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London Town | Anatomy of an 80’s Film

In her latest dispatch from London, Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer, takes us behind the scenes of her short film 80’s Vampire Flick

Remember how Heathers was the coolest film ever? Aside from the hunk that was Christian Slater (who didn’t have a crush on him during HeathersPump up the Volume and Untamed Heart?!!), the film had snappy one-liners and incredible shoulder pads, and one of my personal favourite actresses, Winona Ryder.

So, OK, you know Heathers was super back in the day, and vampire stuff is super cool now? And you know how the 80’s are somehow funny, no matter what? Scrunchies, mom jeans, Christina Applegate? What does it all have in common? Well, one day my friends and I decided to stop waiting to see if Spielberg was going to call (any day now) and go out and make a short film.

We decided to make it a comedy. Tasked the writer, I decided to combine my love for 80’s films with the overly popular vampire craze, and make what is now known as 80’s Vampire Flick – a story of five high schoolers on detention, but one of them is a vampire slowly killing them all off.

Tasked with dressing the actors, I set off the ever popular Brick Lane, a place which, if you’ve been reading these dispatches, you know has incredible vintage clothes.

For my character (right), the bitchy Kiki Summers, I went for bright pink with a huge head of fake hair and a scrunchie. For Tristan Brooke, who played Kiki’s all-jock boyfriend Bobby, I went for a letter jacket and cutoff t-shirt, with a bright pink soccer ball, because nothing says 80’s like ironic pink and matching couples…

For Caroline Amer (right) who played Brandi, the head cheerleader who’s in love with the school outcast, I found a little vintage cheerleading outfit that already had MVP etched into the back (found at Rokit Vintage) and curled her hair to the nines.

Jackson Miller, who played Jimmy D, well, he was able to wear all his own clothes…

Roshni Rathore played Virginie French (below), the emo girl dressed all in black, and she had hair teased as high as Kelly Kapowski and some rad orange lipstick to off-set the whole outfit. Nothing says emo like a black cutoff denim shirt, skinny black jeans and black pumps. And nothing says 80’s like some orange lipstick!

Obi Ugoala (left) as Carter Luther is a very, very tall man, but with some specs and Santa braces (suspenders), he suddenly looked shy and vulnerable. Not only was every item of clothing affordable, it was all found on one street – the always incredible Brick Lane!

Special thanks to Sally Miura for make up and teased hair and Laurence Chater for directing!

P.S. Want to keep adding to your “When I’m in London” list? Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and her East Coast nostalgia.

London Town | Sundays at Spitalfields

In her latest dispatch from London, Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer, shares the secrets of Spitalfields Market…

Remember that adorable film with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts? Notting Hill was it? Loved it. So cute. Know it off by heart – “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy” etc. And what huge attraction is in the London area of Notting Hill? The infamous Portobello Market, home of vintage things, antique things, expensive things. But what if you don’t have that much money to spend and are looking for something lesser known? Look no further than Old Spitalfields Market, located right by Liverpool Street.

On Sundays, hipsters, families and fashion editors alike converge down on the market, sorting through the rails of 5 pound dresses for a diamond in the rough, sampling the “best brownies in the world” and checking each other out for fashion inspirations. If you’re only in London for one Sunday and you need to pick your market, make it Spitalfields. While it’s still a very busy market, it’s one a lot of travellers don’t know about. And don’t we all want to return home with a one-of-a-kind item of clothing to make family and co-workers jealous?

For your hunger, try Androuet, the Parisian cheese shop where you can buy a few hunks of British and French cheese, or stay for a glass of wine.

And for those of us without a huge Benefit store in our cities, make sure to stop by and pick up some items you might not be able to get at home! Or for your sweet tooth, visit the rows of reasonably priced and delicious baked goods! The nearby Sunday Up Market will provide more vintage choices than you can handle, and if you haven’t filled up on food from Spitalfields, there will be more than enough choices from the food stalls with cuisine from around the world to tempt you!

It’s entirely possible to bring 20 pounds (roughly 31 CAD dollars) and walk away with an item of clothing, some funky jewellery and a very full belly!

