Ways to get Cosy and Embrace Winter | Melissa Hemsley
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Ways to Get Cosy and Embrace Winter

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Ways to Get Cosy & Embrace Winter

melissa hemsley cosy winter

Winter is a beautiful invitation to embrace a slower pace, get outside and cosy up. Scroll down to read some of my favourite ways to do this.

PS Recently my outdoors time has been spent with my friends at The Felix Project; cooking up surplus food, making hot lunches & serving it from a donated food truck. This week we made lunch for 300 at Muslim Welfare House, North London but the urgent aim is 1000 meals a day in Central London alone.  If you are able to, please join us volunteering your energy one day in 2021.  Click here for more info.

Curl up with homemade Chai & something baked with love


After too many days spent cooped up, we can start to feel disconnected from the world around us. Enter banana bread (with a twist) and a steaming pot of spiced masala chai like
this recipe (given to me by the wonderful women from Grenfell Tower’s Hubb Community Kitchen – whose cookbook, Together, continues to raise funds to keep their thriving neighbourhood kitchen alive). Baking for yourself is a lovely invitation to slow down & take care of yourself but perhaps you’ve got a neighbour who would appreciate the love too, so baking extra and dropping round to their doorstep could make their day more than you know. Here are 5 of my favourite cosy, comforting bakes to make at home.

Eat With The Seasons


Food tastes better in season. There’s an abundance of leeks, beetroots, squash, pumpkins, parsnips, swedes, and orchard fruits – like pears, apples and quinces – out at the moment. I’m really into making fruit and veg chutneys and pickles – a great way to use up any produce that’s a bit soft or bruised. Pot them up in upcycled jam jars and give away to family and friends for edible Christmas pressies. Soups are also a lovely way to pack seasonal veg in. Make a big batch and freeze for a rainy day when you want to skip the cooking and max out on the comfort. Try
my favourite 10 soups for the season here. And here’s a Christmas chutney too.

Go on a Foraging walk


If you know what to look for (or follow the guide of a trusted book) head out to your local park and wooded areas to scout around hedgerows for juniper and sloe berries for making gin; chestnuts for roasting; and immune-supporting rose hips that you can make into tea or syrup. While you’re out there, collect leaves, holly and pine cones to bring home for tablescapes and wreaths.  Look for ‘fallen’ on the forest floor rather than cutting of course!

Attune Yourself To The Sun (And Moon)

Get as much daylight as you can throughout the day, especially first thing in the morning works for me. If you’re working from home, it can become very easy to take your lunch al-desko, but try to pop out (even if it’s just for 20 mins) to take a walk. Have a listen to this brilliant episode by my friends at Kitchen Club Podcast on Red Light Therapy, listen here.  Another less conventional option? Moon bathing. Take a night off from screens and do some journalling or daydreaming while the moon is waxing to harness some of that lunar energy. It’s worth downloading the Moody Month app as well, which is all about empowering you to get better connected to your body and your moods.  And check out my recipes of Laptop Free lunches here.

Get the recipe.

Pick Or Grow Your Own
pumpkin squash melissa hemsley
Growing your own doesn’t have to just be for Spring and Summer. There are so many delicious veg we can tend to that bring so much joy when you pick straight from the garden. Follow my brilliant friend Anna Greenland for more tips. If you picked your own Pumpkins and still have lots to use up then get inspired by these Squash & Pumpkin recipes. Alternatively, find a local allotment or community garden where you can help out your neighbours who might not be able to get out and pick up some produce with low food miles, or check out Feedback’s Gleaning Network to help rescue food from farms that would otherwise go to waste.

Online Classes to Soothe you

Allow yourself to unwind with my friends. If slow, soothing yoga is your thing then join Sarah Malcolm who has been lifting my spirits and keeping me grounded this year. Expect floaty, fluid flows with lots of love behind them. If getting creative is calling your name, why not try Laurie Nouchka’s Life Drawing which start with meditation before an evening of drawing. Or gather your still life objects at home and join Lisa King for her zoom art classes, with jazzy playlists to enjoy too.  Maybe make some homemade Christmas Cards to send to loved ones. 

One more of the many reasons to go for a walk?

melissa hemsley planting trees
Forest bathing! Studies have shown that spending time walking in forests reduces the stress hormone cortisol, supports your immune system and helps increase creativity. Leave your phone at home; find some woods; tap into those senses; and get tree-hugging!

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