Spring. A season of rebirth and hope and harvest. It gives us a reason to look forward to the days ahead. Nothing is more hopeful that this particular season of harvest. We make plans but with caution, coming out of this pandemic has left us all, all of us with an indelible scar. We are forever changed by this pandemic and I am hopeful it is for the better.

Whilst we cannot make those plans just yet, plan with reckless abandon that is, we have course to hope for better days and taking baby steps towards those days. With that in mind, here are some things we ought to look forward to doing in Spring.


ROSÉ SEASON

Nothing defines the spring summer months like Rosé; the flirtiest drink there is. There is something ever so fun about a good bottle of Rosé between friends. And what do you know; we are into the first days of easing lockdown just as the proper spring weather is upon us with the sun rising and blue skies. I am sitting at my desk typing this and it is absolutely gorgeous out there; a small reward perhaps from Mother Nature. Host a Rosé tasting session in a friend’s garden; you don’t need a sommelier to do this, Rosé is an easily uncomplicated bottle of fizz. Get your friends to send around their favourite bottles so you have something different to rate. The winning bottle is the one you pop for your next dinner in person… roll on June. Aix Rosé is an icon among Rosés. Mirabeau en Provence is another really fantastic option.


THE SPRING BAG

In the spring summer months, I like to swap the clunky darker heavy leather bags I tote around in the autumn and winter for lighter more frivolous bags. Having searched around I have settled for this bag from Anthropologie in their collaboration with Hotel Magique. Its the ideal bag for everything- to get on a plane (soon), to the beach, the park, in town to meet friends… With a long and short strap and pockets inside it makes life a lot less of a hassle. This is Madam approved so go ahead and treat yourself.

Buy here; sold out in the green but the red is pretty too.


PICNIC IN THE PARK FOR ONE

I love a good picnic its what I look forward to the most in the warmer months. Take a good book with you, get some cheeses, bottle of rose, grapes, brownies, a nice blanket and head out for your government approved alone time in the park.


TRAVEL THROUGH CUISINE

I have taken to cooking a lot now that I am forced to get acquainted with my kitchen and I also have a love of travel; now that I cannot get on a plane for a while at least, I travel by a different means; cuisine and wine. With much of the world still grappling with this pandemic, we have to remember the times when we were able to roam the streets of Rome, enjoyed eating Amala in Shitta, or a bottle of Sangria in the market halls of San Sebastian. It’s the memories that hold us in and make us want to return. And one day, I hope to return to Sienna Italy. The last two times I have been there were on day trips from Florence, the next time I am there I hope to stay for more than a day. Discovering Sienna in a day is not enough but on one of these days I remember ambling north down the side streets from the shelled Piazza del Campo whilst a bike race was being held. I remember the day like yesterday, it was raining but spectators were out in their droves. I skirted the crowds, travelled the side streets and ducked into a restaurant to avoid the pouring rain. It ended up being the best meal I had for a time in Italy. It was pasta of course, but the past was red with prawns, perfectly plated and served. On first sight I was unsure but on first taste, I was sold. Every time I think of Sienna, I cannot shake this moment, a moment of peace whilst the world carried on excitedly outside. On occasion I try to remake this pasta but without much success, every time better than the last. A part of me does not want to get it right if only to return.

I have the very perfect pasta recipe going on my newsletter which you should most certainly sign up for. But anyway, its spring, a moment of travel, so travel through cuisine.


FLOWERS & CANDLES

These will never get old for me. Flowers are how the home smiles and candles are how we welcomes guests into our spaces. So get yourself some flowers and make a moment of arranging it, together with music and maybe a glass of something fun. I straddle between a rosé or a Macallan tamed with ice.


A GOOD READ

Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola; I have re-read this book twice since my last read and its such a book that you can read a story a day as an anthology of love stories it is the perfect accompaniment for the spring mornings or evening or moments when you need to switch off.

What Kind of Woman by Katie Baer– an utterly joyful collection of poems. This gem sears right into the heart of who we are as women, it goes through every layer of our lives as we meandre through this world, seen and unseen, even when we feel we are alone, this book reminds us, we are not alone; in our joy, our sadness, through the good, the bad and the many layers in between.

Also, give a gift of a good book, help spread the word of books that have touched you in many ways and mean something to you, help other people discover the books that moved you and lifted your heart. In lockdown I have discovered and rediscovered books that have meant something to me at one point or another and it is my absolute pleasure to gift book baskets and flowers to friends. It makes us remember that outside of our walls we remain connected.


A DATE WITH YOURSELF

Make a date with yourself when you are not in touch with the outside world, and keep it sacred. I lost my phone a few weeks back, and I was shocked how affected I was by it; i was only about fifteen minutes without the phone but I went from zero to sixty in a few short seconds, imagining the worst. It dawned on me how reliant I am on this small rectangle that connects me to the wider world; it was not a feeling I particularly enjoyed so I’ve been doing a conscious thing of going without my phone on the odd days. Switching off is a different kind of relief and it helps keep the barrage of news at bay especially because we are still coming out of this pandemic gradually. So this is going to be a habit that sticks because sometimes, we do not need to be involved in every breaking news and trend. If it helps go one step further and step outside of your house before the sun rise without your phone and see the most enchanting time of the day set the tone; when the sun touches all in its sight before the cock crows and the first stir. The air still bites but the silence makes it delightful. There are many great things about life but few can compare to the joy of chasing the sun rise.

Make a list of what you want to do each time you have a date with yourself, and do one thing from that list. It can be anything from making a meal, a bath or learning an instrument or anything at all. It need not cost you anything but will mean the world to you so make a date or several dates with yourself and do something you have always wanted to do.

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