Samantha's February Love List

I spend a lot of time asking everyone I know for their latest 'most loved' recommendations to help while away the winter months in lockdown - here's a lowdown of the ones I have loved the best, along with some other bits and pieces that have made me smile!

The Sculpture

We came across these beautiful woven willow and hazel sculptures when walking up the valley to the Rollright Stones on a beautifully sunny (and very muddy) winter morning.

The Chickens

This is Scramble, one of our much-loved lockdown pure breed Bantams - she is a Silkie. We bought six chicks at the beginning of the first lockdown and ironically they too are now in Avian Flu lockdown - they normally roam and peck around the garden but currently have to be locked up in their coop. As a family we obsess over and talk about them incessantly (there isn't much else to talk about 11 months into lockdown) and they always bring a smile to my face. Here is Scramble pre and post scruffing around in the snow.

The Books

I have always been a bookworm and read every night before sleeping - I panic if I don't have a big pile of new books by my bed. I am a huge fan of Maggie O'Farrell and her latest, Hamnet, is absolutely beautiful - I cried through most of the last 3rd but it is so original and really captures the grief of a losing a child. Recommended recently by my brother-in-law, I read all 3 in a week of Cara Hunter's police thrillers based in Oxford and can't wait for the 4th to come out in April.

The Podcast

When travelling abroad feels like a distant thought, listening to The Travel Diaries by Holly Rubenstein helps me wanderlust and dream about all the amazing places I look forward to being able to discover...

The TV Shows

We have watched a serious amount of TV in the last 10 months! The Dig is our most recent favourite - I find Carey Mulligan, whatever she's in, beguiling on screen and this atmospheric film is a must watch. With box-sets, I don't normally have the attention span to stick with endless series of the same thing but if you haven't seen them yet, the brilliant Catastrophe and The Bureau will get you through another few months of having to stay in lying on the sofa every evening.

The Recipe

I have been exceptionally lucky in that my husband has cooked virtually every meal in lockdown. This Fideuà noodle paella is one of our family favourites - we first ate it in a cliff top restaurant in Lanzarote. The noodles have to be Spanish Fideo No 2.

The Time Saver

Nonna Tonda is delicious pasta delivered to your door. A lockdown saviour when an Italian restaurant or summer holiday seems like a distant mirage.

The Instagram Account

@collagerie Instagram feed is a visual feast of art, interiors, fashion and vibrant graphics, print, pattern and colour, all my favourite things.

Style Picks

Smart and silky, the Terence is the perfect trouser marsquerading as a stylish pyjama. Washable and with an elastic back waist, they have been my WFH wardrobe favourite.

I am always cold, particularly when sitting at home on my laptop all day. Janice has been my go-to layering saviour, both the last 2 deliveries have sold out in days but go to Net a Porter, Matches Fashion or pre order from us if Janice looks like your kind of must-have transeasonal cover-up.

There are days when I just need some femininity and prettiness! The Sylvia skirt looks great with trainers and boots and all my jumpers and cardigans.