Coffee Talk

I’ve loved getting to meet you through your comments, here and on Instagram! I’ve always enjoyed those “get to know you” posts that a few bloggers do, and I wanted to create my own version here, a sort of virtual “coffee talk.” I’d love if you could share your answers in the comments–and hopefully, we’ll make this a monthly installment! This one is all about comfort–can you tell I’m getting ready to hunker down as the weather turns colder?

What’s your favorite cold-weather clothing item?

Right now it has to be cashmere everything–from turtlenecks to cashmere socks (a luxurious Christmas gift from my mother-in-law) to scarves!

What’s your favorite holiday movie?

I honestly can’t decide between our three “family tradition” movies–The Bishop’s Wife, Miracle on 34th Street, and White Christmas–my two bonus inclusions are Christmas in Connecticut and, of course, my all-time favorite, Metropolitan.

What is your favorite “comfort read”?

The Guynd by Belinda Rathbone is my favorite comfort read–my aunt handed me her copy during a difficult time of my life (my mother was in the hospital and was just given the Last Rites–she got better, thankfully, but we lost her about a year after that.) It’s an amazing book to get lost in, and I can pick it up again and again without getting bored.

When do you decorate for the holidays?

I don’t begin decorating until after the Macy’s Day Parade and the annual viewing of Miracle on 34th Street–though I will admit that I begin playing Christmas songs after Halloween!

What’s your favorite winter cocktail?

A hot toddy, always–made with ginger tea, some local honey (we love Beehaven Honey, which is made in our town!), a squeeze of lemon, and Irish whiskey.

Let me know your answers–I’d love to hear from you!

19 thoughts on “Coffee Talk

  1. Fleece lined slippers from Quoddy. If I am at home, I’m wearing them! For wearing out of the house, definitely one of my Scottish wool ruanas from Lochcarron. They’re like being wrapped in a cozy, elegant blanket!

    Charlie Brown Christmas!

    At Home In Mitford, by Jan Karon. A lovely, sweet, comforting book!

    The day after Thanksgiving! I hate Black Friday shopping, so my preference is a fun day at home with music and the boxes of decorations waiting to be rediscovered.

    Not a cocktail fan, but do love mugs and mugs of coffee or hot tea in cold weather!

    1. I’ve had my eye on those Quoddy slippers–I’ve heard such good things about the brand. Now that my boat shoes have finally given up the ghost after fifteen years, I need a new pair, so that’s on my list for next summer 🙂 I wish I had the height to pull off a wrap outside of a formal event or my home–because they are always so warm and look so wonderful on everyone else except me, haha.

      Charlie Brown Christmas! This was one of my mother’s favorites so I’m really looking forward to watching with my son this year 🙂

      I will have to add At Home in Mitford to my list. I think I actually have a paperback copy somewhere, picked up on one of my many trips to the used bookstore I loved in DC, but I’ve never read it.

      I also dislike Black Friday shopping–the only time I’ve had fun was when I went with friends and Bloomingdale’s was surprisingly uncrowded. The wait time at Serendipity, however, (which is their family tradition) was FOUR. HOURS.

      I do love cocktails, though I find myself drinking less as I grow older. But that’s why I love a hot toddy–tea plus some nice whiskey!

      Thank you so much for sharing, KH! I loved getting to know you better 🙂

  2. Adding The Guynd to my list of books to read. 🙂

    Cold weather clothing: My riding boots and all my sweaters. We have mild winters and only have real winter weather for about 2 weeks of the year. I am always well dressed for the actual cold!

    Holiday movie: It’s a tie between Meet Me in St. Louis (which is my all time favorite movie) and White Christmas. We also rewatch The Thin Man movies every year beginning at Christmas.

    Comfort read: The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery is wonderful (and not at all like Anne).

    Decorating: We like to get up early the morning after Thanksgiving and go get a tree while the streets are empty. Then we hunker down for the day and enjoy pulling out the old decorations. That tree is crispy by Epiphany!

    Winter cocktail: The BBC recipe for mulled wine! It smells and tastes like Covent Gardens in December. I also make a fabulous apple cider cocktail with gin, ginger beer, and apple cider on the rocks. Perfect for our mild winters!

