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Vol. 8 - The Non Christmas, Christmas Issue 🎄

aaaand Rhubarb finally gets her own segment!

MERRRYYY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! I hope wherever you are in the world that you are either having or have had a lovely, relaxing, festive day so far. If you need a little company (or perhaps a little escape), please come and join us on the chat thread at 10 am GMT, where we will be talking about anything and everything. As it is Christmas, I won’t keep you all too long, nor will I ram any extra festivities down your throat. This week we’re keeping it light with everything from my fever-induced spending problem to our favourite nepo babies to Rhubarb’s Christmas retreat. With that, let’s begin!



me to me

I have to admit that this month I’ve taken the ‘treat yourself’ motto a little too literally, even by my standards. I put this down to A) feeling entirely uninspired, sartorially for a huge chunk of this year, and B) being sick twice in two weeks. December seemed to have brought a burst of inspiration alongside these mystery illnesses I acquired, and so I struck whilst the iron was hot and gave my credit card a little workout. I’m going to say 90% of this was fever induced as I ended up buying from brands I never normally shop with (aka not Uniqlo), but even at my ripe old age, brands can still surprise you. The first place that I’ve become a recent fan of is Tory Burch.

I’d walked past the Tory Burch store on Bond Street sooooo many times and always wondered why it was there. In my head, Tory Burch was synonymous with the above Gossip Girl quote and resigned to a strange and far-off time in the early 2000s where the only girls who wore Tory Burch were from middle America, and hung out in shopping malls, drank Jamba juice and had stripy highlights. Anyway, I was walking back from my workout on my normal route, feeling godawful from the combination of physical exertion and early-onset fever, and for some reason, for the first time in two decades, I decided to walk into Tory Burch. My feelings towards their bags and a large majority of their shoes were still the same as ever. However, the ready-to-wear? SO cute. I’d managed to walk in on the first day of their winter sale (up to 50% off), which felt entirely serendipitous. I’d mentally pulled ten different items from the rack but edited down to the below two.

(L) the jumpers fresh from the store (R) me deciding whether this was warm enough to wear for clay pigeon shooting

I was torn between this wine-coloured Cashmere Crewneck and this one in Baby Blue, but I have enough jumpers from Uniqlo in shades of blue, so I thought I’d try something different. The bottom is ribbed and almost cinches like a corset, which Henry isn’t too sure about, but I’m going to find a way to make it work. I also picked up this Jacquard Sweater, which I immediately loved. It’s pretty thick and heavy and made largely of mohair (which I know some people find itchy, but I personally really like it). I went up a size so that I could wear it open with a t-shirt underneath but also as an oversized cardigan. I was also a big fan of these flared, knit ‘track pants’, this tiger jumper, and this tailored wool blazer.

(L) the scarf fresh from the store (R) the full body aches hitting in the uber

On the way home, I went via MatchesFashion to pick up this Ganni Scarf I'd ordered into the store to have a look at. I wanted a big, juicy, warm scarf that was fat enough to cover my whole face and neck and in more than one colour, so this Ganni gradient one was perfect. It’s made of recycled mohair (again, if mohair only has one fan, I am that fan), and it is SO warm and not at all itchy. My only complaint is that the hairs do kind of get everywhere, but it’s a small price to pay for chunky warmth. Matches also gave me 10% off in-store when I bought it, so that was a nice surprise. Later in the week, as I was taking Rhubarb on her evening dog walk, we came home via a few shops. In London, it had managed to hit -5, so I popped back into Jott to see what they had to offer. Their ‘extreme’ cold jackets keep you warm up to -10 and are windproof and water repellent, so I bought this one in Navy with the detachable hood. They feel really light to wear but are extremely warm (I immediately notice the difference from my Uniqlo one, especially in temperatures this low). The fit is rather snug, so I’d recommend sizing up.

