You know that weird bit of the year between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when you’ve eaten way too much and your liver is screaming and you’re completely peopled out? So that’s when I have my birthday.
As you can imagine, it usually passes with a squeak rather than a roar, but this year OH and the girls decided to make up for years of insipid celebrations with a very special surprise.
I’ll write about it properly one day, but it started with lunch at Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire, and ended with a night in a suite at a stunning Victorian mansion, Totworth Court. The thing I remember the most about the hotel suite was its amazing bed: it was wide enough to stretch my entire body across, and so high I had to climb up to get on it. The bedding was literally the most luxurious I’d ever slept on (and I stayed at some fabulous hotels when I was a travel journalist); pure white, and soft and bouncy and cosy all at the same time.
And the pillows – oh the pillows! They were stuffed with the lightest, fluffiest feathers that wrapped around my head with their deliciously indulgent softness. I’m not joking, they were amazing.
I’ve talked about how I’m currently fixing up my bedroom, creating an attractive sanctuary where I can relax and unwind. Staying at Totworth Court reminded me just how important it is to also invest in great bedding, as that little added hygge can seriously improve your life. It’s the simple things, right?
I decided that day to upgrade my battered old hollow fibre pillows to lovely new feather ones. But solving one problem drew attention to another, as now my bed linen looked and felt tired.
So, it was pure serendipity when Deyongs got in touch to ask if I wanted to try something from their range of quality home textiles.
This family business was set up in 1846, and was one of the first textile companies to import products from Hong Kong and India, and bring them back to the British high street. Today the company is managed by Daniel and Oliver, seventh generation members of the Deyong family, and specialises in affordable luxury bed linen, bath towels and throws.
For me, it was an easy choice – I had dreamed of upgrading my bedding since that divine night at Totworth Court, and now was my chance. I’ve gone for ‘Scandi-chic’ in the bedroom, so I knew I wanted to find a simple design in pure white. The Lyndon Company 400-Thread Count Combed Cotton Sateen bed set was exactly what I’d been looking for.
Although made from 100% cotton, this fabric undergoes a special process to lengthen, smooth and seal the fibres, giving them a softness, and their elegant sheen. So you’re getting a silky feel and finish, for a cotton price.
The first thing I noticed was how light the fabric was – my feather pillows looked plump and inviting, and rather than weighing down my duvet it had a lovely sumptuous fullness. The fabric had just the right amount of sheen too – an expensive-looking lustre, without being shiny.
It was all very well looking great – did it have the comfort I was craving?
I can’t bear coarse fabrics, and have been disappointed in the past with bedding that felt rough and scratchy on my skin. But that night I crawled into bed, and it was heaven. The pillowcases were deliciously smooth, and the duvet cover felt crisp and light, yet still buttery soft.
The temperatures outside had dipped back down to near-freezing at night, but I was snug and warm under my duvet. The next morning I had the most glorious sleep in, scrunching the duvet until I was wrapped up in a bed burrito. Bliss. Then girls both piled in for cuddles, utterly destroying my peace and quiet (but it was lovely, really).
Later that day I snuck off to my room to have a Netflix catch up and a few minutes to myself. But lying on the bed was so comfortable I ended up dozing off for 20 minutes – I literally can’t remember the last time I had an afternoon nap.
If you’re a regular reader, you may have seen previous posts about my ongoing battle with insomnia, and how one of the big reasons I’m redecorating my room is an attempt to exorcise my sleep demons.
I’m not saying a duvet cover will cure my insomnia (oh, how I wish it was that simple!), BUT… for the first time in a long time getting into bed is something I look forward to, rather than something I dread. I put this down to two facts: the new bedding looks quite different, so my mind isn’t subconsciously tying it in with previous sleepless nights, and it’s just so luxurious now.
You know that delicious sensation of slipping between freshly washed sheets? It’s that same feeling – when your whole body just sinks into the bed and all the tensions of the day disappear.
Small pleasures, for huge hygge rewards.
• my duvet set and pillowcases were provided by Deyongs for the purpose of review