typical british summertime, eh? no sooner than you get used to the idea that we might actually be having a proper summer this year then around rolls a right ol’ wash-out of a weekend to dampen your spirits. that said, with the heavens pouring down outside and no reason to venture further than your sofa for your weekend downtime, comes the perfect excuse for a sunday afternoon of pure escapism in your own home that – for once – doesn’t involve switching the telly on..
i’m talking about books! there’s something classically ‘summertime’ about reading i find, a sentiment held over from six long weeks of school with nothing much to do except frequent the library and take part in their annual reading challenges. since moving home and cutting out my daily commute into the big smoke, i’ve found my reading time dwindling right down to zero, as its something i’d become to associate (as an adult) with filling the time whilst travelling. so, in the past month or so i’ve made a real effort to make reading a part of my daily routine again.
now, in order to ensure reading becomes a habit i don’t want to break, i’ve added in a few luxury components to my reading routine..
1. comfy sofa
i love a portable a habit reading is. i love to read in coffee shops, on the train down to london, sitting out by the quays in the sunshine, but at home i love to read on my sofa. there’s something about being able to snuggle right down into the crook of an arm, surrounding by squidgy cushions, blankets close to hand, and a table at your side laden with tea and treats.. i’ve even been thinking that i need to invest in a reading chair in my bedroom, one i can place by the window and escape into a good book as the sun sets beyonds, but that’s a whole other story – and future blog post, surely! where’s your favourite place in your home to read?
2. luxe loungewear
i live in jeans, but when curled up on my sofa i like a far more comfortable outfit. luxe loungewear really has become a staple in my home life in the past few months, and my favourites right now are john smedley’s extra fine merino wool unisex trousers*, paired with soft gauzy linen tees from project social t. as the world’s oldest manufacturing factory in the world (established in 1784), john smedley really do make the world’s finest knitwear in my opinion, crafting beautiful, high quality garments here in britain that are designed to last. for summer, the soft honeycomb texture of their singular collection is perfect for snuggling on the sofa, as the breathable weave and quality of merino wool helps keep me feeling both cool and comfy.
3. stack of good books
having a stack of good books waiting to be read is the best way for me to keep the excitement of reading going. years ago i used to be a member of goodreads and set myself yearly reading challenges, but nowadays just scolling through instagram i’ll discover many great recommendations from friends to add to my ever growing reading list, and plan on doing the same going forward – sharing a few of my favourite recent reads with y’all on the ‘gram. i’ve also rediscovered the joys of book hunting in charity shops and have already picking up some great reads for a £1 or less to add to the stack! i’m always keen for more though, so if you’ve read anything wonderful recently be sure to leave me a note in the comments below..
4. a freshly brewed pot
i’m not normally a tea drinker (fun fact: i absolutely detest english breakfast tea!), but something about an afternoon of reading requires a pot of tea – as opposed to coffee – on the go, don’t you agree? i’ve developed a taste for herbal teas over the past few years and a few weeks ago picked up a bag of specially concocted manifestea – dandelion leaf, wild mint and english lavender – created by artist/curator mike chavez-dawson for the manifest arts festival 2017. a pot of this loose-leaf tea served in a dainty black regal peacock teacup* from burleigh pottery, serves as the perfect companion to an afternoon escaping into the world of another and letting your mind wander free and easy..
5. a stash of sweet treats!
of course, you can’t have a pot of tea on the go without a little sweet treat to accompany it, right? i discovered cocoa tree on a visit to chorlton recently, cute little café and chocolate shop, where they make beautiful small-batch chocolates by hand on the premises, including a number of dairy-free dark chocolate options – i’m currently munching my way through a pack of their dark chocolate with caramelised hazelnut shards, which is rather delicious! other little treats i like to indulge in as i read include vegan chocolate truffles from terre à terre and vegan chocolate brownies.. do you sense a chocolatey theme emerging?
6. pampering skincare
lastly, i find that an afternoon of reading – or an hour of reading in the evening – presents the perfect opportunity to rid my face of make-up and treat it to a little pampering beforehand. as a recent convert to nuori, i’ve become increasingly intrigued by the ‘freshness’ of products i use on my skin. with nuori, a new batch of products is blended every 12 weeks, with each bottle marked with two dates: a start-using-by and an expiration date, to ensure the natural ingredients infused in the items are at their prime. i’m currently using their perfecting facial oil*, and find that its far better to apply the product earlier in the evening to give it plenty of time to sink into my skin.
some items in this post have been gifted to me by the respective brands, and are denoted with an asterisk*. all opinions and photography my own.