    1. The Guynd is lovely! I recommended it for my book club and it was the highest-rated book ever 🙂 Truly something for everyone!

      Where do you find your riding boots? I have been on the hunt for a good pair but have so far been unsuccessful. And what is your favorite style of sweater? (My particular Waterloo, but I always have to ask in case there is one out there I am missing!)

      I have really enjoyed the Anne series, and I am very intrigued by the description of The Blue Castle–I am definitely going to ask our local bookstore to order it for me!

      That sounds like the perfect time to get a tree! When I grew up in the city, we’d always go to the same tree stand near our apartment. Where we live now, we go to the local nursery shortly after Thanksgiving as well. My toddler loves picking out the tree 🙂 I can’t wait for this year! (And I also fully concur that Epiphany is the appropriate time to take the tree down! I can’t bear to do so earlier than that :))

      Ooh, that sounds delicious. My dad lived in Germany for some time so we used to make glühwein, which I loved, but the BBC recipe looks even more delicious–as does your apple cider cocktail! I’d love if you could share the recipe!

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Judith–I loved having a virtual coffee with you! 🙂

      1. Apologies for not replying sooner!

        My boots are ancient! They are 9 years old and I bought them when I was pregnant with my 2nd child (and chasing after a toddler). They are Indigo by Clarks and are a natural, untreated leather in dark brown. I needed something I could wear comfortably to the park and I sized up a half size because I anticipated all the end of pregnancy swelling. I wasn’t sure how long they would actually last, but almost a decade later and they are still my favorite winter shoes. I clean and waterproof them twice a year, and I love that I can cuff the top or wear them above the knee. I think I bought them from Zappos, but I don’t see them listed anymore. I’m sure they’re extinct.

        So many sweaters! I think my favorite is probably my cotton Bean Fisherman sweater. My daughter has a similar style sweater from Lands’ End and she always asks me to twin, which is so sweet. The sweater I always want to wear is a crewneck cashmere sweater I stole from my husband. It’s almost never actually cold enough to wear it, but I did live in it for 3 days straight last February when we had all the snow and no power!

        My apple cider cocktail is super simple: a shot and a half of gin, half a shot of fresh squeezed lemon juice, and 1 shot of apple cider on the rocks in a lowball glass (I love using my julep cups). Top off with ginger beer and stir. I garnish with just the tiniest bit of ground cloves and stir well. You can also skip the lemon juice and just do equal parts gin and apple cider with the ginger beer and it’s still lovely.

        I am enjoying your blog so much! Thank you for writing and “hosting” us all. 🙂

        1. Darn, I am so disappointed those boots seem to be unavailable! I love Clarks and they do make excellent boots for everyone.

          That’s so sweet that your daughter still asks to twin with you, I love that!! I also love getting to wear something I wait all year to wear. I have an enormously thick and heavy overcoat from my mother via Brooks Brothers in the late 80s and it’s one of my favorite things, but even in New York I rarely have the chance to wear it–it’s really more of a city overcoat and I’m not in the city enough to pull it out.

          I love that cocktail and I will certainly be making it this winter!! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 It looks delicious!

          Thank you so much for your kind words–I always love seeing comments from you and I’m so glad you’re enjoying this blog. I’m really loving writing it!

  3. 1. Sweater socks, cashmere-lined leather gloves, lambswool scarves
    2. I love Miracle on 34th Street, too! We also watch Home Alone and Home Alone 2 every year.
    3. I always go back to books I read growing up as comfort reads – The Secret Garden and Little Women are favorites
    4. I decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving and take everything down on January 6. I decorated really early last year because everyone seemed to be doing so, and got so tired of seeing my decorations haha. I think 2020 was the first time I’ve ever undecorated before New Year’s.
    5. This is tough to narrow down. Several family traditions during the holidays are cocktail related. Hot chocolate with peppermint liqueur and mulled wine are good ones. A favorite cold cocktail for the holidays is my mom’s ginger-apricot slush.

    1. I lost one of my cashmere-lined gloves (this happens literally EVERY year, just one goes missing…!) so now I’m in need of a new pair. Where do you find yours?

      Home Alone and Home Alone 2 are such great ones!