[First photo found here, second photo found here, third photo found here.]

P.S. Want to keep adding to your “When I’m in London” list? Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and her East Coast nostalgia.

London Town | Friday night at the theatre

In her fourth dispatch from London, Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer, shares her favourite way to spend a Friday night in London Town: at the theatre…

Living in London might be incredibly expensive, but saving money for the theatre is a must. Luckily, in London the theatre isn’t just world-class, it can be affordable. Sure, there are the West End theatres that can set you back as much as 200 Canadian dollars, but theatres like the National Theatre, Old Vic Theatre, Donmar Warehouse and Royal Court are rarely above 50 dollars Canadian a ticket – if that even. On a Friday night, whether you’ve been sightseeing all day or working, the best treat you can give yourself is a night out at the theatre.

luisemiller_maxbennett_felicityjones_cjperssonThe Old Vic, located on the Cut by Waterloo is a great theatre with dynamic plays. Kevin Spacey is currently finishing his run as Richard the 3rd, and Robert Sheehan of Misfits fame will take over next in the Irish play, The Playboy of the Western World. If you’re able to get to the Old Vic for a night of theatre, try and leave yourself time for a walk along the South Bank before your show, as it is the perfect place for a stroll, sight-seeing, and people watching.

There are a lot of food choices, like the always popular Wagamama or Ping Pong, but I suggest going to Cubana. It has pre-theatre dinner menus AND happy hour – a rarity in London. Their Pina Coladas are to die for….

After your play at the Old Vic, head down to the Pit bar for drinks, a chance to mingle with the cast, and usually some roaring music courtesy of a local band like Salt Water Thief (check out their performance of Adele’s “Someone Like You”). It’s a great atmosphere to relax and also extremely entertaining.

Over at the National, the views are stunning, and even if you don’t have a ticket you can go inside, wander around the bookshop (stocked with what feels like every play ever written), check out the art exhibits, treat yourself to a coffee or some wine, and sit up on the deck, overlooking the Thames and St. Paul’s. And if you do want a ticket to a show, they do Travelex offers, meaning you can get tickets for the equivalent of 20 Canadian dollars on the day!

The great secret about theatre in London is that you can wake up (albeit early), go over to the theatre where you’d like to see a show, line up, and more often than not (if you’re early!) you’ll score a ticket.


I woke up at 7am one morning recently, dragged my weary roommate Isobel and met up with our friend Sam outside the Donmar Warehouse, where we waited until 10:30am – and each walked away with a ticket that cost about 15 Canadian dollars for that evening. The Donmar is a stunning, intimate space, and we had perfect seats for Schiller’s Luise Miller, which was a phenomenal production directed by Michael Grandage, featuring up and comer Felicity Jones as the title role.

Next up at the Donmar? Jude Law in Anna Christie. It’s sold out, but fear not – if you wake up early enough, there’s a good chance you can line up for tickets!


And if you can get to the Royal Court, dubbed “London’s coolest theatre”, you can also enjoy the surrounding Sloane Square area and the Kings Road. It’s a hub for new playwrights, notably Lucy Prebble’s Enron, Polly Stenham’s That Face and Jezz Butterworth’s Jerusalem which went on to play in the West End and Broadway, winning various prestigious awards along the way!

[First photo found here, second photo found here, third photo found here.]

P.S. Want to keep adding to your “When I’m in London” list? Katie Burnett has more dispatches from London coming up on The Anthology! Catch up on her first dispatch from London here, her second one here and her third one here.

London Town | Saturdays in Camden Town

In her third dispatch from London, Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer, shares her favourite stops on a Saturday in Camden Town

Just as a note to address the recent and unfortunate riots in London – Riots aren’t cool! Know what is cool? My roommate and friend Caroline getting up early, baking cupcakes, and then distributing them to the very tired police and clean up crew in our area of Camden.


And now back to our regular discussion on how fun and dynamic the city of London is.

