Winter prep list

As much as I am loving the late October sunshine and unusually high temperatures here in Paris, I am also embracing the fact that winter is approaching and, once again, daydreaming of spending long dark nights strewn across cushions, with the wafting scent of a log fire filling my nostrils, whilst Scandi dream-pop soothes my eardrums.

I love summer picnics and swims but Autumn is my season seeing as few things fill me with more joy than chunky coats, soft blankets and the indulgence of wrapping all the senses in soft things. It is a time for indulging in soothing foods, aka soup, long chats, good books and the over usage of sibilance.

The daylight dwindles and so it is essential to keep the mood happy and mellow by adjusting to the most relentless season with some comforting purchases and preparations. Call it Hygge, call it hibernation, call it what you like. I am going to share my Autumn-going-into-winter wish list with you. Get prepared for snuggles and warm happy feelings in the pit of your belly.

In the winter you need a good boot and for the last twenty or so years, my boot of choice has been a pair of Doc Martens. When it comes to shoes I like to have an extensive but routined collection that remains practical (no heels) and within the parameters of what I know makes me happy and, most importantly, comfy: silver Chelsea boots and black trainers (Vans, Fila, Adidas, Puma mostly). As the weather gets wetter I swap my trusty Birkestocks for my DM’s and stomp my way merrily into the next Spring. These DMs, by the brilliant artist and AFROPUNK collaborator Smaïl Kanouté, are so my cup of tea. Fresh design on a classic style (the 1460 boot) is the best. I adore the Africa inspired prints, which were inspired by Xuly Bët. I met Lamine Badian Kouyaté, the designer behind Xuly Bët, coincidentally here in Paris, and he was so inspiring that he amplified my already strong interest in African influenced fashion design. Needless to say, to see such strong prints on my favourite boots has triggered a lust for yet another pair. Just look at those beauties!

Nobody wants to step onto a cold floor on a freezing and dark winters morning. Give those tootsies some soothing with a soft bedside rug I say. I have recently discovered Pimkie’s home range, despite having lived in France for almost 3 years, and now I am hooked, especially when it comes to their home stuff. The prices are reasonable and they cover all the home trends so you can adjust the look of a room with a few cushions, a macrame hanging, pom-pom baskets or a cute rug. A cozy nest made in a few steps for only a few bucks. Bingo!

Little Children is the alias of Linus Lutti’s music project from Stockholm. I will always have a weakness for Swedish pop; like Swedish design, it feels uncomplicated and pellucid. Lutti has this soft uplifting voice, making songs that sound a bit like a calmer Scandi Springsteen but more relaxing, and minus all the Americana. It is the kind of music that makes you feel better when you are done in from a hectic schedule and just want to chill your way into slumber.

To me fig smells like puddings and winter walks through forests, which means during the darker months I just want to douse myself in the scent. It is often mixed with citrus and so can be considered a summer scent but I like it with woodier notes when it becomes rich and a bit dramatic. I have been a long-term convert to Jo Malone’s fig candles and lotions and having run out of the now hard to acquire Fig and Cassis Cologne my bestie found a match in an artisan perfumery on a small Greek island during the summer. So many cheers! This scent by Joe Loves is mixed with truffle and crisp pine to make you feel like you have just returned from a boxing day woodland walk even if you are actually sat on the underground again.

On dark cold nights I long, yet again, to read Little Women and get nostalgic for writing a diary or long letters. My handwriting has often been described as being like a spider that has fallen in ink then freaked out across a page and I have to say that it is an accurate description. Despite this, I love to sit with a candle and a cup of cocoa or a glass of Bordeaux and write to myself or others. Winter feels like the best time to indulge in being a technophobe and enjoy pen and ink, accompanied by old records. The best thing to do before sending a letter is  to give it the stamp of approval and these wooden stamps mix wood and lace so could not be more comforting. Old fashioned and oh so good.

The book and film make me weep every time.

If like me, you don’t have a fireplace, then despair not, the Muji Open Fire candle has been my go-to for so many winters now and fills whatever space I am in with the scent of burning kindling. Aaaah!

If like me, you don’t have a fireplace, then despair not, the Muji Log Fire candle has been my go-to for so many winters now – I buy loads and give them as gifts – and fills whatever space I am in with the scent of burning kindling. Aaaah!

Go get cosy!