So…we’re spending a lot more time at home than we’d like to at the moment and our Summer isn’t looking quite the same as usual. With Summer holidays having been completely cancelled, or altered, and weekends being spent in the garden rather than in our favourite busy city spots, it can be tough to see how we can still make the most of our time off. But just because 2020 has seen us having to change our plans and make staycations the new vacations, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t still have fun at home. With a few little essentials, a weekend at home can be great and I’m going to tell you exactly how you can make the most of your weekends.
This post contains items that were gifted to me. All opinions are of course my own.
Find The Perfect Playlist
I’m a big believer in thinking that all we really need to have a good time is good music and good food/drinks. So I’m kicking off my ‘weekend at home’ tips with some music recommendations.
The key to finding the perfect playlist is figuring out what vibe you’re going for. Are you looking for an afternoon playlist full of Summer tunes? Is it more of an upbeat pop playlist that you’re after for a bit of a weekend dance party vibe? Or maybe you want something that’s suitable for a late night dinner party.
I shared my 5 top tips on where to find music on here earlier this month and my no.1 suggestion on the list was to search Spotify/your streaming platform of choice for pre-made genre playlists. My current recommendation from Spotify is the ‘Summer In The Garden’ playlist. It’s perfect for general weekend listening as there’s a really great mix of smooth listening tracks as well as a few disco tunes on there too.
What’s on my weekend playlist?
But it’s always fun to make your own playlists as well. What’s on my weekend playlist you ask? Well, currently I’m all about 80s music. That might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been watching old 80s Top of the Pops on the BBC over the last couple of weekends though. We’re talking Wham!, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, New Order. If anyone wants to join me on the 80s music hype then definitely go and give my New Wave playlist a listen from last year’s Music Monthly series. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to learn a bit about 80s music.
Every year I also love making a huge playlist of around 150-200 songs for the Summer holidays. I’ll just listen to it all Summer long and it instantly puts me in a good mood (let me know if you want me to pop this years playlist on my Spotify). At the end of the day if you’re really enjoying the tunes that you’re listening to then your weekend is automatically that little bit better.
Stock Up On Some Delicious Drinks: Cider
Now for the drinks…you know how much I love a great drink. Whether it’s a cocktail, a spritz or a wine. But is there one drink that’s more ‘British Summertime’ than a refreshing glass of cider? I think not. If there’s a drink to have in stock for a banging weekend at home (and in the case of this year, a whole Summer at home) it’s got to be cider. I’ve got you covered with a few recommendations of ciders to have in stock this season.
Cider Is Wine
Allow me to introduce you to Cider Is Wine, a UK-based online company that focuses on bringing their customers only the highest quality of cider and perry that’s available. From the highest quality cider and perry makers too.
All of the ciders and perries on their website are exclusively fermented from 100% apples and pears and are not from concentrate. How does that compare to the mass market ciders that we’re oh so familiar with? Well, in some cases they can often contain as little as 35% apple or pear juice (from concentrate!) as there is no global standard for cider and perry production.
Where does the wine come into Cider Is Wine? Well, it’s because they believe that if wine, which is made in a similar way to cider, has to contain 100% grape content with zero concentrates then why should cider and perry be any different? And so every cider and perry on their website is 100% apple and pear juice resulting in the finest quality of product. Proving the statement that ‘Cider Is Wine.’
The team at Cider Is Wine very kindly sent over a few of their favourite bottles for me to try so I’ve picked out a couple of my favourites to share with you.
Cider Is Wine: Gospel Green Brut
I always go on about how much I love a dry wine in Wine Wednesday, and it’s the same when it comes to a cider as well. The first cider I’m taking you through is a lovely dry cider from Hampshire based Gospel Green. This one is produced using the ‘champagne method’ which means that it goes through a double fermentation process, the second of which is done in the bottle.
Crisp and bubbly… this felt like a really luxurious treat. It’s absolutely perfect for celebrating a special occasion at home, maybe a birthday or a graduation, and has a super celebratory feel about it. It’s also gluten free and vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Cider Is Wine: Killahora Poiré Perry
Next up we’re onto the perries. I have to say that perries haven’t ever really been something that I go for. I always opt for a cider and often completely dismiss perries as an option. But after trying out the Killahora Poiré my views have definitely changed.
Based near Cork, Ireland the Killahora Orchard cidery focuses on producing small batch perries that use only hand-picked fruit. And this care and extra time taken to produce their perries defintiely translates through into their Poiré 2017. The fermentation process for this one takes place in the bottle which creates a naturally sparkling perry that is slightly less fizzy, resulting in a super flavourful drink. This one is actually currently their perry of the month for July and I completely see why…it’s incredible!
Cider Is Wine: CLAIM Dessert Cider
Topping it all off we’ve got a stunning dessert cider from Swedish cider producer Brannland Cider. Now, I’d never tried a dessert cider before. I know right? And boy was I missing out. I think out of all the ciders I was most excited about this one. Firstly because it was something I hadn’t tried before. And secondly, because it had the coolest looking bottle ever. I mean, seriously, how can you NOT get excited about trying a cider that looks that cool?
Anyway, after a lovely Saturday night meal at home I decided to crack open the bottle of CLAIM by Brannland Cider to share with the family. I’d had it chilling in the fridge all day so it was looking amazing. I popped it open and was instantly hit with a scent that was so similar to a sherry. It transported me back to my sherry tasting experience in Jerez last Summer.
However it was completely different to sherry in taste. Light yet syrupy, fruity and delicious. It was an absolute dream!
Get Yourself Dressed Up
So you’ve got your drinks and your music sorted for your weekend at home. Now it’s time for the outfit. My final way to make the most of a weekend at home is to get dressed up. You might be familiar with my latest blog mini series I Got Dressed Today. And if not then you can go ahead and read that here. But basically in the series I’ve been sharing a few outfits that I’ve been wearing during lockdown on the days where I decided to get a little bit more dressed up than usual. It didn’t necessarily have to be a super extravagant outfit, but more so something that I’d put a bit of effort into.
Just because you’re not leaving the house that doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself dressed up in some of your favourite clothes! I’ve found that when I do get a bit dressed up I feel a lot more like I’m doing something with my weekend. So throw on your favourite Summer outfit, pop on an 80s playlist, grab a cider and enjoy your weekend at home.
What are some of your favourite ways to spend a weekend at home? Are you all about the drinks and the tunes like me? What cider do you like the sound of the most from Cider Is Wine? Let me know in the comments.
*Photography is a mix of my own and images taken from UnSplash.