I live in an area of North London called Camden Town, a great area for a relaxing but adventurous Saturday, only a twenty minute bus ride from central London and the West End. It’s not far from Regents Park and Primrose Hill, where I like to run and where I always hear celebs frequent (I didn’t believe this till I ran by Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale and their children one sunny afternoon and did a massive double take – then had to rush home and listen to “Glycerine” and “Just a Girl” on repeat!).

primrose hill london

Primrose Hill isn’t just good for a run, it’s a beautiful patch of grass that usually isn’t too overrun with people. It’s nice to relax, bring a book and a blanket and enjoy the view of London.


On Saturdays, a huge market known as the Lock is open. Go hungry and with cash because you will want to eat. There’s food from every corner of the globe at appropriate prices, and the hardest part is choosing what to eat. You genuinely feel like you’ve stepped into a different world, and it’s worth taking your time to explore all it has to offer.

For shopping, it has everything you could want, from dress-up clothes for Halloween to vintage suitcases and teapots. There’s an area called the stalls which used to be horse stalls! It’s a great space to walk through.

cyberdog_shop_2009-londonThere’s Cyberdog, a store which also feels like a rave and has go-go dancers, loud electro music and dayglow makeup.


Then there’s Proud Gallery, home to a nightclub slash restaurant slash Burlesque space slash art gallery. There’s incense, there’s jewelry, there’re hats, there’re vintage shops, there’s tea, there’s soap, there’s anything you want.

And when you’re done and in desperate need of a drink, head to the Lock Tavern Pub on Chalk Farm road.

If it’s a hot sunny day, a refreshing Fruli is nice to try, and make sure to sit up top on the patio for a nice view of the passersby below.


When you get a sweet craving, there’s Primrose Bakery and the nearby Engineer Pub with a tiny, lush, secluded patio, full of greenery and comfy seats. Martinis are expensive but worth it!

[First two photos by Katie, third photo found here, fourth photo found here, fifth photo found here, sixth photo found here.]

P.S. Want to keep adding to your “When I’m in London” list? Katie Burnett has more dispatches from London coming up on The Anthology! Catch up on her first dispatch from London here and her second one here.

London Town | Eastern Vibes

In her second dispatch from London, Katie Burnett, a friend and beyond hilarious actress and writer living across the pond, retraces the places, films and books that make her most nostalgic

I grew up in Montreal. I was used to ice cold winters (my eyelashes freezing when my mother would send me out in a snowstorm for milk) and boiling hot, steaming summers (I would escape to summer camp in the Laurentians and jump into a cold lake to cool off). But the at-times unpleasant weather aside, the East Coast is such a vibrant place and I often miss it.

With the film version of Kerouac’s classic On the Roadcoming out soon, I thought I’d revisit what I love about Montreal, New York, and the East Coast.
Anyone who knows Montreal knows about the Tam Tams on Mount Royal. Well, I grew up right across the park, and every Sunday morning I woke up to this. It was annoying for my parents whose bedroom faced the park directly, but I loved waking up to the familiar rhythm and beats of the Tam Tams. It’s a sound I miss. If you’re ever in Montreal, stop by!

I’ve been reading and re-readingOn the Road and it brings back a flush of memories of the East Coast. The film is expected to come out in the next few months, directed by Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), staring Sam Riley as Sal and Garrett Hedlund as Dean. Judging from the few stills released, it looks like they’re doing a fab job of recreating the book.


It got me thinking about I’m Not There, a brilliant film directed by Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce) where six characters embody different aspects of Bob Dylan’s life and work. Parts of it were filmed on location in Montreal, and when I saw certain images (especially Heath Ledger’s scenes with Charlotte Gainsborough), I recognized them right away as my hometown. Great for some summer viewing!


Perfect for summer reading, Down the Highway by Howard Sounes is a great biography on Bob Dylan, almost as good as his own autobiography Bob Dylan Chronicles Volume One. When I first went to New York, I literally walked around with this book, stopping in awe when I would hit places like Cafe Wha? where Bob Dylan started out. (On a different note, if you are in New York, make sure you also stop by Levain Bakery, home of the best cookies, located on the Upper West Side.)

