A couple of weeks ago, in between days and days of spring rain showers, it was one of those perfect long weekends where everything feels blissful. The skies were blue, the butterflies were fluttering, the air was thick with sunshine and the smell of blossom & lilacs and fresh grass, and I had no plans other than to go outside and enjoy spring.
Here in England, the weather has been positively balmy considering we’re in the depths of winter. Although a snowstorm is forecast for tomorrow (I have my fingers crossed for a snow day!), it’s been so mild I could just about get away without tights (a winter miracle in this country) for those days when I’m cycling around town.
Although my default mode come winter is to hibernate indoors as luxuriously as I can, I do occasionally peel myself away for various dates with friends, walks or trips to the cosiest cafes and bookshops I can find. This little gem called The Haunted Bookshop (it is really this tiny) is one of my favourite Cambridge spots and is just made for wintery afternoons spend rummaging through dusty shelves for a vintage literary treasure.
Of course, it is entirely unnecessary to dress up for lazy weekend pursuits, but in my book that’s what makes it even more special. I always get a slightly smug satisfaction out of shopping for groceries, doing my laundry, having weekend brunch (or other such ordinary activities) in lipstick and high heels and jewels when everyone else is in their casual weekend uniform (not that there is anything wrong with that!).
And if you ask me, trips to tiny booshops should always me made in 60s-style dresses and leopard print heels.
Wearing: Vivetta dress (from Audrey Grace Boutique), Lulu Guinness book clutch, Kurt Geiger leopard ponyskin heels (from last season, but similar style here), Michael Kors watch, Jersey Pearl bracelet, Topshop leopard print coat (not seen, but similar style here).
Do you like to dress up for your favourite lazy weekend activities?
Love, Miss B xx
Thank you Sarah for helping with these photos!
This week, the first snow has fallen, Cambridge is resting beneath a powdery blanket of snow, and I am officially in wintery mode.
I always think there is something so magical about this time of year; the peacefulness of the English countryside frosted in white, the sound of the Cambridge college chapel bells ringing out against the lamplit cobbled streets, bundling up against the chill in snuggly layers, and the excuse to spent cold, dark evenings hibernating indoors in style. These are a few of my favourite ways to spend the season:
1. Indulging in all the most wonderful festive traditions. Deck the halls (or at least your own living room), go ice skating at an outdoor rink, listen to carollers singing outdoor, drink mulled wine, bake gingerbread, and snuggle indoors with hot chocolate and the most wonderfully cheesy holiday movies you can find.
2. Spending chilly evenings at a wonderfully grand old theatre or concert hall. Each year since moving to England, I look forward to the English National Ballet performing The Nutcracker (my very favourite ballet) at the London Coliseum, and this year is no different. My favourite Christmas tradition (I feel like an excited small child being read the most wonderful bed time fairy tale as I watch the ballerinas leap and twirl around the stage).
3. Play in the snow. If the snow falls where you live, make the most of it; build a snowman, have a snowball fight, take pictures of your favourite spots beneath a fluffy white blanket and wear your sparkliest jewels and snuggliest layers (but don’t forget the sensible footwear!).
4. Spend an entire weekend blissfully hibernating. When the weather is too cold and grizzly to fathom venturing outdoors, practice the art of blissful hibernation instead. Light your favourite scented candles, put on your favourite tunes, take a bubble bath, drink champagne and watch back-to-back Audrey Hepburn movies.
5. Throw a fantabulous soiree. Host a small but darling dinner party (complete with whimsical party favours), a movie marathon (with a popcorn bar), a board game night (with retro snacks and scrabble boards) or an afternoon tea party for your girlfriends.
6. Try a new recipe. I love putting my stove to good use on cold evenings (all part of the blissful hibernation) and have been baking homemade bread, pears poached in red wine and goats cheese tartlets. Delicious smells make a house feel like a home!
7. Indulge in decadent small pleasures. In winter, when hidden beneath thick, wooly layers, the temptation can be to hop out of bed and into the nearest warm clothes. But in my book, there is something so luxurious about slathering on a layer of decadent body lotion and slipping into the most gorgeous, silky lingerie I own (it’s all the more special because only I know it’s there).
8. Upgrade everyday essentials. As with the above, there is something wonderful about your everyday essentials having a touch of the fabulous about them. I’m gradually replacing all my tights, tshirts, sweaters, nightwear and other ‘ordinary’ wardrobe essentials with beautifully silky versions that feel a little more indulgent (hello, cashmere socks on icy days!).
9. Send a flurry of snail mail to friends near and far. Who doesn’t love getting post that isn’t a bill? Make your dear friends around the world smile with some delightful post in the mailbox. Hand-write a letter, make a list of all the things you love about them, spray it with your favourite perfume, pop in a few things you know they will adore and pop it in the post.
10. Do one thing in your own city you’ve always meant to try. It might be a wonderful museum you’ve always meant to visit, or a restaurant you’ve longed to try, or a neighbourhood you’ve never visited. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to go to the annual Carols from Kings service with the Clever Boyfriend (who is now a fellow at Kings College) – a beloved Cambridge tradition that I would watch on the BBC every year on Christmas Day with my family – and it was even more magical and moving in person and reminded me to always play tourist in your own city.
And with that, I’m off to put on my Ratpack Christmas album!
What are some of your favourite wintery adventures? I’d love to hear!
Love, Miss B xx