(L) Rhubarb post walk, judging me for my purchases (R) Rhubarb disassociating whilst I wear my new jumper for the first time

I also went into MaxMara Weekend to browse as I saw some fun Christmassy jumpers in the window. For some reason, I’d told myself that MaxMara Weekend was the ‘affordable’ arm of the MaxMara brand, so when I saw a nice baby blue cashmere jumper reminiscent of the one I’d passed on in Tory Burch, I picked it up without checking the price. When I paid for it, it ended up being double the price I had made up in my head, and I felt too awkward to say no at that point, so I bought it regardless. To be fair, I have worn it several times in the last two weeks because I’m obsessed with the colour, cut and feel, so I think I will get my money’s worth. I’ve also been on the hunt for a pair of ‘snow’ boots that would double up as walking boots for when I take Rhubarb out, but everything I saw was either too chunky, too aggressive or too expensive. I thought the below ones from Bobbies would be a winner, but in person, they looked cheap, especially for the price they were charging. Speaking of cheap, I bought a cheapo pair of leg warmers from Amazon that I’ve ended up loving and have been wearing all the time. I particularly like wearing them with my gym gear on the way to the PT to feel like I’m in an 80s music video.

(L) boots from Bobbies that catfished me (R) the surprisingly useful amazon leg warmers I’ve been loving



It’s only taken eight or so issues, but I’m finally dedicating a segment to the reason why we’re all gathered here on this small corner of the internet. This week was particularly special for Rhubarb as we’d planned a little dog-friendly staycation as a treat for her. Prior to leaving on our odyssey across Southern England, Rhubarb experienced proper snow for the first time. I thought she’d be precious about it (like she is with water, she’s still never been swimming because she refuses to), but it turns out she’s a bit of a snow bunny. I can only assume she was a keen skier in a previous life. She decided her last meal in London would be at Maison Francois, where she enjoyed some moules marinere flatbread, tartiflette, and some chicken.

(L) Rhubarb subtly telling me she’s overdue a groom (M) Frolicking in Regents Park (R) Waiting for some chicken at Maison Francois

Like every cliche Londoner, Rhubarb’s first port of call for her escape to the country was The Cotswolds for two nights at The Fish Hotel (after a puppycino pitstop, of course). Nestled on The Farncombe Estate, dogs are treated like royalty here with freshly sliced sausages at breakfast and squishy mats to lie on during every meal. There was plenty of acreage for Rhubarb to run her daily 10k, which was great, but from my perspective, I was personally surprised that this hotel was part of the SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of The World). The food was mediocre and expensive, the decor was gaudy, and the attention to detail was lacking. But this was Rhubarb’s holiday, so I am glad she was taken care of.

(L) Rhubarb confused as to why she’s been relegated to the back seat (M) More confusion as I stopped feeding her sourdough bread (R) Enjoying Starbuck’s finest puppycino

After a quick pitstop at The Bell Inn, Langford (Rhubarb’s favourite country pub and restaurant), for a hearty lunch, Rhubarb was on her way to see her grandparents for an overnight stay. She’s very good at making herself at home, wherever she is in the world, like some sort of chic nomad with expensive taste. After collecting her Christmas presents and barking at every squirrel, Rhubarb was back on the road again. This time, her next stop was Wiltshire for a stay at the Bishopstrow Hotel. This hotel (another member of the SLH group) was an old manor house and stables that have since been converted into a hotel and spa. Dogs can only stay in certain rooms on the ground floor, so Rhubarb was in the ‘junior suite’, a spacious room in the old stables with a private outdoor area (all for the same price as a mediocre room at The Fish). In the room, Rhubarb had her own big bed and a gift box with treats, a ball, some poo bags, and her favourite Lily’s Kitchen food tray.