      I re-read so many books; I feel sad for people who don’t like to re-read! And I love to read new books. I am very much looking forward to picking up yours this holiday season! 🙂

      January 6th is when we take ours down too! With a toddler, the weekend after Thanksgiving seems to be the best time to decorate for us as well, mostly to give us time to clean up after Thanksgiving! I try not to decorate before Thanksgiving because I do like to enjoy the holidays separately.

      Ooh, hot chocolate with peppermint liqueur sounds delicious! And I do love mulled wine. The ginger-apricot slush sounds perfect, too! 🙂

      Thank you Sara for stopping by! 🙂 So fun to have a virtual coffee with you!

  4. Clothing item is cashmere joggers. I finally invested in a pair and now I live in them at home. My husband even wishes he could steal my “sweater pants.”

    Christmas movie is The Holiday!

    Comfort reads are all the holiday issues of interiors magazines. I love to see how other people decorate their homes for the holidays and feel like I’m stepping into their cozy living rooms.

    I decorate in the week after Thanksgiving!

    And my favorite winter cocktail is a twist on a toddy my brother made once, involving hot tea, cacao, and bourbon. This reminds me to ask him the recipe and recreate it this winter.

    Thanks for doing this fun get to know you post!

    1. Cashmere joggers are at the top of my wishlist this year for cozy at-home items! I still am kicking myself for passing up one them when they were on sale at Ann Mashburn.

      I love The Holiday–and honestly, who doesn’t want to live in a Nancy Meyers movie?!

      Oooh, you make a great point! I need to subscribe (or at least stop by the bookstore!) asap to stock up on some of my favorites!

      Week after Thanksgiving is the best! I like to celebrate both holidays, so having the buffer time is good before we go all-out for our Christmas decorations (and I am this year!)

      Ooh, please share that recipe when you get it–sounds divine!

      I loved getting to know you more, Jane!!

  5. Cold weather clothing: Scottish cashmere sweaters and riding boots. I’m also eyeing Dubarry Galway boots as an option for winter weather for when it’s too wet for riding boots and Le Chameaus are too country.

    Holiday movies: I’m with you – Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and Metropolitan, along with Home Alone.

    Comfort reads: I am an inveterate re-reader and I love hearing that others are as well – adding The Guynd to my list! Some of my favorites to revisit are the Fairacre series by Miss Read, Snobs by Julian Fellowes, and The Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill.

    Holiday decorating: Never until after Thanksgiving, although I do plant my paperwhite bulbs earlier in November! I also like to add in holly, ivy, and other fresh greenery closer to Christmas.

    Winter cocktails: Normally champagne, or eggnog with Gosling’s rum, but I’m pregnant – so this year I’m enjoying club soda with a splash of pomegranate juice and lemon juice.

    1. I’ve been eyeing the Galway boots forever, but I need to try them on first and haven’t had the chance yet. I love my Cork boots, which are waterproof and work in the city as well as the country!

      Always love to see another Metropolitan fan 🙂 One of my best friends just came to the event I planned for work; we did a couple of Metropolitan pictures because the Lester Lanin Band was playing, and we had the hats!

      Snobs is a secret favorite of mine, I love it (but definitely a guilty pleasure!) I am adding the Fairacre series and The Magic Apple Tree to my list! I hope you like The Guynd–such a hidden gem.

      I was so prepared to actually plant bulbs this year in advance, but I just couldn’t get it together! We did manage to plant some tulip bulbs, though, so I’m pleased about that. I’m really excited to go all-out for Christmas–I have so many memories and pictures of both sets of grandparents decorating to the nines, and while we’re not going that far, I’m planning to do much more than usual.

      Oh my goodness, congratulations!! So happy for you 🙂 And that mocktail sounds delicious, I may make that for us as well!

      Emily, I’m so happy you stopped by, and congratulations again!!

  6. I love your list! For cold weather clothing, I have to say my Peruvian merino wool beanie with wool pom pom and matching mittens from @shitthatIknit, cashmere turtleneck sweaters and shearling slippers from LLBean. In terms of Christmas movies definitely The Family Stone and Little Women. I haven’t been a good reader lately, but I will definitely add The Guynd to my shopping list 🙂 Holiday decorating usually starts sometime around late November (I live in Canada and we celebrate Thanksgiving in October). Winter cocktails are my favorite and a hot chocolate with Bailey’s Irish Cream is my go-to.

