Autumn is quite possibly my favourite season for many reasons. I think people often assume I’d prefer the summer as I grew up in the Cypriot sunshine. But summer in Cyprus is very different to summer in the UK. Everything started earlier in the day, finished earlier, and involved daily dips in the swimming pool or sea. Hot weather in the UK, especially in London, makes me feel stifled and claustrophobic. Being on a tube in rush hour, stuck under someone’s armpit (the woes of being fairly short!) isn’t my idea of fun. Autumn however, is a lot more calm and collected. It’s sometimes sunny, and isn’t as cold and winter. I love it! It’s the perfect weather for snuggling up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a good book (although I rarely need an excuse to do this!)
This Autumn, Higgidy, the Sussex based pie and quiche makers are launching the UK’s first series of Sofa Supper Clubs – a unique dining experience, inviting you into a homely, comfortable space, giving you the chance to enjoy one of Higgidy’s delicious pies hot from the oven and served up to enjoy while relaxing on a comfy sofa – just like you would at home. And the events will be launched by Gogglebox stars Chris & Stephen – very fitting, indeed!
And to celebrate the launch of their yummy new Steak Ragu pie, the lovely people at Higgidy asked me what my favourite things about Autumn are. I had so many ideas, but these were my faves…
Brisk morning walks with our dog in Yorkshire
I’m originally from North Yorkshire and my mum returned earlier this year after living in Cyprus for 15 years. She’s moved to a gorgeous village, perfect for walking her little dog each morning. There’s nothing better than the smell of the countryside in Autumn, when the leaves have just started to fall and are damp and crunchy under foot (note – the leaves hadn’t quite fallen yet when I took these photos!)
Autumnal Flora and Fauna
I find nature just glorious in Autumn – I love the changing of the seasons and even when the plants are coming to the end of their life, they still look spectacular.
I just love Halloween and I wish we did as much to celebrate it in the UK as they do in the US. I’ve always loved horror movies and things that can make me jump (probably because it takes quite a lot to scare me!) and any excuse for fancy dress is fine by me! My birthday is on the 21st of October, so a lot of my childhood birthday parties were Halloween themed, which brings back a lot of great memories. I also like to challenge myself each year with pumpkin carving!
Come on, admit it. The child in you would still love to take part in conker fights! Each Autumn, my Dad and I used to make the annual trip to his golf club where lots of huge conkers always used to fall, to pick up the best ones as soon as we could, before getting them home and applying the necessary treatments (it would vary each year, from vinegar to PVA glue!) Every time they fall in London (and it seems to be getting earlier each year), it’s hard for me to resist picking them up!
Flaming Barrels, Cider and Bonfires!
Similarly to Halloween, Bonfire Night is another great day to celebrate! While I was at university in Exeter, Bonfire Night was my absolute favourite night of the year when we would go to the nearby village of Ottery St Mary for tar barrel rolling. This is a long running tradition where trained locals will set fire to tar barrels and carry them while running through the packed crowd. It’s utter madness but so much fun! It was always an evening of adrenaline and if running away from the barrels didn’t keep you warm, getting toasty by the massive bonfire certainly would. Or failing that, a good pint of strong cider!
And of course, good warming grub!
I tried out the Higgidy Steak Ragu Pie for this blog post and it’s damn good! The steak and bacon is simmered slowly with red wine, chopped tomatoes and carrots, topped with crispy potatoes. I do love to make pies but it can be quite time consuming. It was nice to be able to just pop this in the oven – minimal effort but maximum taste and a very happy, warm tummy!
If you’d like to try out this or any of Higgidy’s other pies, they’re available to buy at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Booths, and some branches of Budgens, Co-op and Asda. You can find out more on their website here.
And if you’re interested in checking out the Sofa Supper clubs, they will launch in London on 30th October at Ice Tank, and will also be hosted in Brighton on 5th November at Caribou Rooms. To book a sofa, go to www.higgidy.co.uk/sofasuppers.
This is a sponsored post in association with Higgidy.