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The French define le Petit Plaisir as a simple indulgence that brings great pleasure and enjoyment. In English, the translation is easy to note – small pleasures, yet significant in their ability to elevate the everyday.
This week on the blog is TSLL’s 3rd Annual British Week, and while yes, the term Petit Plaisirs is notably French, my affinity for the British culture is grounded in so many of the Brits’ daily rituals, appreciation for nature which surrounds each waking day, and the dogged determination to keep calm and carry on coined and released to the public in 1939 in an effort to steel the nerves and assuage the fears of the impeding war.
As I sat down this past Saturday, savoring a weekend to spent entirely at home, I took a moment and glanced about. So much of how I structure my own everydays welcomes British influences. Most seemingly simple, but others which have come about intentionally, with patience and clear-eyed understanding of the comfort they would bring into my life and sanctuary.
Today I would like to share with you 25 British-inspired Petit Plaisirs, and please do share in the comments, rituals or routines you welcome into your own life which are inspired by your Anglophile predilections.
Quickly, on the topic of Petit Plaisirs, I have added something to the blog I think readers and listeners alike will appreciate. First, I want to give a tremendous thank you to listener of the podcast and long-time reader of TSLL blog Margaret for suggesting I create a specific category for Petit Plaisirs. While most are shared on a Podcast episode’s show notes, readers have had a difficult time finding the Petit Plaisirs they wish to further explore from episodes passed. I don’t know why I didn’t think of the idea sooner, but it has finally been created!
Now you will find in the Archives here on TSLL blog, a category titled Petit Plaisirs. You will find all of the Petit Plaisir posts which began what eventually came to be part of the podcast, as well as moving forward, each Petit Plaisir from each podcast episode will have its own post (linked directly in the Show Notes for each episode).
Now to the list of British-inspired Petit Plaisirs!
~Note to TSLL readers: Be sure to tune in to the audio version as each point shared below is talked about in more detail.
1.A knitted or quilted tea cosy for the teapot
2. The fresh scent of rain, and then the much anticipated breaking through of the sunshine
3. A sweet treat from the Great British Baking Show’s finalist Jane Beedle’s recipe archives
4. Enjoying a cuppa and your favorite pairings – newspapers, breakfast, etc. – in bed
5. Sitting in a pub enjoying a beer with good company (yes, I said it – a beer! But when in Britain! :))
6. Birdwatching, listening to birdsong, anything to do with birds and appreciating their gifts of delicate, amazing beauty and melodious music.
7. An umbrella at the ready which has stood the test of time – handmade or wooden stick if possible.
8. Snuggling up in a down and feather stuffed sofa or armchair, listening to the rain, whilst sipping a hot cuppa.
9. Nigel Slater recipes – how they are written – whether you make the dish or not, you are lulled into a state of calm
10. Meandering on the country roads lined with dry stone walls whether on foot or in a vehicle – the sight took my breath away when I saw it for the first time, and I long to return again.
11. Roses, simply cut from the shrub or the climber or rambler in the garden and brought into the home to add a summer fragrance from the garden.
12. Watching a cosy mystery set in the countryside of Britain (view a long list of favorites here)
13. Enjoy a good hearty chuckle whilst watching a British comedy – The Vicar of Dibley comes to mind (thank you to TSLL reader Kameela for bringing this series from the 1990s to my attention)
14. Sitting next to a roaring fire after stepping in from the cold or rainy outdoors
15. Savoring an afternoon tea ritual in your own company and from time to time with others as well, but regular, often and without exception.
16. Slipping into a hot bath as the rain whips against the window and the house
18. Walking along the sand at anytime of the year for its restorative fresh air and soothing sound
19. Time with pups or cats or horses or any other animal which is considered part of the family
20. Vintage or charity or thrift shop perusing and finding something you didn’t know you needed until you saw it
21. Spending time in one’s garden and losing it as well (time, that is)
22. Watching episodes of The Great British Baking Show or GBBO (Great British Bake-Off)
23. Enjoying a meal made with your own garden-grown vegetables, herbs, or fruit
24. Spending Friday evening or Saturday morning watching the latest episode of Gardeners’ World on BritBox (BBC2)
25. Enjoy tea or breakfast (as shown in the image at the top of the post) outside in the garden or on the garden terrace or porch letting the birdsong be your background music, your pets be your companions and whatever you are savoring, doing so with a cuppa and a pot of tea snuggled in a tea cosy.
Wishing you many moments to savor everyday life, elevated by inspiration from the British culture.
~Leonardo, series (Amazon Prime, UK), soon to be released in the US
- Starring Aidan Turner from Poldark fame
- 8 episodes in Season 1 (released in the UK in March 2021)
- Each episode will examine one of da Vinci’s artworks for hidden clues about a tortured artist struggling for perfection.
- View the individual post for this week’s Petit Plaisir here.
VIEW ALL POSTS SHARED DURING THIS YEAR’S British Week, on TSLL
~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #306
~Subscribe to The Simple Sophisticate: iTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | YouTube | Spotify
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