    I have very much enjoyed reading everyone’s replies!

    1. That hat and mittens sound so cozy! I do love my shearling slippers but lately I’ve found them a bit clunky when I’m actually walking around, so I’m looking into new pairs.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen the entirety of The Family Stone! I love Little Women though, all the versions of it, but especially the Katharine Hepburn version.

      I hope you enjoy The Guynd–please let me know what you think!

      I am always curious when people decorate because of differing holidays–I spent some time living in Ireland, and was always delighted by the Christmas markets that pop up much earlier than the US equivalent (although we don’t have anything as nice!)

      Hot cocoa with Bailey’s sounds great, and definitely something we’ll be trying this year!

      Alison, I’m so glad you came to our virtual coffee hour 🙂

  7. Cold-weather clothing item: The Burberry scarf my mom handed down to me. We live in Austin now so it doesn’t get much use except for the two weeks I’m back in Connecticut for Christmas.
    Favorite holiday movie: It’s a Wonderful Life, if only for the scene about lassoing the moon. It reminds me so much of me and my husband.
    Comfort read: Anything Elin Hilderbrand. Her writing is so familiar to me, and there’s so many options. I grew up vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, which obviously isn’t Nantucket but close enough for me to feel right at home in her stories.
    Holiday decorating: Whenever it feels right! We buy our tree the day the lots open, but this year had our lights and stockings up beforehand.
    Cocktail: No drinks for me, but I can get down with a dark chocolate hot chocolate!

    1. Hi Quincy!

      I also have a Burberry scarf from my mom 🙂 Such a nice gift!

      Oh, I love It’s a Wonderful Life, and definitely appreciate it a lot more as an adult. Such a great Christmas movie.

      I do like Elin Hilderbrand as well, but I prefer her earlier books, I think!

      I’m impressed with your organization! I could never get everything up even if I wanted to, haha.

      Ooh yes, dark chocolate hot chocolate is the best! I’ve been adding ginger syrup to mine too and it’s delicious 🙂

      Thank you so much for coming to our virtual coffee talk 🙂 I always love to see you (albeit virtually!)

  8. Such great book recommendations, and like many of you, I am eyeing Dubarry boots!

    Favorite cold-weather clothing has to be my Cuyana cashmere beanie and scarf, and my Bosie cashmere gloves with a special mention to my L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasins.

    Favorite Holiday movie – too, too many to mention. I adore Metropolitan and I show my age by saying it was released the year I turned twenty. I related to Audrey so much and to this day, dress like her. The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Holiday, Love Actually, The Family Man, It’s A Wonderful Life, both versions of Miracle on 34th Street, The Man Who Invented Christmas, but above all else, The Family Stone.
    My absolute favorite comfort read is “Winter Solstice” by Rosamunde Pilcher. Her wonderful descriptions of scenery and domesticity in Scotland make for a lovely winter book.
    Our decorations go up whenever I feel the need. It used to be the day after Thanksgiving, but last year I put them up at the beginning of November as it was such a dreary year, I needed to get into the spirit. We take them down before New Year’s eve, so the sparkling lights and ornaments around the house are delightful.
    I don’t drink cocktails but I am happy to indulge in as many glasses of Prosecco as are seemly. We open a bottle of Prosecco as we unwrap our Christmas presents.

    1. Do let me know which duBarrys you choose! Muffy almost has me convinced which pair I need–I love her reviews 🙂

      Yay, so pleased to know you’re another fan of Metropolitan! I also very much relate to Audrey (and Jane, a little)–I even have the same overcoat Audrey wears, which was my mother’s! Audrey’s style is impeccable.

      I *love* Rosamunde Pilcher!!!! I reread The Shell Seekers every year. Her books are so cozy and I love to curl up with them and a cup of tea.

      We actually did not start to decorate yet, despite my best intentions–it is fundraising season, and as I’m the director of a nonprofit it is our busy time! I’m hoping this week/weekend we’ll start to seriously decorate.

      Prosecco is so festive! What a nice way to make present-opening even more fun 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Melanie! I am so enjoying getting to know you!

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