Doesn’t time fly whether you’re having fun or not? In the week since I first began writing about guilty luxuries, I’ve managed to resist buying my own Moleskin notebook. The urge to do so arose when I found my long lost Laura Ashley pen. I was always quite sad that my Laura Ashley pen was deemed to be largely inappropriate for work on wards. The NHS prefers black, and I felt a little glum when I realised even the prettiest blue spirally writing wouldn’t justify the use of the wrong coloured ink.
Anyway. Now I can use my favourite pen to write notes about my best clients. I’m not ready to leave the art of handwriting behind just yet. Being able to scrawl something in a notebook helps me to feel as though I exist in the physical world. Not doing so eventually leads to a shadow like existence as a freelance copywriter.
Now that I’ve stopped being as philosophical as I can possibly manage while mooning over a pen, I can delve into this week’s world of guilty luxuries.
A chicken brick from Habitat for effortless Sunday roasts
Whenever I think of Habitat, I think of my friend Cathy declaring that she had become a real grownup after buying her coffee mugs there. It feels like a slightly quirkier version of IKEA. The only downside to shopping there is that you won’t have an opportunity to eat a flimsy hotdog as a reward for navigating the displays.
Habitat’s chicken brick first entered my consciousness via Facebook. A few days before I had begun browsing through sofabeds. We need one for my daughter’s new room and a handy article from the Independent pointed me in Habitat’s direction. Thanks to my generally not giving a toss about Internet cookies, Habitat was able to push adverts in my direction as I scrolled through my Facebook feed to find a funny meme.
In a nutshell, the chicken brick is like a clay cooking device you lump your whole chicken into before roasting it. The aim is to produce the perfect roast, giving you the chance to impress those who spend their Sundays with you. I’m yet to buy or try one, but I’m giving it some serious thought. If anybody knows of a similar contraption that will remove the trauma that accompanie making crispy roast potatoes despite following Jamie Oliver’s recipe, do let me know.
Airport lounges that somehow make perfect financial sense
Over the last three decades I have only met one person who can resist the financial black hole that is your average airport: My Nan. Whenever I am allowed to roam free in one I will come close to spending a week’s wages. For example, when I recently flew to Jersey I armed myself with several OPI nail polishes, a bottle of Botannical gin, and a generously sized bottle of Chanel’s Gabrielle.
I can only remember one occasion where my journey through an airport (as a passenger) didn’t result in a financial onslaught: the time I paid to use an airport lounge. As I am six weeks away from flying out of Gatwick’s North Terminal, I’m weighing up the benefits that come with using each lounge. For the sake of my own sanity (and the opportunity to chase poached eggs with Prosecco), I’ll probably opt for the V. Lounge.
Forcing my friends to import vibrant red lipsticks from Sephora
One of the biggest perks that came with working as long haul cabin crew was the occasional visit to Sephora. My personal favourite was in Chicago’s Water Tower Place. Why? It’s where I discovered my favourite lipstick: Name Drop by Milk.
Like all that is good that comes from Sephora, you’re unlikely to find Milk’s lipsticks on our breezy British shores. It’s for that very reason that I gently request (coerce) my friends into buying some for me. In addition to clinging to my original Name Drop (it carries some sentiment), I now have three full tubes to work through.
Although red lipstick was a powerful part of my attire while I was still a lady in the skies, medicine doesn’t really call for it. Now that I have a few months to work from home, I’m going to don my lipstick with the same enthusiasm as when I was dressing up to work on a Boeing 747.
Hotel Chocolat’s chocolate covered coffee beans
I love caffeine. I love it in ALL of its glorious forms. I love the occasional mug my partner brings to me in bed. I love the two I chug before running out of the door to go to work. I love my lunchtime brew, my evening mug, and the ones I grab when I go to meet friends.
In a bid to find new ways to enjoy coffee in all of its glorious forms, I purchased some of Hotel Chocolat’s chocolate covered beans. Unlike the tonic/lime cold brew I drank in Dublin (it was like pouring death into my mouth), chocolate covered beans are an excellent new way to get a coffee hit. The East India Company’s offering is just as enticing, plus you can make sure it lands on your doormat pronto if you use Amazon Prime.
Finding the perfect place to unwind and get away from it all with the Landmark Trust
Would you like to sleep amongst Medieval castle ruins? Or, maybe you love the idea of snuggling in to a bed at the top of a perfectly round lighthouse? The Landmark Trust’s selection of short-term rentals present all kinds of opportunities to enjoy a unique holiday experience. For those who are big fans of the Great British staycation, each building provides a unique opportunity to indulge your inner Anglophile.
My personal favourite is the practically minuscule property pictured above. St. Winifred’s Well looks as though it has tumbled out of a fairytale and into our modern world. Its compact interior leaves just enough room for a couple to enjoy. But, I wouldn’t advise trying it if you’re prone to mid-holiday spats; there’s nowhere to escape but the countryside surrounding the property.
In my mind, it’s an excellent fit if you want to temporarily kiss goodbye to the rest of the world and de-stress for a few days. Three nights in St. Winifred’s Well would likely deliver the headspace anybody needs while they’re beating away the pressures of modern life.
From the little luxuries that make life bearable to the ones that are on some dreamy type of horizon, I’m hoping for a better list next week. So far it features one eye-wateringly expensive Shiraz. For now, I’ll return to my dreams of a great escape to St. Winifred’s Well.