make use of a whole range of tech and photographic accessories. Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea, but it's hard not to feel overwhelmed at times by the incredibly professional images some bloggers now produce. There's a relentless expectation to stay connected and produce engaging content and high quality images for your blog, and an ever increasing number of social channels, on an almost daily basis, all of which takes time, skill and equipment... and sometimes the patient support of an understanding Instagram husband too.

Over the past year, I've invested in a new camera and made the shift to shooting on manual instead of auto. I also regularly use a tripod, reflector, and remote control and have recently added a number of other essential tech items to my blogging toolkit.

Here are 3 of them:

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The Inn at Whitewell

The Inn at Whitewell | Design Hunter

Wild, beautiful and relatively unfrequented, the Forest of Bowland is somewhere I'd only ever previously bypassed on the M6 on the way to more well known destinations like the Lake District or Scotland, so discovering The Inn at Whitewell on a trip north last week was like being let in on a well kept secret.

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