I knew this week was going to be busy. I quit my job and started picking up work straight away, it was my birthday and we had a big trip around the corner. What a great time for a winter staycation! Actually, it kind of was. Finishing up work and scheduling lots of exciting things combined with house and wedding decisions had left me completed frazzled.
In fact, I’m still frazzled – I’m sleeping anywhere and everywhere and am pretty sure I’m getting ill. But, you guys know me and Toff love to travel and go away so what better reason than me hitting the big 3-0? This is my favourite time of year to plan a winter staycation. We normally head to The Cotswolds for a festive break followed by a weekend in London but this year we’re doing things a bit differently. We headed to the beautiful Hoar Cross Hall near Staffordshire to spend the weekend hopping from one spa experience to the next, eating our way through the menu in between and binge watching Ozark (have you watched this? It’s amazing!).
Ok, it sounds really boring but this is a total luxury for a self confessed workaholic! So, if you’re starting to feel the stress of Christmas or need something to look forward to, here are 5 reasons why you should take a break!
YOU CAN PRETEND YOU LIVE IN LUXURY
Country estate? Sure! Four poster bed? And what? There’s something about a winter staycation venues that are so quintessentially charming that it’s not too far removed to imagine it could be yours! There’s nothing worst than going to a hotel and feeling completely out of place. Whether it’s stark Skandi-style surroundings or an alienating atmosphere, hotel’s need to be the right fit for you and a country house is everyone’s cup of tea.
YOU CAN PACK AS MUCH AS YOU WANT
These days my packing contents goes something like this – my stuff, shooting stuff, might-shoot-if-have-time stuff and all-weather stuff. I took more with me last weekend than on a 2-week holiday abroad. Why? Because I can! When you opt for a winter staycation you don’t have to choose between coats and jumpers – you can bring it all, for free!
YOU CAN TRY OUT ALL THOSE ‘SPECIAL’ PRODUCTS
How many face masks/bath salts/pyjamas have you stowed away to save them for a special occasion? I do this all the time and they are piling up. I’m not ever sure what justifies as a special occasion! But if you can’t indulge in a little self-love on your winter staycation when can you? This is all about maximising your pleasure (easy!) and if you want to laze away the weekend then absolutely you should! These are some of the products I took with me to try something new
INSTANT BOOST SKIN TONIC BY LIZ EARLE
Doesn’t the name just sell it to you instantly? It did me as my skin always loves a good boost! I’ve really got into toners recently and with the winter weather making my skin ultra sensitive this has skin-soothing calendula, chamomile and cucumber to bring it back to good health again.
REVITALISE AND GLOW SERUM BY AURELIA PROBIOTIC SKINCARE
This brand just keeps getting better and better, it’s so exciting to see. Probiotics have the ability to calm the natural immune triggers in your skin that tend to be overstimulated by pollution and stress. So it protects my skin on more of a cellular level which is perfect with the stress I’m under at the moment.
HYDRA NOURISH NIGHT CREAM BY ELEMIS
I’ve always loved Elemis products but like most brands, I dip in and out of them. But their night cream has got me crawling back again. With my skin a little drier this time of year, its high hyaluronic acid content plumps out my complexion overnight leaving it dewy and fresh.
RELAX BODY OIL BY AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES
Accidentally all these products are natural but I do turn to more organic brands this time of year as they’re kinder and more nourishing. If you don’t know where to start, read this! Don’t get me wrong, I still love my retinol but our skin is contending with enough right now. I’m guilty of hopping out of a warm shower and into something warm and snuggly because it’s freezing but it leaves my skin so dry. Lately I’ve been using this amazing body oil and it feels so much healthier already.
DEEP SLEEP BRETHE BY THIS WORKS
I’m a sucker for a good sleep aid and this one is perfect. It smells heavenly thanks to the Frankincense and Eucalyptus blend. I roll it over my pulse points like my wrists and throughout the night I get little hints of it to relax my senses.
SHOP THE BEAUTY
YOU WILL FEEL CHRISTMASSY INSTANTLY
It gets to this time of year and I’m trying to hold back my excitement for the festive season as I know that not everyone (ahem, my family) are that keen on the joyous holiday. But whenever I go on a weekend break in the UK, all bets are off . The villages are lit up, the Christmas trees are in the foyers, the fires are roaring and the mulled wine is firmly on the pub’s menu. Even those wet, grey days we’re so quick to moan about are suddenly welcomed with cups of tea and an excuse to hit the sauna.
YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH THE UK ALL OVER AGAIN
Having an appreciation for the country you live in can be difficult. We take it or granted and get lost in the political debates, unreliable public transport and the daily grind. I know I’ve cursed our country when I’m battling with an inside out umbrella in torrential rain with ruined 4 inch heels and a day of meetings ahead of me. But a winter staycation is on your terms. You’re not experiencing the country at its worst out of necessity, you’re choosing to see it at its best with nothing but hopeful optimism. After a couple of days taking in the stunning scenery, sampling the local delicacies and meeting some fellow Brits, you’ll remember what an incredible country we live in.