Scented candles. Most definitely a luxury. Do you need your living room to be sweetly perfumed with the heady scent of warming spices or wintry pine? Not really. And yet, of a winter’s evening, what could be more indulgent the perfume of a scented candle filling your home? It’s instantly relaxing, warming and comforting, and really makes things feel cosy. For an even more luxurious experience, why not light two candles simultaneously – combine a natural, woody fragrance with a homely, inviting sweet scent, for example? Spicy, sensual, woody and sweet, these are the scented candles we’ll be lighting up this season..
Occasionally we throw our arms up and admit: we’ve got it ALL wrong! This is one of those times. Instead of focusing on what we do first thing in the morning, what we should have been thinking about is how to spend the last ten minutes of our day. This feature might just change your life.
We often dismiss a little morning fatigue as an inconvenience, but here’s the reality. Missing sleep worsens your mood, weakens your memory, and harms your decision-making all day long. It scatters your focus, prevents you from thinking flexibly, and makes you more susceptible to anxiety. Read more: Harvard Business Review.
The area around Liverpool Street has a bit of a double personality. Monday to Friday, it’s all sharp suits, briefcase carrying and business meetings. Come the weekend, the City of London comes into its own, with markets at Spitalfields and Brick Lane, and all manner of merry revellers spilling out of the bars of Shoreditch. A stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station, although the Andaz Liverpool Street has a distinctly businessy feel during the week, it’s perfectly located for weekend stays and exploring the artistic delights of East London.
And The Room With A View project at the five-star luxury boutique hotel perfectly encapsulates this dichotomy. The hotel has commissioned four artists to transform rooms, inspired by the local area and its rich history and vibrant creative spirit. Being revealed gradually over a year-long period, each of the rooms is individually decorated – guaranteed you’ve never stayed anywhere like this before! A street art-style stay is pretty special, after all.
The first room to be unveiled was Chris Price’s Pearly Room: a monochromatic tribute to the flamboyant Pearly Kings and Queens of the East End. The level of detail in Price’s drawing is nothing short of remarkable, depicting Spitalfields Church, the streets around Brick Lane, and thousands of tiny pearly buttons. The story goes that in the 19th century a Japanese ship sunk in the Thames, along with a cargo of pearl buttons, which then washed up on shore. The local market traders took to sewing them onto their clothes, and the rest as they say…
The second room is inspired by the idea of being a flanêur and exploring the local area. Patrick Vale and Paul Davis’ One Day Walk documents the artistic pair’s nine-hour journey, starting with breakfast at St John Bread and Wine, and taking in iconic places along the way, including St Paul’s Cathedral and Columbia Road. It’s a fascinating overview of the area and its quirks – who says you need a city guide?
Andaz Liverpool Street’s Room With A View Large King rooms is now available to book from £378 on weekdays (Sunday to Thursday night) and £252 on weekends (Friday & Saturday) until July 2015. For further information about Andaz Liverpool Street telephone 0207 961 1234 or visit www.andazliverpoolstreet.com
One of our favourite Guardian features has to be the completely inspired Readers’ Recipe Swap. It’s a bit like one of your culinarily-inspired mates sharing their tried-and-tested tips – and there are always loads of scrumptious ideas to motivate you to get cooking. Or in this case – drinking! It’s that time of year when warming winter cocktails really come into their own – and these all look like tempting suggestions for cosy nights in.
Readers’ Recipe Swap: Your warm, spicy brews and fiery fizzes keep spirits high. Read more: The Guardian.
Chocolate. Culture. Can there be some way that we can combine two of our favourite leisure pursuits? It seems unlikely. But wait! Meet Sweet Theatre: a company making sublime chocolate bars inspired by none other than Mr William Shakespeare. Created to celebrate The Bard’s 450th anniversary, the chocolates are based on Shakespeare’s best-loved leading ladies.
Fancy the dark chocolate and mint? That’ll be Twelfth Night’s Viola. Or perhaps you’re more of a milk chocolate fan? Go for Hamlet’s tragic lady love Ophelia or either Beatrice (milk with honeycomb), Miranda (milk with sea salt).
Of course, there are appearances from all your Shakespeare favourites – Lady Macbeth is a dramatic, seductive dark chocolate with orange accents, while Romeo’s heartbroken sweetheart Juliet is a sweetly simple white chocolate. Once you’ve done the really big names, you should really make time for Rosalind and Katherina too… Heavenly flavours, high quality artisan chocolates and exquisite illustrations inspired by our greatest playwright – we’ve never found it so easy to convince ourselves of our need for chocolates….
