Welcome to week one of The Digest – a new weekly column where I’ll be musing on the week’s news.
This Sunday I found myself under the Princess Dome at The Ned listening to Laura Weir (editor at ES Magazine) talk to our little collective about why she wrote her new book, Cosy.
The monthly literary salon hosted by Alice Azania-Jarvis (acting deputy editor at Elle UK) felt like the perfect time and place to be discussing the simple concept. Sunday mornings can be a hard time to get yourself out of the house, never more so when the thermometer refuses to reach double figures, but here we were eagerly waiting to gobble up cosy titbits.
Because if there is ever a time to embrace cosiness in all its forms, it’s the long hard month of January. Whilst some of us are still ploughing through, determined to reach January 31st without reaching for the bottle, more still are heading towards the finishing line subsisting on nothing more than plants for comfort. If neither of those apply, I’m pretty sure you’ll belong in the third camp – skint. Yes that’s right, most of us have last been paid long before Christmas and now find ourselves checking our bank balance and realising staying in (and keeping cosy) is the only way through.
And it’s not just Laura. With titles such as Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton (which explores the Japanese art of slowing down and noticing beauty in the ever changing natural world around us) and of course the phenomenally successful hygge movement that was lapped up with such voracity, we’re crying out for comforting cosy narratives.
It doesn’t take Einstein to tell us this desperate need for the safe and familiar is a reflection of the uncertain times we’re living through. We can barely switch on the news in the morning, without a fresh problem being presented to us with our coffee. Whether that’s London’s rising knife crime, unlawful levels of pollution, or general inequality – and just you try to get through a dinner party, hell, the commute, without the word Brexit being bandied about. One thing’s for sure – no one knows what they’re doing (least of all Mrs May), so best of just holing up and staying cosy until the whole things blows over…
If you can find it in yourself to leave the house, may we suggest a trip to Stoke Newington. Here you’ll find the delightful Jolene with its oh-so-pleasing soothing interiors, comprising of blancmange pink venetian plaster and a blackboard advising the daily changing menu. A bakery and restaurant, Jolene is an ode to comfort food – and by comfort food I mean carbs. Pastries are left on the side to tempt you, coffee is served in the most satisfying rough-hewn tumblers and lunch might be a warming bowl of lentil soup finished with a dollop of crème fraiche or runny fried eggs on nduja smeared toast.
A recent visit saw us leaving with a wedge of orange and almond polenta cake tucked under arm and a smile twice as big as when we’d arrived. Extra points if you manage to throw on this cashmere scarf and make the trip on foot, hands firmly shoved in pockets.
With only 10 days until we tip into February, make sure you stay cosy until then.