The Utterly Inessential Cosy Shopping List: Wrap up warm, winter is almost here

Teeth chattering? Legs shaking? Can't feel your fingers? Winter is finally here (almost), and so is the cosiest edition of our weekly shopping list to date. Alexandra Fraser recommends a few lovely things to make your life a little warmer this chilly season.

It’s November and beautiful yellow and orange leaves are starting to look more at home on the ground than on the trees.

I’m ashamed to say that the heating has been on in my house since later October. If, however, you are one of those staunch Brits who refuses to touch the thermostat until December at the earliest (I admire you and, truth be told, I’m probably a little afraid of you) then you’re going to need an extra layer or to keep you warm for the next few weeks.

For chilly hands at long rugby matches

Whether you’re on the sidelines of a muddy pitch or walking along a frozen river, Snug Bud is the way to go. An expertly-designed, highly-sustainable hot water bottle, the Snug Bud had a comfy hand pouch (think: modern-day muff), a phone pocket and is insulated to keep you toasty without getting too hot. All in all, the perfect winter companion.

Author’s tip: If your back is getting a little stiff sitting down all day, flip your Snug Bud around and nestle the heat in the small of your back. It works wonders.

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The Snug Bug, £69.90 for an adult size, £64.90 for a child,

An end to bedtime arguments. Or at least the easy ones.

Nanu hot&not duvet

He’s too hot, she’s too cold (it could well be the other way around but it certainly isn’t in my home) and before you know it you’re arguing about who forgot to close the front door two weeks ago. In this safe space, I’ll freely admit it was me. Apologises. Please still love me.

Luckily, one brave pioneer has created a solution; a customised hot and cold duvet. Nanu have sought out to save the quarter of British couples who argue about nightly duvet handling and, on behalf of all of us, I thank you.

Hot&Not Duvets cost between £50 and £75, you can design your own here:

Because ears get cold too

Red ears (and I hate to say this) only look cute on Santa’s elves. They can also be very, very painful when accidentally knocked in an enthusiastic holiday hug.

Schoffel Country headband

Protect yours with an ear-covering headband; this one from Schoffel is as adorable as it is subtle, sure to blend in with your existing winter wardrobe.

Headband in blue navy by Schöffel Country, £34.95 available at

Something to wear in the chilly evenings


This beautiful knit jacket evokes images of toasty fires, cosy armchairs and warm slippers – but if it’s not your style, we have something which evokes sail boats, beaches and a summer long gone…the choice is yours.

Wendover Knitted Jacket in navy by Oliver Brown, £295 available at Oliver Brown Pop-Up, 12 Piccadilly Arcade or online at

Suffolk Quarter Zip Sweatshirt, £52.95 by Whale of a Time Clothing, available at

We’re not saying anything


Let’s not jinx it, she says, as ‘Let It Snow’ tinkles away in the background.

Talvik fur-lined boots by Aigle, £140 available at

And finally…


Practical? No. Risk of potential injury? If your balance is similar to mine, fairly high. Fabulously seasonal? Absolutely.

Quinto boots in red by Keith Scarrott, £299.95 available at