I spent the freezing cold Saturday before last at my *outdoor* craft stall. And I was SO cold.
I thought I’d prepared pretty well….I wore a dozen layers and fleece lined boots, took high stools to sit on so that I was off the floor when sitting, and put cardboard down on the ground for when standing. I wore a hat and TWO pairs of gloves. And yet I was still colder than a really cold thing on the coldest day.
Adam even brought me blankets and a hot water bottle and a huge flask of tea. And I was STILL cold! I finally warmed up with a nice hot bath in the evening, but I still have chillblains on my feet for the memory!
So. I’ve vowed to be EVEN more prepared next time….especially as it’ll be a month further into winter (and we have a winter holiday in Austria planned too!). And what a great excuse to do some shopping! Here’s a round up of some things I’ve treated myself to already, and a few other things I have my eye on to keep the cold at bay…..
Hunter Chatel Snow Boots, Gloss White, £75
I spent ages last year eying up Hunter’s fab new snow boots. I got rid of my snow boots at the end of the winter prior because I’d used them to death, but as we didn’t get such a cold winter last year I never got around to buying them. But after this year’s cold snap, I convinced myself I should invest, and my glossy white Chatels arrived last week. They are incredibly cozy and comfy, and super duper warm. They also come in glossy and non glossy black, and non glossy white. The soles are wonderfully thick, so it’s rather like walking around on a cloud of warmth to protect you from the cold ground, and the tops are elasticated to keep the warmth in too! I’m SO glad I got them and would really recommend them!
Hunter Original Fleece Wellie Socks, £17.00
Another investment I made last week were a pair of Hunter fleece welly socks. Designed specially to fit into either your high or short Hunter wellies, these are a wonderful way to keep snug inside your boots! I still wear a couple of pairs of cotton socks inside them, but they really are a help! I’ve also noticed that Joules have started making some too, to match their gorgeous wellies.
Sock Shop Heat Holders, 2.3 Tog Thermal Socks, £6.00
Perhaps my happiest find has been these AMAZING socks. Adam actually got a pair last week, and I was allowed to try them out…..and immediately ordered my own pair! Adam described the sensation of putting them on as ‘it’s like a million tiny pixies are kissing my feet’, and it’s fair to say that I can’t think of anything softer or cuddlier I’ve put on my feet! Heat Holders actually boast a tog rating of 2.3, which is around the rating our summer-weight duvet has, and they do a range of other products too….wellie socks, long socks, tights, leggings, gloves and hats! I want them all!
Thermal Fleece Shoe Insole
Another discovery I’ve recently made is thermal fleece shoe insoles. I was lucky enough to pick some up for only £1 from the market to try them out, and they were so good I went back for a pair to go in all my winter shoes and boots (as well as my slippers!). They work by stopping the cold coming up from the ground into your shoes, and of course they don’t take up as much room as a chunky pair of socks. They are widely available online and in shoe shops and have given a new lease of life to my Uggs and shearling-lined brogue boots!
66 Degrees North Unisex Vik Gloves, Blacks, £24
A few years ago, my dear friend Jane made me a gift of some amazing gloves. She came back from a cruise around the fjords raving about a brand I’d never heard of…and I’m so glad she did! 66 Degrees North are an Icelandic outdoor clothing brand, and as well as offering beautiful Nordic pieces, their range is also super high tech and made for very cold weather. The Vik gloves that Jane gave me are incredibly warm, even with my dreadful circulation, and they are even thin enough to put under another pair (sometimes you want to match your mittens to your hat, non?). They’re not cheap as far as gloves go, but I’d say they’re worth every penny. Oh, and the brand is now available at Blacks to boot!
66 Degrees North Women’s Kaldi Sweater, Blacks, £130
Sticking with 66 Degrees North, I love this technical 66° North Women’s Kaldi Sweater….it’s super pretty, but it’s specially made to keep you super warm too! It’s made from a wool and polyester mix and has articulated elbows for a closer fit, as well as a leather zipper pull embossed with the logo.
66 Degrees North Kaldi Arctic Mittens, Blacks, £40
66 Degrees North Kaldi Arctic Hat, Blacks, £60
And because I don’t think you can have too much of a good thing…..I’m REALLY hankering after these lovely mittens and matching hat. I love anything with a fur lining, and these just look incredibly cosy. They are also machine washable, which is pretty necessary with white accessories!
North Face Arctic Parka, £320
And possibly the best for last….. We watched the X Files ‘Ice’ episode recently, and I just fell in love with the coat Scully wears pretty much all the way through. I’ve searched and searched for one the same and this North Face Arctic Parka is pretty close. I adore the fur lined collar and the winter white insulated and waterproofed body. It boats a luxurious 550 fill down insulation for ‘easy defence against freezing temperatures’, and there is hidden fleece inside the cuffs to keep the chill out. It’s fully breathable and has stacks of handy pockets to stow your mittens and stuff in. I want it!
I hope you’re keeping warm in the chilly weather too, and do share any keep-warm tips!