Miranda Mills Header_for_Mirandas_Notebook_3

Miranda Mills – Foodie Profile

Miranda Mills is a writer, bibliophile, Londoner and the host of the Tea and Tattle Podcast. She also runs Miranda’s Notebook and Miranda’s Bookcase.

 

Miranda, you wear many hats, running the Tea & Tattle podcast, as well as Miranda’s Notebook and Miranda’s Bookcase. Could you share a little bit about each one with our readers?

I enjoy writing about many of my interests (travel, food, good books and interesting creatives) on my blog, Miranda’s Notebook, and I hope to get back to blogging a little more regularly soon. On my podcast, Tea & Tattle, I interview female authors, from internationally renowned novelists to the most exciting debut writers. I post book reviews on my instagram account @mirandasbookcase and also talk about books on my YouTube channel. As you can tell, I love to read!

 

You’ve had quite an international upbringing and education. Where did you grow up, and please tell us the different places you’ve lived and how those experiences have inspired you today.

I was born in Canada, but I grew up in France – right on the French / Swiss border, so I went to school in Switzerland – and in the USA. I moved to London when I was 18 to start university, but my Mum is British so I’ve always had a British accent. The places I’ve lived have inspired me in many different ways, but I generally link memories of places with food, so a childhood spent moving around a lot has definitely influenced the type of food I enjoy today. When I’m feeling nostalgic, I’ll bake a pumpkin pie or invite friends over for fondue, depending on my mood!

 

Could you tell us about your career leading up until now, what your current job entails, and where your deep love of books and reading comes from?

I tried lots of different jobs in my 20s and studied Linguistics at University, as well as completing a Graduate Diploma in Law. I’m also a qualified primary school teacher, but I dropped to part-time teaching when I started my blog and in the end gave up teaching altogether. Earning money from social media is never easy, and I do a whole mix of things, from brand collaborations, selling photographs, ghost blogging, one-to-one mentoring, etc. I also do editing work on the side.

My deep love of books definitely comes from my childhood; I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t an avid reader. My mum loves to read, and she passed on her passion for books to me.

 

I follow all of your accounts and what is clear is that you are not only a bibliophile, but a prolific reader. How many books do you read a week, month or year, and for those wanting to make more time for reading could you share any tips?

I don’t believe in keeping track of reading because I think it’s too often something people get competitive about (especially on social media), and there can be too much of a tendency to compare yourself to others. I read out of pleasure, primarily, although the work that I do also involves a lot of reading, so I generally read about two books a week, but that varies depending on what’s going on with the rest of my life. My tip for people who want to read more is to set aside a solid amount of time to read (2-4 hours); you need to truly immerse yourself in a book, and then you’ll find the pages will fly by. Audiobooks are great too – I always have an audiobook on the go when I’m doing boring chores like washing up! Honestly though, reading should just be a pleasure, so I never think anyone should feel despondent if they don’t have time to read a lot.

 

You are also prolific on your Instagram accounts and the podcast. Could you tell us a bit about what an average day looks like for you and how you organise yourself to keep on top of everything and stay connected with your community?

Almost everyday involves photography, writing, reading and emailing! I interview a lot of authors, so keeping up with publishing PRs, sending my questions in advance and scheduling interviews takes up an awful lot of time. Then there’s all the audio editing and (now I’m on YouTube) film editing too.

I use Planoly to organise my instagram accounts (I have three), and I have a strict podcast schedule that I stick to as well. Sometimes, though, I do get exhausted by constant content creation, and when that happens, I step away from blogging or Instagram for a bit and take a break. In the end, you have to remember you’re in a marathon and not a race, so it’s important to pace yourself and take a few days off if you need to sometimes.

 

 

You adore cookbooks and often interview cookbook authors on your podcast, Tea & Tattle. What are some of your favourite/most used cookbooks and why?

Yes, I do love a good cookbook, and my collection has grown rather alarmingly large! There are some cookbooks I turn to again and again though, and I especially love Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson. I have cooked almost every recipe from this book, I think! I don’t have a big family, so I like the fact that the recipes don’t give you enormous portions, and they’re all easy and quite quick to do, but delicious. I recommend the chocolate olive oil cake in particular!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Pergola at Hampstead Heath – image by Miranda Mills

 

You live in London and regularly photograph beautiful scenes and moments from your daily life there. For anyone planning to visit London in the future, what would you suggest to see and do?

I think getting off the beaten track and exploring some of London’s ‘neighbourhoods’ – like Hampstead, Marylebone, Little Venice (Maida Vale), Barnes, Chiswick and Richmond – is a good idea. I’ve lived in Hampstead & West Hampstead for a total of eight years, so I’m particularly biased towards the North West! Fenton House is one of my favourite National Trust properties to visit in Hampstead, particularly in the springtime when the orchard is in blossom. And I highly recommend a visit to Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street for any bibliophile.

 

On your Youtube account you recently posted a tour of your bookshelves and your extensive book collection. In terms of general reading what would you say are the books that you return to again and again, or that have inspired you the most and why? Also, how many books do you own?

Jane Austen is my favourite writer, and I must have reread her books hundreds of times. I’m also a huge fan of Golden Age crime and have read every Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and Ngaio Marsh novel (they’re real comfort reads for me). In terms of non-fiction, I have grown to love nature writing over the past few years, and this topic is booming in the publishing industry at the moment, which I find fascinating. I have never counted my books, but I can tell you that I have far too many!!

 

On the Podcast you often focus on seasons or occasions, suggesting reads for autumn or Christmastime. If you could choose one book for each season, what would they be?

Spring – The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Summer – A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor

Autumn – The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Winter – The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie

 

Miranda Mills dauntDaunt Books on Marylebone High Street  – image by Miranda Mills

 

 

What does a perfect day in London entail for you?

In my pre-lockdown life, my perfect Saturday routine involved book browsing at Daunt Books in Marylebone, followed by tea and sachertorte across the road at Fischer’s. I’m so looking forward to being able to do that again!

 

Apart from collecting cookbooks, you are also an avid cook. Do you have a personal recipe you could share with our readers?

This recipe for Cherry and Banana Loaf Cake has been in my family for three generations, and I’ve been baking it solidly through lockdown: http://mirandasnotebook.com/cherry-banana-cake-recipe/

 

What is next for you? Do you have any projects or news that you would like to share with us? 

I am most excited by YouTube at the moment, and I have a lot of plans for my channel and the type of content I want to create for it, so I can’t wait to share more about that over the summer.

 

(All image credits: Miranda Mills)

 

Youtube: Miranda Mills Youtube

Websites: Mirandas Notebook & Tea & Tattle Podcast

Instagram: @mirandasnotebook , @mirandasbookcase& @teaandtattlepodcast

Facebook: Mirandas Notebook