We are now firmly in our third national Lockdown, and while the restrictions are by no means as tight as the first time round, you are not alone in feeling disheartened and at the end of your tether.
We may be bound to our homes, but there are several ways to make life in lockdown that little bit brighter. From cool exercise gear and luxurious blooms to beautiful diaries and couture accessories for your dog, T&C has rounded up our favourite ways to lift spirits in the coming weeks.
Beauty meets pampering…
Maison Christian Dior Toile de Jouy collection
Just because we can’t attend parties and social events doesn’t mean we need to stop making an effort. Enjoy a spritz of alluring fragrance from the Maison Christian Dior Toile de Jouy collection, a set of three iconic Dior perfumes (fresh Lucky, Gris Dior, the famous modern chypre and the noble woody Oud Ispahan), beautifully presented in a case draped in the famed fashion house’s emblematic Toile de Jouy print. It’s a slice of Parisian couture worthy of the most stylish dressing tables.
Dr Barbara Sturm skincare
As Dr Barbara Sturm herself says: “The lockdown period has presented both a challenge and an opportunity for our skin.” Stress, sleep and exposure to our laptops all have an enormous effect on the daily health and appearance of our skin, says the famed skincare expert. Try a selection of products developed in the Doctor’s Düsseldorf-based clinic, such as the new Good C Vitamin Serum (for anti-oxidative protection), the enzyme cleanser (for maximum exfoliation), the moisture-boosting face mask, must-have hyaluronic drops and the much-loved Glow Drops. Skin will be left looking healthy, fresh and, most importantly, radiant.
Since the word ‘lockdown’ hit the news, Aman has been busy behind the scenes bringing a dose of its exceptional luxury to our homes. Late last year, the travel brand released its own range of fragrances, and now they’ve upped the anti with a trio of candles that follow the ultra-soothing original Aman skincare pathways: Grounding (with notes of ginger and jasmine), Purifying (rose and geranium) and Nourishing (lots of bergamot). Each comes in its own slick and chic hand-blown glass bottle and will make long lazy Sundays in the bathtub far more glamorous.
Costa Brazil Ritual Collection
After a long week of Zoom meetings, there is nothing better than a pamper session. When the coast is clear, unwrap this delightful box of goodies, complete with Costa Brazil’s acclaimed Para O Corpo Crème and Vela, aromatic oleoresin and soothing candle for the ultimate indulgence. The box is worth keeping, too.
A Burberry cape
It’s cold indoors and out, so naturally Burberry has the perfect remedy: a regal cape. Designed with a dash of countryside charm, this thick woolly piece is lightweight and super chic, and will make the perfect addition to a weekend ensemble. When lockdown finally ends, it will become your go-to replacement spring jacket.
Loro Piana merino sweatpants
Bring a bit of joyous comfort to your daily routine with these delightfully snug Loro Piana merino sweatpants. Made from the fine cashmere coats of the Capra hirchus – some rather fine Mongolian goats – they are the epitome of elevated leisurewear that ooze the highest echelons of the indoor luxe life.
A Smythson diary
Start keeping a diary again, ideally a hand one that will force you to take a break from staring at your laptop or iPhone for at least a few minutes each day. Smythson has an unrivalled collection designed for obsessive notetakers and would-be journalists. Bound in leather in a variety of colours, these fine little books will bring a touch of personality to your lockdown desk.
From £75, Smythson.
A Prada yoga mat
Gallery: Revealed! 5 flower trends to brighten up your home in 2021 (Country Living (UK))
At-home workouts are all the rage now, especially those one-on-one sessions with Instagram’s finest and fittest trainers flooding the news feed. This Prada yoga mat is the ultimate addition to your next sweat session: imagined in rubber for a swish non-slip finish, it’s a stylish and practical accessory that is easy to transport come the days when it’s safe to return to your go-to gym once again.
A treat for the pooch
Though most pups have been enjoying quality time spent with their owners during lockdown, they still deserve spoiling once in a while. Gift them a bit of Italian bling, courtesy of a brand-new collaboration between Issimo and Poldo Dog Couture. The collection includes a South Tyrolean oak tray made by Rubner Haus, a leather collar and lead with brass finishes, as well as a very comfortable travel-ready bed. It’s all frightfully over the top, but they are worth it.
