The Utterly Inessential Storm Shopping List: An umbrella for two, a jacket which doubles as a tent and the recipe for fluffy cinnamon buns

The weather the last few weeks has been awful and the way that it had affected certain parts of the UK is certainly no joke. However, for those who are trying to look on the lighter side of things, Alexandra Fraser has picked a few products which may rage calm against the storm.

It’s November 2020. There’s been a new storm every week for the last nine months. Children have forgotten what the sun looks like. Peat bogs growth rates are, thankfully, at an all-time high. Our editor waterskis to work behind a Land Rover.

Hopefully, we’ll never reach this point, and in a few weeks this morning’s snow flurry will be a distant memory as we sail calmly into spring on traditional waterways. But just in case you want to prepare a little more for our Great British Weather, take a look at the products we recommend.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

red paddle changing robe

A far cry from the unsustainable ponchos sold at tourist traps, the Outdoor Pro Change Robe is exactly what you need to brave the elements year round. With a moisture-wicking towel lining to dry you off and a shell which lets water out by keeps you dry, it’s a revolution for quick changes on the beach, with zips easy to pull no matter how cold your fingers are. As always, it comes with Red’s sustainability promise.

Women’s Pro Change Robe, £119.95, www.redoriginal.com


Our wellies of choice

ariat burford boots

I would put forward a convincing argument that these are utterly essential, as last time I went walking with my friends during a heavy rainfall, one of them got trapped in about five inches of mud in trainers and had to be chair-carried down the bridleway until we hit concrete.

These Ariat’s have got me through some murky times and are now permanently in my car.

Women’s Burford Insulated Wellingtons, £150, www.ariat.com


A warming recipe

pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Once you’re safe inside, its unlikely that you’ll want to leave. Curling up by a fire/heater munching on some cinnamon buns seems like the way to go this weekend – try Melanie Johnson’s recipe with its exciting pumpkin twist for a little bit of your five-a-day.

Click here for Melanie’s recipe


The not-so mythical double umbrella

Double Umbrella

Umbrellas have a habit of caving in the second a stiff breeze hits them so you may be better off with a Disneyland rain poncho. Who is to say how long this feat of engineering will survive against the wind? Minutes? Seconds? At least for those seconds you wont be forced to huddle under a single umbrella!

Double umbrella, £15.96, www.amazon.co.uk


Or just escape altogether

Sonoma Coastline California

Sometimes hiding from the storm just wont do, and the only thing for it is to up and go. If you’re looking for an adventure and you’ve read Jack London’s Call Of The Wild (the screen adaption of which has just come to a cinema near you), you may want to explore the place where he lived and wrote his novels. The Jack London Historic State Park in Glen Ellen boasts 1400 acres of diverse landscape to explore, including the ruins of London’s 15,000-square-foot Wolf House mansion and more than 26 miles of trails.

The North Californian coast is a big place to explore, but the seven day Northern California’ Wine Country and Coast tour covers almost everything, from Alcatraz to Sonoma County’s many vineyards, which I can personally recommend. What are you waiting for?

Northern California’s Wine Country and Coast tour, 7 nights from £1032 per person, including flights, accommodation and car hire