For more information, see the Sweet Theatre website. You can also buy online at Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason.
Looking for work when you’re not working at the time can feel like quite a challenge. It’s great to be free of the job that you had perhaps grown tired of, but the lack of boundaries can present us with a blank canvas that feels overwhelming. Here are ways to apply some structure that will make the process of looking for work feel both productive and enjoyable.
Get out of the house
Staring at the same four walls every day will leave you feeling closed in and uninspired. Grab your laptop and head out to a coffee shop or any venue where you can take advantage of the wifi. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes to your productivity and positivity. Being around others in a busy atmosphere will help you feel connected with the world.
Structure your day
When we’ve been used to turning up to an office every day and adhering to someone else’s rules, having a lot of spare time suddenly can feel overwhelming. The best thing to do in these circumstances is manage your diary and plan your week. Apportion time for job searching, catching up with people etc. You’ll feel more in control of your week and you’ll make better use of all that time.
Work in some fun
Google is great, but when we’re looking for our next challenge, eight hours a day on it isn’t necessarily the best approach. Sitting in front of your computer for prolonged hours at a time might make you feel like you’re doing something but actually it can leave you feeling exhausted and disheartened. Ensuring you allow for some time out is really important. It’s often during these times that we have an inspired thought or a new opportunity is presented to us over coffee with an old friend. Make sure you have a balance of work and play in your day.
Talk about where you’re at
Thought leads to words, leads to action. Expressing where you currently are, ideas that you’re playing with and thoughts for the future is one of the best ways to reach your goal by the quickest route. It’s in the discussion of what’s running through your mind that often leads to greater clarity and also new opportunities presenting themselves to you. So don’t be afraid to share your ideas with those willing to be a helpful sounding board.
It can feel like an anxious time when we’re not sure where we’re headed. But it’s also an exciting time! A time of unknown possibilities and new adventures on the horizon. Allow your exploration to work its magic and don’t be too eager to ‘skip to the end’. Apply some patience and allow things to develop as they will, in the best way for you.
We should learn to develop a readier awareness of our beautifully miniscule place in the wider scheme of things, to free ourselves from our constant debilitating anxieties. Let’s take the time to bring a little perspective back to our needlessly tense and preciously brief lives.
For more interesting, introspective videos, see The School of Life’s YouTube channel.
When you’ve had one of those endless days at work. When you’ve woken up and pressed snooze again, again and… again. When it’s cold, dark and you just can’t wait to get home and find the sofa. Yep, these are all times when you’re probably promising yourself you’ll exercise tomorrow. So print out this cheat sheet of the top 20 reasons to exercise – and get out there!
A happier state of mind, a more productive day and better body confidence – just a few reasons why you need to start exercising right now. Read more. Get The Gloss.
Beer in a cocktail? OK, you could be forgiven for thinking “Have the RIH team been drinking?” The answer is no – we haven’t. But try one of the new cocktails available at the House of Peroni pop-up venue in London and we think you’ll agree that accompanied with the right ingredients, beer in cocktails works beautifully.
Our favourite? The Nerone is a surprising mélange of fresh and exotic flavours, served long – perfect for relaxed sipping, perhaps with a marinated olive or two to nibble on…
150ml-170ml Peroni Nastro Azzurro
20 ml lemon juice
10 ml hot chilli gomme (1kg caster sugar, 750ml water, 15 sliced Bird’s eye chillis – cooked for 15 minutes then strained.)
10 ml lapsang souchong gomme (1kg caster sugar, 750ml water, 20 Lapsang Souchong tea bags – cooked for 15 minutes then strained.)
20 ml passion fruit puree
Shake all ingredients together and then double strain into a long glass. Garnish with a passion fruit circle and a Bird’s eye chilli.
The House of Peroni is open 3rd– 31st October, Monday to Saturday, 12 noon to 12 midnight, at 64 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JX. The House is free to visit (18+ only), with events priced from £25. For more information and to book,see the House of Peroni website. More information on Burro & Salvia can be found on the store’s website.
That new winter coat/pair of boots/handbag you’re thinking of splashing out on? Save your cash and book a holiday. Why? Because research shows that experiences bring people more happiness.
Live in anticipation, gathering stories and memories. New research builds on the vogue mantra of behavioral economics. Read more: The Atlantic.