I have to admit, I’m obsessed with biographies, and another great one is Allen Ginsberg, Beat Poet by Barry Miles. It’s a beautiful biography that paints an incredibly picture of New York in the post WW2 era. I read it in conjunction with Ginsberg’s famous poems Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems.

Paul Simon

And what story about the East Coast would be complete without Simon and Garfunkel? I had the privilege of seeing Paul Simon perform recently at the Roundhouse in Camden. My friend and fellow North American Samantha and I got there early and managed to get in the front row!

If you can believe it, that wasn’t just a private concert by Paul Simon for me – there were hundreds of people behind me. It was intimate and phenomenal. When he played classics, it brought me right back to my youth. The last time I saw Paul Simon, I was about 10 or 11, in Montreal. I grew up listening to, and loving, his music.


And since we’re reminiscing, here’s a shot taken by my family friend Judith Crawley when I was a baby in Montreal, with my parents. If that isn’t quintessential hipster 80’s, I don’t know what is.

[First photo found here, second and third are film stills, fourth and fifth photos by Katie.]

P.S. Want to stay on board the nostalgia train? Katie Burnett has more dispatches from London coming up on The Anthology! Catch up on her first dispatch from London here.

London Town | Sundays on Brick Lane

In the first of several dispatches from London, Katie Burnett, a friend and wildly effervescent actress and writer living across the pond, shares her recipe for a perfect Sunday in Brick Lane…


My favourite thing to do on a Sunday in London is go to Brick Lane. I used to live right at Brick Lane and Bethnal Green Road (for those who know it – I lived behind the Noodle King, the cheapest Chinese around). If you’re with friends, or alone, travel to the area for the day and indulge.

First, start at Columbia Road Flower Market. There are beautiful antique shops and vintage furniture stores along Columbia Road – in fact, in the back of one such shop is a lovely little place called Cake Hole, a tiny cake and coffee shop that has delicious victoria sponge cakes and other goodies. There’s plenty of food, but the main attraction is of course, the flower market. Take a walk down the full length of the road (it won’t take too long!) to peruse all the flowers before making your choice.

From Columbia Road, head down to Brick Lane. The first thing you’ll encounter (aside from some great pubs, including Casa Blue on the corner) are two competing bagel shops. Both sell bagels for very cheap, and it’s worth getting a bag of at least ten bagels because once you have one, you’ll want more. They remind me of my youth growing up in Montreal, and anyone who knows Montreal bagels knows you can’t stop at one.

Continue along past the hooka shops, hairdressers, vendors selling pirated DVD’s and you’ll find vintage heaven, especially a store called Rokit. I bought a flowery dress there for 20 pounds a few years ago, and it’s still my favourite dress. (Rumours have it Victoria Beckham has dropped several loads of items off there over the years!)


After the vintage shops you’ll hit two bars on either side of the road – on the left (east) side is 93 Feet East, where Radiohead once played a secret gig, and on the right (west) side is Vibe Bar, with a huge patio, perfect for sitting outside in the sun and enjoying a pint and some people watching.

Now if you’re hungry, you’ll soon be hitting what seems like twenty or thirty curry shops. Each one will have a worker who runs out after you, offering you a better deal than the next – fifteen percent off the bill, a free glass of wine, no wait, twenty percent off the bill and a free bottle of wine! Resist them – trust me.

Continue down, past all those restaurants, no matter how hungry you are, until you hit Whitechapel, the old stomping ground of Jack the Ripper. (If you want along the way, you can pass by the Ten Bells Pub where Jack himself picked out prostitutes to, well, you know…) Whitechapel is a thriving area now with art galleries, hipster pubs and vintage shopping.


Now, once you’re in Whitechapel you will find what I like to call the Holy Grail of Curry – Tayyabs. Tayyabs is hands down, by far, the absolute best curry I’ve ever had, and my favourite restaurant in London. Now, before you hit Tayyabs try and remember to pick up a bottle of cold wine, or some Cobra beers because Tayyabs isn’t only the best curry in London, it’s also BYOB – oh yes – Bring Your Own Bottle.

