Review: January Favourites

It’s mid-February now and I certainly disapprove of how unbelievably quickly time seems to fly. Haven’t we only just sat in front of the chimney, glowing cheeks and smiles on our faces while sipping wine, unwrapping presents and embracing Micheal Bublés charming Christmas classics? Nevertheless, I forced myself to focus on the positive and am happy to share a collection of my five favourite things to do and see in January.

  1. Trip to Seven Sisters

This majestic place is located at the south coast of England, far away from the busy and hectic city life. When we went – first weekend of January – it was cold and rainy, quite miserable actually as the wind blew in all directions. But for some fortunate reason it stopped pouring down while we strolled up and down the hills, mesmerised by the views and the calming sound of the waves rolling into shore. There are seven of those cliffs (hence the name) and several lost sheep along the way. A National Trust carpark and café offer beverages and snacks to physically prepare for the adventure and a bench on the fourth hill invites for a welcoming break, perfect for hot chocolate. We only made it to the fifth cliff, simply because the weather turned once more. So off we went, back to the car, took one last breath of salty sea air and headed for a pub in Eastbourne for an early dinner before returning home.

2. Visit to Bournemouth

This place… Growing up in the German countryside, surrounded by nothing but forests and cows must have developed this precious love I share for the seaside today. We would go on a family holiday once a year, always heading for the French, Croatian or Italian beaches and setting up our tents for a week or two of camping. And I would adore every second of it. Therefore, living a stone’s throw away (oh well, 1.5 hours it is) from the English coast is a dream come true. We have been exploring so many places down there but none has ever touched my heart as much as Bournemouth. It is so clean, so green, there are so many parks and alleys. The never-ending strip of beach is just stunning and if I could, I would move there in an eye blink. We parked our car and strolled down the beach towards the city centre. It was sunny but relatively chilly as we watched dogs chase sticks and tennis balls, children dig in the sand and locals sunbathe in front of their colourful wooden huts. We enjoyed a plant-based lunch at the pier before heading onto the highstreet and coming across a couple of plastic-free stores (could this be a sign?). Finally, as it got darker, we left the place, walking back the way we came from and watched the sun set across the water. Pure bliss.

3. Introduction of Saturday Pizza-day

We’ve done it fairly often, but it’s finally become official: Saturday is Pizzaday! We make the dough ourselves, let it rise, puff up and do its thing, heat up the ceramic stone and watch the cheese bubble away as the thin base bakes in the oven. Simple, tasty, homemade, plastic-free and comfort for the soul.

4. Blackwater Arboretum

Sometimes you just need to get out the house, leave behind all your worries and tasks and get some fresh air. I love the peaceful and quiet nature of forests, while spotting squirrels, listening to the creaking old tree branches and rustling leaves in the wind. This place in the heart of the New Forest is perfect for a short getaway or day trip – especially after binge-watching all episodes of the lovely A Year in the New Forest on All 4.

5. Secondhand thrifting

Over the last two years or so I have developed a deep passion for reusing and repurposing pre-owned items. It is mind-blowing to think that we spent so much money on pieces we believe we need if we could find the exact same product for a fraction of the original price! We were in desperate need of a teapot. I did not have anything on my mind other than fitting at least one litre of tea inside. And so I simply created “teapot” search alerts on Etsy, ebay and Gumtree. After a week or two I finally received this scandi-inspired beauty for £6.99 – it looks brand new and complements all my white kitchen linen perfectly.