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Let's talk layers

One moment it’s sunny, the next it’s pouring with rain. Some mornings you wake up to a thick frost at your door. Others it’s alarmingly mild all day long. But one thing is certain: February is unpredictable. February calls for layers.

February essentials. Our guide.


Decorative and practical, a throw becomes a blanket as soon as the chill begins to chase. In the living room, keep one draped over a sofa’s back so you can easily pull it down, or at the very least in a cupboard nearby. If your style is more relaxed, cascade a throw over the back left (or right) of a sofa or armchair and fret not about how it falls. For a more uniform look we like to lay one in the centre of an armchair with a cushion on top. It’s pleasing to look at and protects the upholstery from seat-stealing pets. In a bedroom, a throw that skirts the foot of the bed is always a welcome addition. It adds character to plain bed linen too.

In terms of material, we prefer natural fibres that work throughout the year. Lambswool, mohair, merino and sheepswool are fabulous insulators. They don’t conduct heat but rather create air pockets that help to contain, absorb and circulate warmth. It means they regulate body temperature but still help you stay warm in winter and cool in summer. Any throw woven from these materials is perfect for February.


Cushions can find their way into a surprising amount of spaces. There are the obvious spots of course (beds, sofas, armchairs) but there are other areas that are often overlooked like window ledges, benches, or a large cushion in front of a fire (so much more inviting than a rug).

Although you can’t wrap one around you, a cushion gives a feeling of warmth before you’ve even sat with it. It’s all about bringing soft, comforting textiles to warm up a space. Nothing changes the look of a room more easily than cushions in new colours. Layer cushions with throws or mix different sizes so you can layer cushion on cushion. Then when you sit down, a cushion will hug you back. And because we fill all our cushions with duck feather and down, that hug is guaranteed to be warm, soft and snug.

Bed linen

The only place in a winter bed that should be cool is a pillow. Even then, it should only stay cool for those delightful few moments when you first lay your head, or turn your pillow as you doze. Otherwise, your bed should be the cosiest place in the house.

Again it’s all about layers. The more you have, the warmer you’ll be. For the ultimate indulgence we suggest:

  • A premium mattress: the better the mattress, the better the materials, and the better the temperature regulation
  • A feather mattress topper: plump, soft and wonderfully warm
  • Sheet and top sheet: a sheet to lie on and a sheet to cover you makes sure he heat stays in
  • High tog duvet: we all have our preferences of filling, but tog-wise we suggest 10.5-13.5 for the warmest of warms and 7.5-9 for spring and autumn.
  • Throws, bedspreads and cushion: decorative yes, but there to serve a purpose too.
  • Hot water bottle: not a layer we know, but for us they’re a real must when it comes to getting cosy. And technically, as they’re part of your bedding (kind of) you can justify getting a beautiful cover.

A recipe of layers

Layering doesn’t have to be solely about clothes and textiles. This is one of our favourite layered recipes for a chilly day. It’s best enjoyed scooped in a bowl, sat in pyjamas, and curled up under a lots of layers on the sofa.

Cod & spinach potato bake

Serves up to six (depending on how hungry you are)

Shopping List
  • 250g fresh cod loin
  • 250g fresh smoked cod
  • Two leeks
  • Three onions
  • Fresh parsley
  • Two handfuls of spinach
  • 500g new potatoes
  • 120ml white wine
  • 500ml double cream
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Cheddar for sprinkling
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220⁰C (425⁰F).

2. Finely chop the onions and leeks and lightly fry in olive oil.

3. Add chunks of fish, herbs, wine and cream and bring to the boil, adding a little seasoning as you go.

4. While the fish cooks, parboil the potatoes with a squeeze of lemon – it really brings out the flavour of the fish and helps to keep the potatoes lovely and white.

5. When the fish is cooked through (it should start to flake slightly) pour it into a large ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the fresh spinach leaves (and cooked prawns if you like).

6. Drain the potatoes and slice them to your choice of thickness before arranging over the fish.

7. Cover with lots of grated cheddar and bake for half an hour.

8. Dig in.

Happy layering and stay snug.