You’ll arrive with your bottles in a bag and think, hey it’s a Sunday afternoon, I should be seated in no time, right? Well, it depends. This place is so popular you will almost always have a line up, though depending on how many in your party, you usually get seated very quickly (note – they take reservations, so always try and make one).


I always order my favourite kind of naan bread – peshwari naan, which tastes like coconuts. The first time I had it, introduced by my friend Xina, I fell in love. Instantly. It’s the kind of taste that sticks with you forever. It’s THAT good. I also like to order the chicken tikka, which goes well with the naan.

Oh and do you like Kings of Leon? I do. I love them. And it’s their favourite restaurant. So maybe, just maybe, if you know they’re in town, take a trip down – it’s London, these things happen!

[First photo found here, second photo by Oliver Dawe, third and fourth by Katie.]

P.S. Want to keep living vicariously? Katie Burnett has more dispatches from London coming up on The Anthology!

A-List | Fiction to curl up with

Amanda writes:

I’m such a big fan of your blog! You have amazing style and I look to you for a lot of my own outfit inspiration. I especially love reading about your travels, from your vineyard trips to outings with your adorable doggy. From a recent book post, I decided to take Glamorama and The Beautiful and Damned on my last trip. Thanks for the great suggestions!

Thanks, Amanda! Hope you’re going on another trip soon because Katie Burnett has compiled another reading list, perfect for fall…

Fall is upon us, and that means it’s back to school and work, drudging through the books and other documents that are forced upon us. Since the weather is turning, and the movies won’t be interesting till Oscar season [except for Looper. It’s amazing! — Kelsey], relaxing with some fiction will be just what you need. Here are four great fiction novels to bury your head in.

1. Play it as it Lays by Joan Didion

Joan Didion is a famed essayist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter and altogether legend. Her books of essays never cease to dazzle and engage me, and her novel “Play It As It Lays” is a disturbingly good look at Hollywood in the 1970’s. A best-seller when it came out, it follows the troubled actress Mariah as she recovers from a breakdown. Slowly but surely we learn about her life in Beverly Hills with her husband, a director, and how a life of glamour and glitz isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Further reading: Try Didion’s essays like the collection “The White Album” about life in California in the 1970’s, or what is perhaps her most famous work, “The Year of Magical Thinking”, a harrowing and eloquent book about loss.

2. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

This is both a formidable film and novel, and I can assure you even if you’ve seen the film, it’s worth reading the book. From the first page it will possess you and I can assure you, you won’t want to put it down! Part of Cormac McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy” novels, this one takes place along the US-Mexico border and follows three very different men – a sociopathic killer, a sheriff, and a war vet – as their lives intersect after a drug deal has gone awry. It is an engrossing and brilliant novel that is so beautifully written, it’s no wonder the author has won a Pulitzer Prize!

Javier Bardem is still hot as a psycho in a funny wig: Even if you’ve seen the film before, it’s worth a watch after reading the novel – the Cohen brothers, in top form as always, did a phenomenal job of capturing the mood and brilliance of the novel.

3. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

Set in New York City, “The Emperor’s Children” is a dazzling novel and social satire focused around a group of friends who haven’t quite achieved all they’ve wanted to by 30, and a troubled college dropout who goes to stay with his uncle in the Big Apple. Naturally, trouble ensues as everyone’s lives intersect, and it’s an incredibly multilayered story that is as captivating as it is troubling.

Fun to note: Noah Baumbach has long been attached to direct a film version of the book!

4. Savages by Don Winslow

You may have seen the Oliver Stone-directed film “Savages” this summer, based on Don Winslow’s book, which had its moments, but the book is phenomenal. Completely engaging, the story follows two best friends in California who grow and sell weed, while also sharing a girlfriend. When the Mexican cartels want a piece of them and they decline, their girlfriend is kidnapped, and they have to go rescue her. The book is written in a prose that is super unique and you won’t be able to put this down. In fact, I picked it up at a bookstore and was so into it, I had to sit and read it all in one go. It’s a fun, fast and entertaining read, and even if you’ve seen the film, I promise you’ll want to read the book for more details and twists, and a very different ending.