Bring the outside in…
“Flowers and plants are one of the easiest ways to boost one’s interior and create a soothing and balanced environment,” says the CEO and co-founder of Flowerbx Whitney Bromberg Hawkings. Indeed, several global studies over the years have found that flowers can help improve your mental health by triggering happy brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and the love hormone, oxytocin. To keep your smile shining bright, sign up to the floral emporium’s subscription service. For as long and as frequently as you like, you’ll receive bunches of stunning blooms, approved by the fashion set (Chanel and Tom Ford are fans).
From £40, Flowerbx.
Like flowers, plants have also been proven to keep the serotonin flowing. Indeed, caring for them can also make a real difference, raves Freddie Blackett, the founder and CEO of Patch Plants. “Taking a little time to mist them, water them and make sure they’re thriving can be a really simple way to focus your mind on something peaceful,” says Freddie. Choose from a range of indoor and outdoor green beauties, all lovingly given their own names by various members of the Patch Team. Each comes with a handy care guide and should you want a pot for Ben, Phil or Sharon (our picks), there’s a really brilliant selection to choose from.
A Tiffany cocktail shaker
“I drink to make other people more interesting,” the novelist Ernest Hemingway once proclaimed, and we have heard this technique works for lockdown activities, too. Elevate your drinks trolley with this magnificently chic Tiffany cocktail shaker. Made from brass and sterling silver, it sports the original symbol from the renowned and makes for a very welcome addition to all your other barware accessories. Pair it with one of the luxury house’s flasks and trays and you’ll be the envy of all your virtual partying friends.
£2,175, Tiffany & Co.
From the latest fashion trends to celebrity interviews and columns, nothing quite beats a Sunday afternoon relaxing on the sofa (or in the bath) with your favourite magazine. Town & Country, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, ELLE Decoration, Esquire and more can all be delivered directly to your door.
The Pasta Codex
If there’s one thing all three of these lockdowns has taught us, it’s that most of us love to cook. Pasta, as well all know, is delicious, simple to make (in theory) and is endlessly comforting. Spaghetti, macaroni, tagliatelle, gnocchi… whichever is your vice, Vinchenzo Buonasisi’s The Pasta Codex (Rizzoli) has precisely 1,001 recipes to keep you in the kitchen. Classically Italian, the wonderful book relates the history and traditions of all kinds of pasta packed with recipes of every type of shape and sauce. It will look fabulous on your coffee table, too.
The Pure Package
Speaking of food, the meal-delivery service the Pure Package – loved by the likes of Hugh Jackman, Florence Welch and Erin O’Connor – has just launched the Positivity Package to help take the stress out of preparing a nutritious daily meal plan. Each morning you’ll wake to a delivery of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks tailored to your liking and individual needs. Also included is a ‘Joy Journal’ to help promote mental and physical wellbeing, along with Newton Wood Epsom salts and a green tea set (with tea pot) from the tea house Jing. The package comes in the name of a good cause, too: £20 from the first 100 programmes sold will be donated to the charity Rethink Mental Illness.
The at-home tech to know…
A complete gym in one – what more could you ask for during lockdown 3.0? Unexpectedly elegant, Technogym’s Wellness Rack packs in all the essentials you’ll need to help support your everyday workout, from dumbbells to a super-smart fastening system. It’s practical as well as easy on the eye, with a damage-resistant disk and polycarbonate crafting designed to withstand the test of time.
Price on request, Harrods.
You are currently allowed one dose of outdoor exercise a day, so get your run on with this clever piece of tech that provides live coaching and a host of rich data to help improve your running performance. Easy to use and set up, the kit not only aids your technique but also helps to keep your body injury-free on those more intensive outings.
The Hyperblade Pro
After all that running and a hard workout session or two, your muscles will be a little worse for wear. Relax them with the Hyperblade Pro, an ergonomically shaped, single-handed massage device. The device uses NMES technology, a natural current that mimics the human body. Targeting deep tissue, the current helps stimulate muscle contraction, effectively reducing lactic-acid accumulation and supports increased muscle tone.
About £200, Selfridges.
The world’s most fashionable exercise bike has been applauded for years, and if you’ve never taken a spin on one, now is the perfect time to splurge. Pricey though it is, the results are worth it. Designed to test you to the limit, it’s possible to burn up to 700 calories in a single 45-minute class. The latest addition to the Peloton family comes courtesy of the Tread. Run, train and build muscle all at the same time with total-body workouts designed for all levels. The results show – and fast.