Sardines on toast and I’m there. Narnia is a place I would love to visit, but you can only stand outside in the snow for so long, and Mr Tumnus’ cave seems like the perfect place to unwind for me.
This eponymous garden is sad, and haunting, and also incredibly beautiful. I read this book during my first year of uni, and actually met the author Tan Twan Eng too. If you have a thing for historical novels then add this to your reading list. I feel as if the true highlight of entering this fictional space would be to wander around Aritomo’s treasured garden ,and stumble upon all of the carefully designed hidden elements…
We all have a childhood favourite, and as Brambly Hedge was actually the first book I ever received this is mine. The illustrations in the book show detailed little mouse houses located inside tree stumps, with winding staircases, four poster beds, and an amazing kitchen hung with hams and vegetables and fruits. If I could shrink down to mouse size, then this is where I would go.
My all time favourite book needed a mention. Gatsby’s mansion, located on the raucous West Egg is so packed full of mystery and intrigue- and also parties- that I would give everything I have to visit just once. More than that though, I am a nosy person. And so I would want to nosy around the rooms. I would want to find pictures of Daisy, documents detailing exactly what Gatsby was up to with Wolfshiem, and run my hand along all of those silk shirts of many colours. I wouldn’t mind giving Klipspringer a kick up the arse too. I have a thing about old, empty houses- I’m the sort of person who wants to hear an elaborate and romantic history behind their emptiness- and so I would also have wanted to see the mansion after it was cleared out at the end of Fitzgerald’s novel.
I am nineteen, and still a little bit of me dies each year no invitation to study here arrives. It tortures me that somewhere some eleven year old may be receiving their invitation to frolick in the grounds of this place, and eat all of the delicious house elf made food, whilst I get to lug shopping back each week and grapple with old English.
I was born and have grown up in Bronte country, so I have vested interest in this place. Does it look like the houses on the moors surrounding where I have spent my entire life? I hope it does. I can’t say I would want to stay there necessarily, mainly because I don’t think I could spend even a few hours in the same house as Heathcliffe. Or Cathy. Because they both annoy the hell out of me.
This is another beautiful and yet creepy location. As with Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights, I’m not sure I could spend a night in the same building as Mrs Danvers, but the Miss Havisham feel to Rebecca’s room is something that calls to my nosiness.
I’m pretty sure everyone has seen that iconic print of Audrey Hepburn in her long black dress as Holly Golightly, but how many have read the book? Holly lives in a small rented apartment on the Upper East Side of New York, i.e. exactly the kind of place I want to spend some time living myself. Holly spends most of her days sleeping off the hangover from the night before and socialising. She also gets rid of “the mean reds” by visiting Tiffany’s for breakfast, hence the name of the book. I wouldn’t stop here for long- perhaps just long enough to play the New York socialite, and then head to Tiffany’s for breakfast.
This location comes from Fitzgerald’s short story ‘A Diamond as Big as the Ritz’, and the diamond that gives the tale it’s title literally is the Washington’s home. Their mega-mansion is built on top of a diamond as big as the Ritz, concealed within a mountain. The super shifty Washington’s have managed to keep their home a secret by shooting down and imprisoning any pilots that fly overhead, and also rearranging several maps. I won’t ruin the ending. But their home is even more luxurious than Gatsby’s mansion. We’re talking rooms lined with an unbroken curtain of diamonds, floors of crystal with fish swimming below them, music constantly playing, an abundance of flowers, and baths that you can slide out of bed into.
Just to hear the mockingjays, maybe do some hunting with Katniss (I doubt she’d let me), and sit and just listen to all of the sounds of nature. The idea of a little place of freedom amongst all of the chaos really appeals to me, and I always picture the District 12 woods as somehow holding a little bit of the first rebellion.