After you’re done: Don Winslow has recently released a prequel, “The Kings of Cool.”

P.S. Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches, like her recent recommended reads and add to your “When I’m in London” list: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and East Coast nostalgia.

A-List | Must-See Summer Flicks (nope, not the superhero ones…)

In The Anthology’s A-list column (“A” stands for Anthology, in case you haven’t had your coffee yet) we tabulate a few of the very best things in life. Here, writer and actress Katie Burnett shares her favourite summer films…

I love the beach as much as the next person but I can’t do it every day (unless I was in Hawaii. Then I could do it every day. If you’re in Hawaii, go back to enjoying the beach). But when it’s boiling hot and you need an alternative, there’s nothing I love more than an afternoon at the movies. Thanks to crazy publicity and marketing, we know the usual ones that are coming out – Spiderman, Batman, Avengers but let’s not forget there are some brilliant indie movies out in theatres and on the horizon that are also worth your $10.

And hey, they’re usually only two hours, so you can still catch some rays after!

Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson delivers another classic film that is so beautiful, so entertaining, so heartfelt, so funny it is not to be missed. If you haven’t seen it, go now. Like right now. It’s a wonderful story of two 12 year olds who run away together, but it is so much more than that. If you know Wes Anderson, you know all his films are so detailed and artistic you want nothing more than to climb in and be a part of one. I’d personally like to climb into this one and hug Edward Norton. Just saying.

Need more Wes Anderson after seeing Moonrise Kingdom? Check out “The Darjeeling Limited”, “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Life Aquatic!”

The Intouchables

Straight from France is The Intouchables. Based on a true story, it tells the tale of a paraplegic man and the unexpected friendship he forges with his live-in carer. Francois Cluzet, one of my French crushes (he joins Jean Dujardin, Guillaume Canet and Gilles Lellouche!) stars alongside Omar Sy (who beat out Jean Dujardin at last year’s prestigious Cesar awards) in this unforgettable film that is one of France’s most popular and most successful. You gotta trust a country that can give us Brie, L’aduree and Marion Cotillard, right?

Looking for more French cinema? Try “Tell No One”, “Little White Lies” or “2 Days in Paris!”

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Come August, I’m really looking forward to seeing Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg as a divorcing couple who try to maintain their friendship while dating other people. Looks messy, looks funny, and it had great reviews coming out of Sundance. Who’s coming with me?

Magic Mike

Okay, so it’s not an indie movie, but have you seen Magic Mike yet? Why not? Come on. Seriously. No, like go right now. DROP EVERYTHING AND GO RIGHT NOW. (And tell your boyfriend it’s because you love Steven Soderbergh.)

P.S. Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches, like her favourite spots in Paris, her list of must-reads, her East Coast nostalgia and her favourite ways to spend time in London —  Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden Town, and Friday nights at the theatre.

Trippin’ | When in Paris, How Many Crepes Are Too Many Crepes?

In her latest dispatch by Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer living in London shares her favourite things to see, do, eat and drink in Paris.

London to Paris is an easy, breezy 2.5 hour train ride, and I spent a very hot and beautiful weekend there exploring the city. As someone who loves books, I did a bit of a literary tour, and stopped by the old standards like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. No matter how many times I’ve been to Paris, it never gets old to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance!

Cafe de Flore and Cafe Deux Magots
Located right next to each other in the ultra trendy area of Saint Germain-des-Pres on the Left Bank, these two restaurants are both steeped in exciting history as they were hotspots for Simone de Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway and Jean-Paul Sartre (among others) to gather and rendezvous with other writers, artists and intellectuals. Tea and a croissant will set you back 10 euros, but it’s worth it!

Shakespeare and Company
For North Americans passing through Paris, this bookstore is a must. Beautiful, crammed and elegant, Shakespeare and Company has hundreds of English books on the bottom floor, and a library on the top floor, which is also used for poetry nights. You can’t remove any books from the library, making it that much more special to sit and read them. (Fun fact: Most of the people who work in the bookstore also live there, and my sister’s friend once lived there and wrote poetry in exchange for her lodging.)