Dogs are allowed to join for meals in either of the cosy sitting rooms, equipped with open fires, squishy sofas (as you can see Rhubarb reclining on below) and various board games. The food is delicious, and quite a few of the ingredients are grown in the gardens on the 30-odd acres of land the hotel sits on. We also had full access to the spa and both swimming pools, which was nice as the previous hotel didn’t allow us access to their spa. Rhubarb had lots of fun sprinting up and down the gardens surrounding the hotel and was a particular fan of the fish-shaped dog treats she was given. As her palette has extended far beyond that of the average dog due to her propensity to sample whatever Henry or myself might be eating, she can be somewhat fussy when it comes to actual dog food.

After leaving Bishopstrow feeling rejuvenated, it was time to head to the last and final stop on Rhubarb’s Christmas retreat. We took a quick pitstop in Bath and gathered some more supplies for her (a new brush, some balls and some treats) before heading down to a sleepy town in Dorset. As I’m writing this, Rhubarb is currently snoozing in front of the fire as she prepares to spend Christmas with her grandfather and aunty Lily. Her head does a dramatic tilt whenever I tell her she’s seeing my sister, as she is one of the few people who will indulge Rhubarb’s need for hour-long tummy rubs. The next few days for Rhubarb will consist of country walks, being overfed by every member of my family, and snoozing in front of the aga!



I think most of us have seen the New York Magazine ‘Nepo Babies’ cover and article making the rounds. I’m pretty well-versed when it comes to Celebrities and their weird industry connections, so very few of these surprised me. However, you want to know which one did knock me for six? Rooney and Kate Mara. To have both sides of your family as founders of huge American football teams blows my mind. That’s a new level of wealth I cannot even fathom, and I kind of respect that they both ended up acting because I probably would have chosen to float around and live off my family’s obscene generational wealth until I married into another family with more obscene generational wealth (kind of like Nicky Hilton becoming a Rothschild).

In some ways, I’m the mixed raced, British version of Ryan Murphy. Nepo babies? Give me all of them. I want to see Emma Roberts play as many bitchy blonde characters as possible. Give me legacy nepo babies in matriarchal roles. Give me up-and-coming nepo babies who are attractive enough to model but cannot act for toffee in side character horror roles (I’m looking at you, Kaia Gerber). The reason I love it so much is because it’s truly the pinnacle of rich people’s obliviousness and delusion. There are plenty of people in the industry who have had a leg up because of their connections, who are genuinely talented, and whose on-screen presence doesn’t just make me think of their more famous parents/relatives/godparents with actual talent. Actresses like Lily Rabe, who put their necks and back into every role, serve to highlight the delusion of other nepo-babies who have walked into these roles blindly, thinking their surnames are the only CV they need. Especially if they are following in the footsteps of their award-winning, critically acclaimed and universally loved parents. They might walk into these roles, but in this day and age, they know they’re running the risk of getting ripped to shreds across social media and mainstream media for being mediocre. One of my recent favourite interactions that have come out since this article is the below Twitter exchange off the back of one of Lottie Moss’s tweets, which had me SCREAMING.

I don’t know if it is because I’m British, but the discussion of nepotism in Hollywood makes me laugh just because it’s so deeply ingrained in British culture. ‘The Old Boys Club’ dominates every industry, especially those with significant power, such as our legal and political systems, but it also trickles into our creative industries. I saw a Tiktok circulating a while ago that caused outrage because someone had discovered that our biggest and most favourite British actors had come from prominent public schools, families or general private schools. For my non-English readers, simply put, ‘public’ schools are your Eton and your Harrow, your fee-paying, boarding schools that were founded and established before ‘America’ even existed. The term ‘public school boy’ is synonymous with a certain type of white, posh, British man and is a term you often hear thrown around in regard to our politicians and prime ministers as they have all come from the same small pool of public schools before continuing on to read PPE at Oxbridge. It also comes as zero surprise that those from backgrounds of privilege, wealth and connection end up in the creative industries in the UK, but for some reason, I see a lot of non-Brits outraged that this is the case. It’s not just Hollywood, baby. Benedict Cumberbatch? Harrow. His family were officers, diplomats, and distant relatives of King Richard the Third. Eddie Redmayne? Eton (in the same year as Prince William) before heading to Trinity College, Cambridge. Hugh Grant? He comes from a family of colonels/captains/aristocrats. He went to Wetherby Prep and then Latymer Upper School before reading at Oxford. Dominic West? Eton. Tom Hiddleston? Eton. Henry Cavill? Stowe. Florence Pugh and Emilia Clarke? St Edward’s (affectionately known as Teddies, the intern will be mad if I don’t include that). Robert Pattinson, Will Poulter and George Mackay? The Harrodian School. The list goes on. Chris Martin? Sienna Miller? Emma Watson? Carey Mulligan? Florence Welch? Damian Lewis? Even some of my favourite directors, such as Christopher Nolan and Richard Curtis.

