The Whering Guide to a Rainy Bank Holiday Weekend
I can’t believe another bank holiday weekend is upon us, but hey – I’m not complaining! The only thing (literally) dampening my mood is the rainy weather forecast all over Europe. But here at Whering we believe in ✨ making the most out of what we’ve got ✨ so here’s our official guide to a rainy bank holiday weekend to lift your spirits!
Is there anything better than staying in bed all day with a good book? Ok, maybe watching a so-bad-it’s-good Netflix show in bed all day. But if you’re looking for a bit more of a digital detox, you can’t beat a good old-fashioned (and analogue) book.
At the beginning of the pandemic last year, I became obsessed with Joan Didion – I know, I realise it’s a clichéd rite of passage but there’s just something so hypnotic about the way she writes. Slouching Towards Bethlehem is probably her most famous collection of essays, in which she explores the end of the 1960s in California. What appealed the most to me is how Didion captures the end of utopianism and of the laidback and “free love” counterculture at the time with grim realism and honesty (obviously, she’s a Sagittarius).
I found the most enjoyable aspect of Slouching Towards Bethlehem is Didion’s ability to make any topic interesting, be it the art of keeping a notebook or how to get married in Las Vegas. Other outstanding works by Didion include The White Album, Play it as it Lays and Blue Nights, but I would recommend getting started with Slouching Towards Bethlehem if you’re unfamiliar with her self-conscious and straightforward style of writing. I hope you’ll become as obsessed with this book as I am!
Okay bestie, we’re going to make some pasta. Now I know, I know what you’re thinking – I hate it when recipes start off with a long-ass paragraph reciting the Declaration of Independence and the minuscule reason which inspired me to create this recipe. Just get to the recipe. But unfortunately, we’re not BBC Good Food, so we’re still going to do it.
Let me set the scene for you: it’s a rainy day in September 2020, I’ve got a volleyball committee potluck dinner and I have to bring something. A friend and I decide we’re going to make lasagne, so I pick them up for us to cook together later. Thirty minutes before we’re supposed to start cooking, I get a text message which reads: “Heyy, someone from my flat just tested positive so I guess you won’t be seeing me tonight 🙃”.
And said friend being the Italian one of the two of us, I was feeling a little stress. I have never, never, never, made lasagne in my life. But long story short, I pulled through, went to the potluck and everybody loved it. And it soon became the dish I make when I’m cooking for others because it’s such a crowd-pleaser. As I kind of mastered the original recipe, I started mixing and matching it, and eventually made it into pasta (although I still love a good lasagne).
So, without any further ado: ladies and gentlemen, her:
Pasta (I usually go for tagliatelle or linguine, but whatever floats your goat)
250g frozen peas
1250mL vegetable broth
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
handful of basil and mint (fresh)
50g pine nuts
parmesan to taste
This typically serves 4 really hungry people, and 6 averagely hungry people who haven’t forgotten to eat all day. Once you’ve got all your goods, it’s all smooth sailing from here. Chop your spinach and asparagus, grate your parmesan and get your apron on.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C and roast your cherry tomatoes and asparagus for ~40 minutes.
- Actually, please just keep an eye on those, I have no idea how long vegetables need to be roasted for. You’ll just... know.
- Cook your desired pasta according to package instructions - al dente, per favore.
- In a pot, heat the mascarpone, pesto and vegetable broth. Keep mixing until it’s smooth and bubbling.
- Add the spinach and peas and cook for a few more minutes until the spinach has wilted and the peas have thawed.
- Add the chopped mint, basil, salt and pepper (to taste) and keep mixing.
- Grill the pine nuts in a little bit of olive oil until they darken slightly.
- Turn the heat under the sauce to low and wait for your tomatoes and asparagus to finish roasting.
- Serve by topping with chopped burrata bits, pine nuts, parmesan and the roasted vegetables.
Et voilà, c'est ça.
If you want to feel like you’re sipping cocktails in a sunny place, even when it’s pouring rain, I got you. As one does, I spent the summer of 2020 taking photos and drawing murals for a craft gin bar by the Bulgarian coast. I didn’t get paid in anything other than cocktails all day and the occasional bartending lesson, so I feel extremely qualified to be sharing this information. At first I really tried to mix it up (I mean, when you start drinking at 11am every day, you want to keep things exciting), but I soon found my favourites; which shockingly enough, and please don’t come for me, I love gin, didn’t have gin in them.
For a refreshing aperitivo, a (better) twist on the classic Aperol Spritz: a simple Spritz.
50mL Lillet Rosé
Swirl it all around and serve with orange peel as garnish.
For a sweeter cocktail: the Fig Sour. Put the following into a cocktail shaker:
50mL Reyka Vodka (I guess anything goes, but if you want to be authentic)
50mL fig puree
10mL simple syrup
30mL lemon lime juice
Shake & strain into a glass full of ice and top it off with soda. Optional: invest in a sunset lamp and enjoy your drinks by a window!
At this stage, we know you know what self-care is, but I feel like no one talks about making it work for you. Meditate if that’s what you enjoy! Get a few flows and downward dogs going if yoga is your thing! I prefer to relax in a bubble bath with a face mask on - again, no one knows you better than you so take this time to listen to what your body is craving the most.
And if the only thing you’re planning on doing this weekend is watching (ok, re-watching) season one to six of Sex and the City, that’s perfectly valid too. You’re doing amazing, sweetie.
While we patiently wait for cinemas to re-open (at least in the UK), there’s no better occasion than a rainy Sunday afternoon to watch a film. For our edgy gals, there’s so many good films available on Mubi at the moment. We recommend Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Sciammia, Pain and Glory by Almodovar for his iconic colour palettes or Along the Coast by Agnes Varda for blue skies dreaming.
And for those who would rather watch something a bit more lighthearted, why not revisit your favourite 90s or y2k favourites? Obviously, we’re big fans of Clueless but Bring it On, Mean Girls and Thelma and Louise are classics too (and the perfect source of outfit inspiration).
So grab some popcorn and here’s to long weekends! 🍿