Even though I work from home, there is still something particularly delicious about the idea of a Bank Holiday. Sunday turns into one long idyllic day with none of the usual Sunday night dread. The extra day off feels like the nicest kind of gift.
I can’t say that I usually plan anything particularly note-worthy for Bank Holidays. Not working in an office means there’s no need to string together a cheeky week off, so I tend to treat them as a blessed break from email, and a chance to hunker down and Get Stuff Done.
This past one was a great example – I managed to combine large amounts of endeavour with lots of time with family and friends; really that’s the perfect combination.
I started Friday with a PR breakfast at Colbert in Sloane Square, which is notoriously dog-friendly, and bakes the only dog biscuits that madam will deign to eat.
Friday afternoon was spent in taking my sister the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead for her monthly MS drug infusion on Friday, and collecting the dogs from her so that she could recover in peace overnight.
I then darted around NW1 on long-overdue errands, from stopping at the cobbler to collect my winter boots, now re-heeled, polished and de-scuffed, (although it’s painful shelling out all that cash on things that won’t be worn for months, it’s worth it not to pull out knackered footwear when the seasons change again; I use K&H on Eversholt Street) via ParcelForce & the sorting office to collect missed parcels.
Hannah and Mark were in Kings Cross for meetings so they swung by Camden at the end of the day for restorative tea and chat, and we ended up strolling down the road into Camden Stables Market to eat Mexican by the Regents Canal at Café Chula, and then bickered gently over the nitrogen ice cream menu board at Chin Chin Labs (tonka bean with fresh raspberry sauce for me, and caramel with caramel French toast nuggets and Valrhona chocolate sauce for Hannah, in case you are interested.)
We ate so early – like complete nannas at 1745, and it was still light when we were done, so I walked the dogs in Regent’s Park afterwards.
A lie-in was on the agenda on Saturday morning but it turns out that having three small sausage dogs in one’s bed is not conducive to this. Ziggy jumped on my head around 0530, and Maisie followed suit not long after. Their absolute speciality is to tick their tiny trotters into the small of my back like tiny furious donkeys.
I read the papers on my ‘phone, ate my breakfast in bed, and fell asleep again. Bang went most of my morning, the rest of which I spent pottering about sorting and tidying and attacking the seemingly endless washing pile.
Silver sandals: Marks & Spencer’s.
Striped Shirt Dress: The White Company (gifted)
Happily the dogs were being returned to Holly with full honours on Saturday lunchtime, so I persuaded her that we should really take them for a walk, which turned into a three hour leisurely ramble across Hampstead Heath in the glorious sunshine, thanks to the Velcro nature of a small sausage dog pack – everyone wants to stop and talk and pet the Tiny Terrors, and my sister seemingly knowing every other person out on the Heath that afternoon.
Behold! Shiny without, spotless within.
I dedicated Saturday night to a terrible movie on Netflix (The Kissing Booth), whilst sorting out five plastic bins of half used beauty products, and cleaning out my bathroom shelves. It was a hugely pleasing exercise, not least because I now know where all my makeup is, and have rediscovered several favourites.
My original plan for the Sunday was a housewarming party (a year after I moved in). But my garden wasn’t anywhere near ready, and I’m still waiting for some furniture to arrive for the flat. So it turned instead into lunch for just Hannah, Mark and I (Rachel dropped out at the last minute) as none of us need an excuse to sit in the sun and eat good food.
I made houmous, an iceberg salad with cashew and chive ranch dressing with toasted hazelnuts, a barley, cucumber and mint pilaf, roasted cherry tomatoes and an aubergine and tomato stew from Nargisse Benkabbou’s new book Casablanca.
Pink Ridged Porcelain Plate: H&M (sold out). Large Pink Dinner Plate: IKEA.
Splatter Dinner Plate: H&M. Vintage cutlery: Ebay
Pudding was an orange baked cheesecake, topped with caramelised nespoles (loquats), inspired by one I had eaten at Petersham Nurseries recently.
Mark drank Miller’s Gin with St Germain and tonic, Hannah had Beefeater’s new strawberry gin with crushed strawberries and tonic, and I had Seedlips and tonic because I was off the alcohol for the day.
Lunch over, we did the washing up, I strapped up the dogs and we all walked through Regent’s Park to put H&M on the train at Great Portland Street.
I’m not sure what I did for the rest of the day but I think it involved the sofa.
And Monday – well, I spent five hours in the garden on Monday, finally getting all my hanging baskets up, and filling my window boxes with nodding tiny violas. My kitchen floor had to be seen to be believed afterwards, as it turned out that Lettice was zooming in and out with her little paws covered in mud.
Chloe came over in the early evening and we planned a Pond swim, Heath walk and a picnic. Sadly the Pond was shut because of the risk of lightening, and then the heavens opened as we arrived on Parliament Hill so we did our half hour walk in absolutely torrential rain. I’m not sure that Lettice has forgiven me yet. Oh and we ate my lovingly prepared picnic in my sitting room…