As you might already know I’ve recently moved to Prague. When I arrived in late September it was warm – a proper nice Indian summer with a pleasant warm breeze and the sun still shining brightly until the late evening. Some 2 months later and I’m finding out that I’ve completely underestimated this 4-season life. Winter is upon us and damn, it’s going to be bad. It’s going to be bloody freezing! And when I say freezing I mean the temperature will barely skim the thermometer above zero.
People sometimes say that living in a cold wintery country must be so romantic – those nights snuggled up in an igloo in Greenland watching Aurea Borealis whilst sipping on a cup of grog. Or how picturesque it must be living in a wooden lodge somewhere in Lapland watching Santa and his elves wrap up all the presents for us. But no one ever thinks of Prague as one of those damn cold places completely covered in snow with icicles hanging off those traditional red roofs.
But it is. The winters here can get as cold as -30 degrees and you can go to sleep whilst it’s drizzling outside and wake up the next day to an actual snow blizzard. I’ve quickly figured out that this kind of weather will be both absolutely unbearable (because my British winter boots are as thin as a wafer) and a fairy tale kind of magical (with evening walks through snowy alleyways of the Old Town and mornings spent snuggled up on the sofa watching old school films, with a cup of hot chocolate warming up your hands and a kitten – or two – snoozing at your feet).
The only catch is that you have to be ready for it. And I’m talking fluffy blankets (like those from Julian Charles), even fluffier cushions (these are not fluffy but so cute nonetheless!) and larger than life mugs for all the hot chocolate and tea that your heart desires.
3 ESSENTIALS FOR SURVIVING WINTER IN A COLD, VERY COLD COUNTRY
Layering and layering and layering
Number one strategy for making your life as cosy – and warm – as possible when living in a cold country is to layer up. Your clothes, your dinner (add a layer of dough into everything – I’m talking sausage rolls, soups in hollowed out loaves of bread, cakes with extra layers of sponge…), and mainly – your blankets and duvets. Julian Charles have exquisite range of furry blankets on their website. And they are more than 50% off at the moment! In addition to a 5274038423 tog duvet. I also suggest you get a warm rug for when you jump out (or crawl out, should I say) of the bed in the morning.
Oh how I adore thee, warm yellow light
I know, I know, we’re all tempted to embelish our home with cool toned fairy lights when the winter hits. Trust me. If I’ve learnt one thing already from this dreaded cold here in Prague then it’s the power of warm yellow light. The warmth literally seeps through the light bulbs. Even if it’s just a feeling that it creates within us, not an actual heat. Conor Oberst from the Bright Eyes sings in one of the songs that ‘I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love‘. He doesn’t want to be a cold freezing LED light for a reason. Just no.
And don’t stick with just warm yellow light bulbs when it’s super cold outside. I say – add candles. A lot of candles. Despite me swearing on Pippin’s tale once that I won’t ever buy any other candle other than the ones from M of WG and WD Home I got some plain tall ones last week for a candle holder I got. There was no other way, I need more candles.
Time to draw the curtains
I’ve always been keen on blinds and in all honesty, I haven’t had curtains in my flat since 2012. Blinds all the way. But the things is that if you live in a cold country you will want to hang curtains everywhere. Net curtains, long curtains, heavy curtains, velvet curtains. I dragged a huge curtain rod on the underground just so I could hang it in my bedroom last week. Absolutely no regrets. I’m also planning on getting a curtain to go behind my main door, just to keep the draught at bay.
I know that a lot of you have been looking for dark green velvet curtains and I have finally found some! They have them in IKEA of all places. I got this set for my bedroom and it’s just insanely beautiful. I had to cut them a little shorter so now I have some leftover fabric to make little cushions for the bed too!
What’s your best tip to stay cosy in winter when living in a damn cold country?
? This post has been inspired by Julian Charles’ beautiful furry blanket range.