The nights are drawing in, the autumn boots are out, Strictly’s on the telly – love it or hate it, winter is officially on its way. Luckily, we’ve got some ideas on how to beat (or embrace) the cooler months…
Book a spa day – or week
Stay: Spas are the ultimate winter fix. Champneys has been going for almost 100 years, so its country retreats are experts at dealing out everything from reflexology foot rubs and lavender body wraps to hydrotherapy pools. Alternatively, bring the spa to you with a take-away pack of Champneys sugar scrubs and face masks from Boots.
Go: Not every spa is created equal – especially when it comes to hotels like the Bohemia Suites & Spa on Gran Canaria, which comes with an Asian-style spa offering coconut oil therapies and Zen stone massages.
Or you could always up the game with a trip to a genuine Thai spa like the Bo Phut Resort and Spa in Koh Samui. We love the honey and cucumber face masks here.
Buy winter warmers (or don’t)
Stay: Make the most of the cold and stock your wardrobe with beautifully designed scarves, boots and coats. Luckily, comforting cosy knits and mood-lifting boho prints are in. (So are ostrich feathers, but we might leave those for the catwalk.)
British designers are experts at whipping up clothes designed for changeable weather, so keep an eye out for winter collections from big names like Philip Treacy and Burberry. Small-batch designers keep things interesting, too – take Brighton-based hose. tights.
Go: Pick up a cut-price winter wardrobe abroad. Dubai has almost 100 malls to choose from, including the swish Outlet Village. Can’t bear the thought of wrapping up? The Southern Hemisphere is waking up to spring and summer right about now, so pack your flip-flops and t-shirts and make for Bali.
Cheer yourself with comfort food
Stay: Autumn crumbles, Sunday roasts, chicken tikka masala, shepherd’s pie – if there’s one thing us Brits are good at, it’s cold-weather comfort food. Christmas markets will be on their way before you know it, too, which means that mulled wine and roast chestnuts are just around the corner.
Go: Taste warming curries in their homeland. Mauritian cuisine is hugely influenced by Indian recipes, with chefs cooking up tomato-based Creole curries and garlic rice. They’re usually served thali-style, so you’ll get a platter of pineapple and mango chutneys, plus homemade bread, too.
Snap up some beauty buys
Stay: Protect your skin against the chill with moisturisers designed for indecisive British weather. Neal’s Yard Remedies has peddled rose toners and frankincense skin oils from its Covent Garden HQ since 1981. And Toni & Guy are experts at safeguarding your hair against the dreaded rain frizz.
Go: Treat yourself to a Neal’s Yard Travel Essentials Kit. The geranium and orange shower gel and wild rose beauty balm are hand luggage-friendly. Plus, the white tea facial mist is a lifesaver spritzer for long plane journeys to sunnier climes.