The thing is, I would argue a massive percentage of these actors/musicians/directors are genuinely talented and have worked for years to hone and perfect their craft, which is why largely, no one begrudges their success and position. They are deserving of their position, and whilst they may have had the leg up, they have by no means rested on those laurels. They’ve still worked hard for it, and they have managed to prove themselves (which is something that I think cannot be said about most of the new up-and-coming crop). No one can help where they’ve come from or how they were raised; all they can do is work to prove they deserve to be where they are. A foot in the door helps, but it doesn’t necessarily carry you through, as those who are genuinely talented will always surpass you, regardless of their background. Those who have had to work harder to get to there will also have the grit and drive to keep going, qualities that cannot be bought. I can think of plenty of other British ‘nepo babies’ who have come and gone, whose good looks and famous parents could only carry them so far. I had the distinct displeasure of watching Jude Law’s son ‘act’ in a film recently, which I found entertaining for all of the wrong reasons. I say, keep the nepo babies coming because the ones which are great really are great, and, well, the ones who aren’t? At the very least, they make great memes.



Here are a few pieces of media I've been enjoying this week...

  • Season 2 of Alice In Borderland has Henry and me in a gorilla grip. The day it came out, we stayed up past 1 am binge-watching it. This series is a rollercoaster ride of action, drama, and emotion. Western media could NEVER.

  • Actors on Actors with Colin Farrell & Jamie Lee Curtis - the actors on actors videos are some of my favourites to watch, and these two are an unexpected combination, but the chemistry was amazing. I really, really need to see these two cast in a film together. It’s such an honest, open conversation with two warm and extremely talented people.

  • I recently discovered ‘The Free Press’ through Substack, and I’ve enjoyed catching up on all their previous articles. They publish a lot of investigative stories, and, in their words, ‘curiosity isn’t a liability. It’s a necessity’.

  • A podcast episode from ‘What’s The Juice’ (by one of my favourite people I follow online) which is all about hormones and nervous system regulation. I stumbled upon Olivia over ten years ago by complete accident. Still, it felt very serendipitous as she was one of the first people I saw on social media talking about Traditional Chinese Medicine and natural healing. I’ve been buying her herbal formulas for the last few years, and they are a godsend.

  • At this time of year, I loooveee making and drinking hot toddies. When I’m sick, I like to make an extra medicinal version. You will need; Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, half a lemon, manuka honey (for the medicinal version, otherwise normal is fine), a chunk of fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick. Fill a mug with boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes to heat the mug through. Pour out half the water and add two shots of whiskey, squeeze in half a lemon, and one generous teaspoon of honey. Slice 4 rounds of ginger, lightly bash them with the end of the knife and add those to the mug with a cinnamon stick. Add more of any of the above to taste!

And that’s all from the eighth issue of The Rhubarb Society! If there’s anything you’d like to see in future issues, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below, via email or in my DMs. If there’s anyone you think would be an excellent fit for The Rhubarb Society, please do extend the invitation below.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas,

Tamsin & Rhubarb



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