November is not my favourite month. The clocks have gone back and the trees are getting bare, we’re plunged into darkness and Christmas still seems far away. It’s one of my busiest months in my work calendar too, but this year I’ve been determined to make the most of it by planning some wee treats to look forward to and reframing how I see this time of year. Here are five ways I’m reclaiming November.
I’ve always loved learning and am happiest when getting to grips with a new skill. Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to an embroidery workshop with Morris & Co. and Niamh Wimperis from the BBC’s Victorian House of Arts and Crafts. A flying visit to London later and I now know how to do split stitch and French knots! It was truly a therapeutic evening that filled up my creative cup. Niamh is running Christmas workshops if you’re lucky enough to live nearby – you won’t find a lovelier teacher. Be sure to check out the Morris & Co. space at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour too – so beautifully curated.
2) Seasonal dining
It can be hard to resist the urge to hunker down and stay in as the nights draw in and the weather gets colder. However, I was determined to make sure there were some evenings out in the diary and have been impressed I’ve been able to stay awake of a weekend evening to enjoy both a 27.Elliott’s Autumn Suppers and the Free Company Scotland’s Winter Series. The former was a cosy evening of seasonal delights including the most amazing fermented potato flatbreads and bread ice cream. A veritable carb fest! I was excited for our trip to the Free Company after hearing such great things and it didn’t disappoint. A communal, seasonal dining experience just outside of Edinburgh, with mocktails sipped around the stove and a four course extravaganza at the most epic table in their hayloft. I can’t wait to go back in a new season – the epitome of cosyness in winter, I can imagine the endless summer nights too.
3) Cosy Pursuits
Continuing the theme of learning, I also made sure that I booked the candle making workshop my Mum got me for my birthday in November. I adore local company Can to Candle’s delectable soy candles and have chatted with Kerry online for yonks now! So it was a delight to learn how to make my own soy candles around her cosy kitchen table in Midlothian. A stone’s throw from Edinburgh, we felt so at home in Kerry’s cottage. I learned so much about how to use candles properly, as well as the blend of art and science that is candle making. You can see more pics of the day in my Instagram Story highlights.
4) Support local
Is it too early to say the C word? There have been some fab festive fairs in and around Edinburgh and even though it still seems a little too early (I’m a firm believer in no decorations until December!) there’s no harm in getting organised. Last weekend we headed to Cambo Gardens in St Andrews, which was full of local makers. I picked up some gorgeous semi-dried flowers that gardener Faye picked freshly for me as I waited and left with a head full of ideas.
If in doubt, embrace hibernation season! After all that, and a busy few weeks at work, frankly I’d tired myself out. One head cold later and my body was telling me to rest. This is something I’m working on but I don’t find it easy! I’ve been trying my best (probably the problem?) to embrace some downtime by rereading favourite Nigel Slater and watching the new series of The Crown. Any switching off tips welcome! What are you doing this November where you live?
Photos via the Everything Looks Rosie Instagram.