On & Around the Street

Your Guide To Surviving Lockdown

With the new variant of Covid-19 accelerating across the country, another lockdown is in force until at least the end of February. And though the thought of spending the coming weeks in varying degrees of isolation is an unappealing one, we suggest embracing JOMO – the joy of missing out – and leaning into the opportunities that imposed downtime brings: time to rest, restore, learn and live life at a slower pace.

To which end, here’s our guide to surviving – perhaps even enjoying – lockdown.

Smythson notebooks

Start Journaling

At the risk of understatement, this year has been a tumultuous one. And one that has, for many, brought forth a range of emotions, fears, ideas, inspirations and changes.

Choose one from Smythson, perhaps customised with your initials or favourite quote, to record your experiences, thoughts, plans or imaginings.

Kaweco Sport fountain pens, £22 at Papersmiths

The Write Way

Studies show that the act of writing with a pen or pencil can positively affect your brain, activating more parts of the brain than typing and can help the subconscious to better process thoughts and memories.

Record your musings with a beautiful stylus from Papersmiths, which stocks a range of lovely pens – from fountain and gel to ballpoint. Need a steer in the right direction? Throughout November, Papersmiths founder Sidonie is offering personal digital shopping consultations, during which she will take you on a virtual tour of the store and make gift suggestions. Book by emailing her here.

Hermès Horsecut chess board, £5,950

Become A Game Master

It’s the perfect time to sharpen your skills at classic board games like backgammon or chess, which is seeing a renaissance in popularity thanks to new Netflix drama “The Queen’s Gambit”.

“Checkmate” is so much more satisfying when said over a truly luxurious board like Hermès’ beautiful wood Horsecut set. No one to play with? Louis Vuitton has a lovely Solitaire game for self-isolators.

Plug Into A Podcast

Whether it’s to expand your horizons, be inspired to create, or boost your career, the varied and insightful podcasts from Sloane Street’s luxury brands can offer a dose of illumination to days in lockdown. Here’s a few of our favourites:

The Gucci Podcast
Each episode of the series features the people collaborating with creative director Alessandro Michele, and offer insight into the eclectic narrative, inspiration and vision House.

Pay It Forward podcast from The Fold
Host Kate Bassett teams up two women from the same sector – but at very different stages in their career – about their worries, highs and lows, leadership lessons and nuggets of advice.

Dior Talks podcast from Christian Dior Joaillerie
This season, Victoire de Castellane, creative director of Christian Dior Joaillerie, discusses the history of jewellery, its symbolism, and its representations in art in a series of five talks with five different and complementary personalities. Previous seasons include “The Female Gaze”, with some of the female photographers, directors and creatives who have collaborated with Dior, and “Mes Chéries: The Women of Christian Dior”, recorded at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The 3.55 podcast from Chanel
Go behind the scenes of creation with personalities from the worlds of fashion, film and art as they discuss their experiences and their observations with Chanel and Monocle editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé. Past guests have included Sophia Coppola and Pharrell Williams.

Flowers by Moyses Stevens

Bring The Outside Inside

It’s rainy and cold, yes, but a bunch of fresh flowers will not only brighten your space but can also have positive effects on your wellbeing. A Japanese study showed that looking at fresh flowers can decrease stress by enhancing activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s rest and digestion response. Other research showed that when there were plants in the rooms of post-surgery patients, they required less pain medication.

Arrange a weekly delivery from Moyses Stevens to bring a little joy to your home.

Image: Kari Shea via Unsplash

Stay Strong

Keep working out. The connection between mind and body is undeniable, with your body releasing a slew of feel-good hormones after exercise, reducing stress and improving sleep quality.

Many of Chelsea’s boutique fitness studios are running online classes so you can stay in shape while you stay at home. Whether live-streamed or on-demand, try Barrecore, KXU and Heartcore.

The White Company

Level-up Your Sleep Space

Lockdown provides the perfect excuse to adopt a policy of early bedtimes. Upgrade your bedding at The White Company, which makes the squishiest mattress toppers and truly luxurious bedding, or visit Yves Delorme for opulent textures and patterns. Add a spritz of lavender pillow spray from Votary or Olverum and drift off to hours of restorative sleep.

Olivia Von Halle pyjamas

Lift Your Pyjama Game

Because a major upside of locking down is the option to wear your PJs all day. But last-minute Zoom calls are a real thing, so make sure to wear a pair of Olivia Von Halle’s unfailingly chic pyjamas, which not only look smart when video conferencing but could legitimately be worn with heels to a cocktail party.

John Sandoe Books

Get Your Geek On

It’s the perfect time to start working your way through your literary bucket list. The clever book worms at John Sandoe, a proper local book shop, will put together a dedicated book bundle for you, based on your personal brief. Or you can choose from pre-selected bundles in genres including, “Classic Crime”, “Twentieth Century Novels”, or “Witticisms”. A brilliant idea, really.