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Ten happy things – February 2022

The Baa bar at Thyme in the Cotswolds

Each month I look back and reflect on what made me happy and brought me joy. As February is my birthday month, there was lots of things to be happy about!

Of course the attack on Ukraine has been terribly devastating and my heart goes out to everyone who is affected by this conflict. In these times, it’s even more important to not take anything for granted and to find joy in even the smallest of things.

Fun birthday lunch at Sushisamba

For the first time in years, I worked on my birthday! Usually I take the day off but this year I worked and on the Friday, my friend Fee and I celebrated my birthday with lunch at Sushisamba. We got really lucky with the weather as it was a lovely, partly sunny, clear day. Plus we had a table right by the window so enjoyed the fabulous views over London.

Prosecco at Sushisamba

After lunch we walked to the Queen of Hoxton, which had an Alice in Wonderland theme, and had a drink. It was a really fun afternoon and a great way to start my birthday weekend in style!

Delicious birthday lunch at The Ninth

My husband treated me to lunch at The Ninth for my birthday. It’s a Michelin starred restaurant by chef Jun Tanaka, situated in Charlotte Street, and it was sensational! The menu is simple, yet refined, Mediterranean-style food and the dishes are designed to be shared. We ordered a selection of snacks and starters, then all the pasta dishes (they were too good not to try) and dessert. We had an absolutely wonderful meal and will definitely return.

Salted beef cheek

Beautiful flowers

My birthday is very close to Valentine’s Day so not only did I get a lovely bunch of flowers for my birthday, I also got some for Valentine’s Day – lucky me! I love having flowers in the flat as they always brighten up the living room and bring me joy.

Birthday flowers

Spa time at AIRE Ancient Baths

For Christmas, my husband bought us a 90 minute session at AIRE Ancient Baths but the first Saturday he could book was in February! We went for the first time back in November and loved it so much that we knew we’d be returning.

Once again, it was so relaxing. Towards the end of our session, we had the floatarium (pictured below) all to ourselves. It’s full of salt, so that you float, and we just floated up and down for ages. It was blissful!

Floatarium at AIRE

Read two books this month!

My goal this year is to read 20 books, which means I need to read two books a month for most of the year and in February I achieved it! Both books I read were brilliant too. The first was American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and People like Her by husband and wife duo who write under the alias Ellery Lloyd. I’d highly recommend both.

A weekend in the Cotswolds

One of my birthday presents from my husband was a weekend away at Thyme, in Southrop in the Cotswolds. It’s a beautiful hotel, which describes itself as a ‘village within a village’. They have a fabulous restaurant too, called Ox Barn, where we had dinner both nights.

Ox Barn restaurant

We were blessed with amazing weather so we even got to cycle to the next village, Eastleach Turville, which was so lovely. It was great to get some exercise and some fresh air and to be out in the countryside.

Eastleach village

Dogs, dogs and more dogs!

My husband and I adore dogs and can’t wait until we can have dogs of our own. On the train to the Cotswolds we had a dog across from us who has just the cutest and made the trip more fun! Then of course, being in the countryside we saw so many dogs, and even had a lick or two. Made me so happy. The muddy paws… not so much!

Lunch at The Double Red Duke

I’d discovered The Red Double Duke on Instagram a few months ago and was interested in maybe staying one weekend so imagine my delight when I found out it was just a 15 minute drive from Thyme, where we spent a weekend for my birthday!

We booked lunch and it was great. I had looked at the menu before booking and was impressed that it was more sophisticated than just pub grub (which some of the other places near us seemed to offer). The food was yummy and we had really good service too. Really pleased we got to go!

The Red Double Duke

Holiday planning

We’ve been making quite a few plans for holidays this year, which always makes me happy! I know Coronavirus hasn’t gone away but it does feel more under control, which means that travel is opening up again. I can’t wait to get on a plane!

Massage at The Corinthia

My husband got me a voucher for the ESPA spa at the Corinthia Hotel for Christmas, so on the last day of February I treated myself to a 90 minute Inner Calm massage. It was wonderful! I definitely felt very relaxed afterwards. As my treatment was 90 mins, I got to use the spa for an hour before and after the massage so I went in the sauna, steam room, the hydro pool and also just read and relaxed on the heated loungers. It was a lovely way to spend a Monday afternoon!

Corinthia Spa London

So those were my ‘ten happy things’ for February! How did your month go? What made you happy and brought you joy?

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.



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