The thing I've come to realise over the years is that the key to a true luxury is keeping it a special once in a while thing. For example, every Christmas Eve, T and I enjoy what we call our 'feast'. We prepare a spread of special luxury foods that we rarely eat the rest of the year round (and certainly not all at once!) - smoked salmon, caviar, avocado & king prawn salad, crusty french bread, oysters (fresh & smoked) etc., all washed down with champagne and followed by a wickedly tempting dessert. We have maintained this tradition for 22 years now, ever since our first Christmas together. As far as I remember, we haven't missed a year - but it has been a strictly once a year thing. And for that reason it has stayed special, something we can look forward to and really enjoy without it becoming stale or boring. Dining on these foods all the time would rob the event of its magic - as well as being prohibitively expensive!
Recently I've been thinking about the little luxuries I enjoy and how keeping them as luxuries really makes them that much more enjoyable. Because of this, they never fail to put a smile in my heart. Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favourite things:
- My subscription to 'Sagewoman' magazine. Sagewoman is an American magazine which is hard to find here in the UK. So I have a subscription and once every quarter a lovely thick, glossy new copy plops through the letter box and I find some me time to sit and enjoy every last delicious morsel of it.
- My special coffee mug. This is a mug I found in a charity shop and just fell in love with. It's a handmade earthenware one, and whilst this gives it a rustic solidity, at the same time its graceful curves and pretty speckled glaze lend it an air of delicacy. This is my special mug, not used for day to day cups of tea and instant coffee. No, this is the mug I use when I have time to make proper coffee (sometimes vanilla coffee, or hazelnut coffee if I'm feeling really decadent!), with plenty of boiled milk - homemade latte, I suppose. Yum!
- Although I can't often justify the time or the amount of hot water involved, I simply adore a long bath scented with something gorgeous from Lush. I often say I haven't yet found one of their products I don't like, so any of their bath bombs, bath melts or bubble bars fits the bill.
- A bag of Whittard's chocolate covered cappuccino coffee beans - bitter, sweet, crunchy - scrummy!
- 'Nest therapy'. This is the term I coined for some serious relaxation, when I'm absolutely exhausted and need to self-nurture. I simply pile up every pillow, cushion, blanket, duvet and eiderdown I can find, grab a stack of favourite reading material and a drink (perhaps cocoa if it's cold or home made lemonade if it's hot), and snuggle into my 'nest'.* I read if I want to, or snooze if even that's too much trouble! Nest therapy is cosy in winter and simply divine under a shady tree on the lawn in the middle of summer.
What are a few of your favourite things, your magical little luxuries? Do leave a comment letting me know!
* White peacocks are, of course, optional.