Ernest Hemingway’s House
When Hemingway first went to Paris he lived at 74 Rue du Cardinal-Lemoine in the Latin Quarter. It’s in a great area that’s a few steps from cafes and bars (now home to some of the best happy hours!) and a few minutes away from the stunning Luxembourg Gardens.

If you are like me and love sweets, Laduree is a very dangerous place. Stepping in is like entering Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette – and believe me, you’ll never want to leave.

See a French Movie
If your French is up to it, it’s a lovely experience, especially seeing a movie that won’t be out in North America anytime soon, like the Marion Cotillard film Rust and Bone. Or if you’re stuck in North America, try renting the Guillaume Canet-directed Tell No One (yes he’s the hot guy who wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach).

Oh and the answer to the age old question, how many crepes are too many crepes? Easy – as many as you want! How many times are you in Paris?!

[Photos by Katie Burnett.]

P.S. Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches, like her list of must-reads and add to your “When I’m in London” list: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and East Coast nostalgia.

The A-list | Great Reads

In The Anthology’s A-list column (“A” stands for Anthology, in case you haven’t had your coffee yet) we tabulate a few of the very best things in life. This list of must-reads is compiled by Katie Burnett, a friend, actress and writer living in London. Now you’ll know what to crack open when you’re done reading The Hunger Games

Is it time for summer yet? I am very ready for some sun, and while I always get into a panic when my TV shows go on hiatus for a few months, it means I can finally pay attention to my very, very large pile of books all begging for my attention. So if you’re looking for some books for the plane, the pool or for fun, here are my picks for summer reading.

1. Just Kids by Patti Smith

I am beyond obsessed with this book about the early beginnings of the “godmother of punk”, Patti Smith. It is a detailed account of her pre-fame life with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe, littered with stories of life in the iconic Chelsea Hotel, nights spent in proximity to Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the struggles an artist faces. It is a beautiful, sad, poetic and fascinating book that is not to be missed.

2. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Here’s the thing – some people love to run, others hate it. I love to run but it took me years before I could proudly declare it, and I still wake up very sure I should stay in bed instead of lacing up and going outside. But when I’m in my Lululemons, with the right music in my ears, I can go forever. Or, like, an hour. Christopher McDougall’s book is a breathtaking look at the evolution of running, of ultra-marathons, and the people who run them. The author goes down to find a deeply hidden tribe of people in Mexico who are the fastest long distance runners in the world, for whom running is not just recreational but is what shapes their lives. Every chapter is an intriguing feast for the senses, and a constant reminder and inspiration to get on the running shoes and run not just because we can, but because we were born to do so.

3. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you’re mine and Kelsey’s age then Leonardo DiCaprio was your first and potentially favourite boyfriend, thanks to Romeo and Juliet and Titanic. I am a massive fan of The Great Gatsby and can’t wait to see Leo as the great Jay, but since that’s not coming out till Christmas 2012, why not revisit Fitzgerald’s other classic novels in the meantime? I love The Beautiful and Damned, and how it portrays life in the Jazz Age and the enigmatic world of the elite in 1920’s. If you can’t get anywhere this summer, might as well escape to another era with Anthony and Gloria Patch.

Fun fact – this book has long been thought to be based on Fitzgerald’s marriage to Zelda. Why not check out Woody Allen’s glorious Midnight in Paris and see Allison Pill and Tom Hiddleston recreate Scott and Zelda?

4. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis books are not for the faint hearted, and you’ll understand if you’ve read American Psycho or The Rules of Attraction (or seen the films!) Glamorama is no exception, as it dives into the world of a 90’s supermodel and is a totally satirical look at celebrity. Victor Ward is a vapid model and wannabe actor who gets involved in a dangerous international model terrorists….sounds nutty, yes, but thoroughly entertaining, especially as Ellis’s attention to detail is amazing to the point of unnerving.

P.S. Catch up on Katie Burnett’s earlier dispatches and add to your “When I’m in London” list: Sundays on Brick LaneSaturdays in Camden TownFriday nights at the theatre, and East Coast nostalgia.