THE WORD: Sobremesa
You know that moment spent around the table, simply resting and chatting after a satisfying meal once the plates have been finished, but you’re not yet ready to get up? In Spanish-speaking cultures, that’s known as sobremesa. Because, sure, the food is key, the drinks are important, and the table setting plays a big part, but what is a truly enjoyable table experience without the people sitting around it with their endless conversations and treasured memories? You know what we’re talking about, and now you have a word for it, too.
Perfect If: You’re thankful for the fact that even when there’s nothing left on your plate, you will always have the sobremesa.
THE DIY PROJECT: Macramé Plant Hanger
What happens when you combine this year’s biggest craft trend with the home décor craze we all gave in to last year? Macramé meets indoor plants. Making your own macramé plant hanger is the perfect DIY summer project, whether as a family activity or just for you: it’s affordable, it’s beginner-friendly, and the result is an interesting display for your air plants or succulent pots.
Perfect If: After some trial and error, you’re finally proud of your plant parenting skills and believe they deserve some chic presentation.
THE EVENT: Films on the Green 2021
Attention NYC cinephiles: Films on the Green is back. Organised by the FACE Foundation, which fosters French-American Cultural Exchange, the outdoor film festival shows French movies around a unified theme. This year it’s ‘Music & Cinema’. From 9 to 30 July, eight movies – from 1980’s La Boum to 1958’s Elevator to the Gallows – and a recorded concert will be shown in four different Manhattan parks, as well as online. Virtual screenings are free, but they do require an online ‘seat’ booked in advance.
Perfect If: French cinéma under the stars sounds like your ideal summer night.
THE ALBUM: Blue Banisters
Lana del Rey’s second album this year, Blue Banisters, is slated for release on 4 July. The singer-songwriter released Chemtrails over the Country Club just this past March, which clocked in at number two on the US Billboard 200 – and not a day later, the 35-year-old star announced her next album, the first three singles of which were recently released. She teased the trailer for the title track with the Twitter caption: “I’m writing my own story. And no one can tell it but me.”
Perfect If: You’re eager to hear more of Lana’s story.
THE DOCUMENTARY: Summer of Soul
Let’s face it, if we knew that Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson had directed his first film – any film – we’d still have been first in the queue to watch/stream/download it. However, the fact that the polymathic drummer of The Roots has chosen to make his directorial debut with a documentary about 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival has taken our curiosity to another level. The full title – Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) – underlines the importance of the film, and how overdue it is. A landmark series of events, attended by large crowds over six weeks and headlined by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, BB King, Mahalia Jackson, and Sly and the Family Stone, should be more widely known – after all, Woodstock happened the same year about 100 miles away, and we all know about it. Questlove explores why people aren’t so familiar with this soul-infused cultural landmark and, in so doing, reclaims that history for a new generation while adding a new chapter to its rich legacy. Released on 2 July in cinemas and streaming on Hulu in the US; international audiences can view it later in the month on Disney+.
Perfect If: You appreciate the social importance of music as a force for change – a force for good.
THE BEACH READ: It Happened One Summer
Is it even summer if you’re not nose-deep in a guilty pleasure book by the water somewhere? We thought not. This sultry summer rom-com follows Piper Bellinger, a Hollywood ‘it’ girl who is cut off by her well-to-do family and banished to a small coastal town in the Pacific Northwest, where she promptly finds herself at odds with – and oddly drawn to – a churlish local who dismisses her as a ditzy rich girl. It’s the newest novel by Tessa Bailey, perhaps most well-known for her titillating New York Times bestselling series titled ‘Hot & Hammered’. Need we say more?
Perfect If: You’re looking for a funny, charming, romantic read that goes down easy like a mojito on the beach.
THE MUSICAL: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella
Andrew Lloyd’s Webber’s long-awaited musical comedy Cinderella will finally debut on 25 June in London’s West End. The famed composer and musical impresario tackles one of the world’s greatest fairy tales, with award-winning West End actress Carrie Hope Fletcher in the title role. Big things are expected from the production, especially given its star-studded backstage roster including the likes of Oscar-winner Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) who wrote the story, and Tony & Olivier award-winner David Zippel (City of Angels) who penned the lyrics.
Perfect If: You’re ready to come out of your “own little corner” now.
THE TV SHOW: Gossip Girl
Wait, what do you mean Gossip Girl? Isn’t that sooo ‘00s? Well, as it turns out, the beloved binge-worthy TV show is getting its own spin-off series, launching on HBO Max this month. Yes, it’s the reboot you didn’t even know you needed. The show will follow the (we imagine scandalous) lives of a new generation of rich Manhattan prep school kids, and will consist of 10 hour-long episodes. Personally, we can’t wait to see how it will connect to the original.
Perfect if: You’re into guilty pleasure shows. (You know you love them.)