Autumnal Pursuits

Here in Cambridge, the wheel of the seasons has turned and autumn has arrived in a flurry of umber leaves. Although I am at my happiness when the skies are blue and the air balmy, I treasure the fact that in England, we experience each season in turn (a novelty to a girl who grew up in Australia).

As the leaves begin to fall and the evenings grow longer, I love watching the countryside change and then racing indoors after bracing walks to spend cosy nights indoors. These are a few of my favourite ways to spend the autumn (I’ll be aiming to check them all of again this season):

1. Leisurely weekend walks in all the most beautiful areas of my city as the leaves change colour – not missing a single opportunity to jump in a big pile of crunchy leaves underfoot, of course. I’ll be strolling along the Backs in Cambridge (the beautiful paths that line the River Cam, with magnificent views of all the grandest colleges), my family’s neighbourhood of Chiswick in West London, and the beautiful London parks.

2. Homemade pumpkin pies. The sweet, nutmeggy taste of my mother’s pumpkin pies is one of my earliest memories, and there is nothing quite as delicious as the smell that fills the house as it bakes in the oven.

3. Making the home decadently cosy; an inviting haven on cold, dark evenings. I’ll be stocking my place with gorgeous scented candles (to make coming home each evening that little bit more wonderful), good books and board games for rainy weekends, beautiful lamps to cast a warm glow, some jazz tunes and a few bottles of champagne for romantic evenings, fluffy pillows and snuggly blankets for cosying up.

4. Visiting new galleries and museums on grey days. When the skies outside are steely, I love venturing indoors for a hearty dose of cultural enlightenment in the form of a new exhibits or previously unexplored museums. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never visited more than a few rooms of the British Museum, so that is at the top of my list, along with the marvellous galleries around the Upper East Side when I head to New York later this month.

5. Spend a whole afternoon lazily browsing the shelves of a favourite bookshop, or sitting in a coffee shop with a stack of good reads. I love getting lost in the wonderful second hand bookshops of Cambridge, or spending hours lazily reading the papers over coffee and cake at Fitzbillies.

6. Visiting the farmer’s markets for new season produce. And then turning it into delicious soups and tartelets.

7. Apple-picking in the local orchard. Every year, the Clever Boyfriend and I ride our bikes (or amble through riverbank meadows for a wonderful hour) to the Granchester Orchards (a Cambridge treasure, where generations of students idle away sunny weekends; Lord Byron even immortalised it in a poetic ode). There, we sit beneath the apple trees for for tea and scones from the little outdoor cafe, say hello to the happy cows and geese in the meadows, and then cycle home with out baskets creaking beneath the weight of the freshly-picked apples and pears.

8. Packing a picnic (or better yet, an overnight bag) and venturing further afield, where the air is clean and the scenery beautiful. I love autumnal weekends away, even if they’re in my own city (see: last year’s ‘staycation’). This year, I’m planning a romantic weekend trip to Oxford (where I took the above picture) or the beautiful Cotswolds.

9. Changing my beauty routine to match my mood. Plummy nail polish, bright berry lips, winged eyeliner and glitter eyelids for when sugary pastels no longer feel appropriate.

10. Refreshing my wardrobe with beautiful new-season essentials. There’s something so satisfying about taking everything out of my wardrobe, having a good old clearout, storing away my summery dresses for the season and replacing them with snuggly new buys in the form of a gorgeous coat, cashmere jumpers and crisp new basics.

What are you favourite things to do at this time of year?

Love, Miss B xx

 

25 thoughts on “Autumnal Pursuits

  1. What a lovely post! You’ve inspired me to make the most of this season. I definitely recommend visiting the Frick Museum when you are in New York – it is in an old Fifth Avenue mansion which now houses the most wonderful collection of art. It is lovely to wander around and imagine living there in the Age of Innocence era.

    On another note, any recommendations for a berry lipstick?

  2. Oh, you have made me totally nostalgic – I’m living in Los Angeles rather than the South East of England, so I would not know what season it was, except for all the ‘Fall’ TV shows coming on again! At least living in London last year the temperature and the leaves down in Hyde Park gave me some indication!

  3. I wish I lived there. England is so rich in culture! I love all of the things you are going to do. I love to decorate for Fall, bake, read and light candles during this season. It’s so beautiful leading up to the holidays. Enjoy!

  4. So happy that I stumbled upon your delightful blog.
    I’ve decided that 2012 is going to be the year I finally make pumpkin pie! I just need to find a good recipe…any tips?

    le fresne x

  5. Isn’t it delightful this change of season?!?! Your blog captures it perfectly! It’s a fabulous time of the year for a stroll and we hope to hear some more great things from you about this wonderful city. Great blog!

  6. All of these activities sound incredible. It’s definitely time for me to write down my fall fun list and start crossing things like this off! :) I’m actually headed up to a corn maze/hayride with some friends in a couple of weeks and can’t wait! :)

    Emily
    via Emily

  7. This is my absolute favorite time of the year and I’m hoping to sneak off upstate this weekend for a little fall fun. Apple picking is high on my list and your list has inspired me to make a fall list of my own so I don’t forget to indulge in all this autumnal! xx

  8. Just lovely, Miss B! I love the autumn so, and held out for a fall wedding that we just had (22nd September) at my parents’ country house. The leaves were just turning and it was perfection. I shall take that autumn feeling with me through the fall months and I adore your list of wonderful to-do items! I do hope you don’t mind our borrowing a few!
    Hugs and warm wishes for crisp fall days, and happy thoughts for chilly nights around the fire!

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  10. I’m a bit like you where I find the distinctive change of seasons here in the UK so refreshing. It’s just not the same in Auckland (NZ) where there’s plenty of sunshine but hey, I’m not complaining :) I love seeing the falling leaves, a change in the landscape, the crisp air when it’s not raining and the excitement that Christmas is just around the corner.

  11. I’m so jealous that you get to celebrate the definitive turning of each season. It’s just not the same here in Australia, is it? Loving your posts and blog. I feel like I’m just immersing myself in a decadent world when I sit down with a cup of tea to have a read. Lovely.

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