Subtle Art

A lie-in is never a bad idea

The lie-in was invented sometime between the end of National Service and the first Beatles LP. Before the 1960s, sleeping-in was something that only aristocratic ladies or ne’r-do-well adventurers did. It was the preserve of PG Wodehouse characters or people who appeared in Tatler.   

To work, to strive, to stretch every sinew in the name of work was the proper British thing to do. And that, as they say, was that. The origins of this ruinous work ethic can be found in two particular events: the reformation and the industrial revolution. First the Puritans came along banging on about the wanton and idleness of Catholicism and then the factory owners arrived on the scene ready to corral us into factories before it was even light outside. Having a bit of an idle was a sin that would either send you to hell or the workhouse.   

This sense of industry being next to godliness was a notion undisturbed even by the onset of the twentieth century. If it wasn’t the factory or the office, it was the parade ground and regimental sergeant major who was ruining your morning. People simply had no practice at sleeping in – most people spent the week working, Saturday at the shops and on a Sunday on their way to morning service.  

By the time of the sixties, though, things began to change. Britons were no longer required to put in a shift in the army and the new music of the time led to the creation of a new-fangled phenomenon: the British teenager. Before long they were tuning in, turning off and dropping out like their American cousins had been doing for some time. And especially so when it came to getting up in the morning: the lie-in had become as universal as roast chicken on a Sunday. It drove the older generation to distraction. To take a long lie-in, to snooze or prop yourself on pillows with a book became the sweetest form of rebellion.    

Not all lie-ins are the same of course. They take as many forms as people. There is the hungover lie-in which is practically a health and safety obligation; the Netflix lie-in which involves you eating takeaway and binge watching from the comfort of your bed; the I’ve-got-new-bedsheets-and-I-intend-to-enjoy-them lie-in; and the one where it’s raining outside, and you really don’t fancy moving even an inch. 

Each is as wonderful as the next. What was once seen as idleness, is now firmly implanted into the realms of self-care. And we, frankly, couldn’t be happier.


Our tips for the perfect lie-in:


First, create ambience – light a fresh, light-fragranced candle while you make your morning tea. We recommend our Ceylon Pekoe candle. This will mean you return to a room smelling fresh as a daisy. Just don’t forget to blow it out before snoozing commences.



                                       Cushions are key – you can frankly never have too many of them when it comes to lying in. Aim for the sensation of sleeping on a cloud.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


Make the effort – if you are inviting someone else to join you in your lie-in, a lover, say, then ensure you smell nice. We recommend Quercus for the gentleman and Changing Constance for the ladies.



The fresher the better – if you want a pleasant lie-in then make sure your sheets are freshly laundered. No one wants to sleep in sheets that feel like they are made of cardboard.  



Ceylon Pekoe

Gentle tea leaves rouse woods in a candle of floral spice. Pour me another, won’t you?



Cool cardamom, hot pimento, salted caramel – a scent with no regard for rules.


Comoros Pearl

Bright sun. White flowers. Crashing waves and sensual spice. A candle scented with island living.


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