Last week I flew back to the UK from Texas, leaving behind 25c sunshine – the kind of sunshine we just don’t experience in the UK. This week I left the house and was greeted with 1c frost. The funny thing is, I don’t know which I enjoyed more; both brought bright sunshine to my day, one with a crisp undertone that meant it was time to dig out my winter hat (finally!), the other meant digging out my bikini. One meant time spent by the pool the other meant time spent indoors, baking my Christmas cake.

Hot tub and pool in the sunshine

Not exactly the worst way to end a weekend 😉

Christmas is officially here (well, the Christmas ads have all been released and are appearing as sponsored content on every corner, and the battle of the Christmas sandwiches has begun). In the spirit of the (pre-)festive season, we’re filling November with practical advice for winter.

Our Must Try for November wasn’t one of our usual recommendations, so to make up for it we’ll be sharing plenty of our winter favourites this month: think cosy coats and warm boots to beat the cold. The impending festive season also means Christmas parties and outfit planning. Glitter will be in abundance this year.

Woman sat at a laptop holding a mug of tea

For years I used to dread winter. Even autumn. I just couldn’t see any light in the seasons: waking up in the dark, leaving work in the dark, the risk of catching the office cold (or worse). I loved summer; BBQs, the beach, sunshine, warm weather, iced lattes – sunshine just puts everyone in a good mood. But over the past couple of years I’ve slowly learnt to love the winter months. Roast dinners, cosy jumpers, hot chocolate, months before I have to wear a bikini again. Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night, Christmas, New Year. There’s a lot to be said about these next few months, and I’m currently so excited about Christmas that the distant memory of summer has left a bad taste of sticky, sleepless nights and the feeling that you ‘should’ be doing something all the time, to make the most of the sun, instead of just going home and relaxing. You ‘should’ be getting beach-body (yuck) ready, you ‘should’ be dropping carbs in favour of smoothie bowls. Winter gives you a break; it’s ok to do nothing, it’s ok to eat your favourite dessert, it’s ok to hide indoors and watch your favourite film for the 27th time. Winter wraps you up and tells you it’s ok to be yourself.

Winter is the perfect excuse – hibernation is expected of us.

This afternoon I sat on the sofa, preparing to do some work, and drank a mug of Whittards salted caramel hot chocolate, topped with a handful of Freedom marshmallows. I have all the ingredients I need to make a roast dinner, and am planning an apple crumble for dessert. Or panettone. Can’t do that in July.

 

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