One of the things we love most about living in the UK is the change in the seasons: summer often being the biggest clanger. When autumn rolls in, we all take a collective sigh of relief that at least this temperate climate does autumn well. York in particular (where our shop is) is spectacular at this time of year. The orange and brown leaves start to litter the green areas and tree-lined street, the smell of cocoa hangs low in the air (a phenomena you have to visit York to experience; the comforting smell of chocolate billowing subtly from the chocolate factories). The beautiful skylines are crisp and open and as the days get shorter we are blessed with a city bustling with festivity and cosiness (maybe not on race days, but even then it has its pockets of charm).
To honour this we put our heads together and decided to launch a new series. To highlight the change in the seasons we will do a round up of some of our favourite things that make this time of year so magical, including one local shout-out, a special seasonal treat for those people visiting the shop in York so experience.
- It is officially cosy season
Let’s get this one out of the way first. There is absolutely no denying that as the days get shorter and the bite in the air starts to nip at our toes, our home becomes our cave of safety and warmth. The first time I wrap that blanket around myself while Bake-Off starts, the happier I feel. We have some beautiful blankets in the shop at the moment, for exactly this purpose (here)
2. Easy One-Pot cosy dinners.
Although I absolutely love the culinary offerings of all seasons, there is something really special about returning home to the smell of your slow cooker. It’s like a nutricious gift from ‘morning you’ and when you are tired and cold from the commute home, it is one of the small pleasures I can never get enough of.
Some of my real favourites are:
Nigella Lawson’s Divine Chicken with Orzo (link here)
Half Baked Harvest’s Slow Cooker Ragu (link here)
Akis Petreksikis Chicken and Chickpea soup (link here)
3. Bramble Picking
Something that takes all us lucky ones back to childhood, the stained fingertips of blackberry picking is still something I do with my own kids today. The tasty, berried weeds can be found in any environment, and unite us city and countryside dwellers in their delicious wholemsome activity. In York, they grow down the riverbanks, in the beautiful cemetery and out at Rawcliffe Ings. I am traditional and tend to end up with them in a crumble, but found this delicious Blackberry and Apple Pie cocktail from local distillary Sloe Motion recently. It is absolutely delicious.
50ml Bramble Whisky
Four fresh blackberries
One slice of fresh ginger
Cloudy apple juice
Cinnamon stick (to stir)
Muddle three fresh blackberries and one slice of fresh ginger in the bottom of an old fashioned glass, add ice, 50ml Bramble Whisky, top up with cloudy apple juice and garnish with a cinnamon stick (to stir) and a blackberry. Also good heated.
4. Spices and Scents
There is something so evocative about the smells at this time of year. The cinnamon and nutmeg in your spiced latte, the crackle and wood of chimneys smoking, the smell of orange peel on your fingertips. And most importantly for us, the scent of your favourite autumn candle. I base my whole home around scent and I like it to match the ambience and create a sense of security. This is why we launched our Midwinter Scent. It is only available for a limited time throughout the year and this exclusivity has created associations around the smell alone. We are currently taking deposits here and on Fri 1 Oct Midwinter lands.
5. The Clothes and Shopping Trips
Our favourite season of all. Coats can come out of storage and our favourite knits go on. Layers, sumptuous fabrics and warm socks and hats make getting dressed so much more fun. If you are nipping into York to buy your winter clothes (Browns have some amazing knits in right now), we recommend a gorgeous brunch at Ralph Fiennes’ new favourite Partisan; a stunning vegan hot choccy from the incredible Tempt York; a beautiful pastry from Flori Bakery and a cultural thirst-quencher at the new Thomas Gainsborough exhibition at York Art Gallery that starts on Oct 1. Most importantly though (wink wink), nip into the shop and see our exclusive new stock. We have launched a full new range of ghost candles that are currently available in store only and they are super cute. So come and meet LYCCander and show us all your new purchases.