Add Austen Charm to Your Weekend

Add Austen Charm to Your Weekend

It’s been a busy few weeks for me and probably for you too. I’m ready to enjoy a quiet weekend with a few simple pleasures–the types of quiet activities that Jane Austen’s characters may have enjoyed.  Today I’d like to share some ways you might add a little touch of Austen charm to your weekend. Most of these things are inexpensive or free, and you can enjoy them with or without company.


 Dine by Candlelight. There’s something about the glow of a candle that makes everything more beautiful. I love to imagine Anne Elliot attending that first dinner party with Captain Wentworth and watching him by candlelight. For this dinner, I got ready-made Indian vindaloo sauce and added chopped up rotisserie chicken. Delicious and easy! Plus, everyone behaves better by candlelight.


Enjoy a cup of tea. Imagine you’re Emma Woodhouse having a cup of tea with Mrs. Elton and secretly reveling in her stupidity.I like to drink Twinings tea because the brand was around during Jane Austen’s lifetime, and I prefer lemon ginger herbal variety.


Enjoy a walk in a beautiful place. Think of yourself as Elizabeth Bennet exploring the grounds of Pemberley. If you’re like me, and you’re having a cold winter, you might want to keep your walk short, but it’s still nice to get outside and experience the beauties of nature. I took this walk with my son and our dog. The dog loved watching the geese fly away from us.


Eat a nice, crisp apple. Tell yourself that these apples came from Mr. Knightley’s trees. Miss Bates loves them. Not only are they healthy, they look really beautiful sitting in a bowl on the kitchen counter.


Enjoy some piano music. Play it yourself as Elizabeth Bennet would have or use a recording and pretend you’re listening to Georgiana. I play the piano, but I’m more of the Elizabeth Bennet type. I wasn’t ever into practicing that much. Still, it’s fun to play every once in a while.


Write a letter . . . on paper. Pick your favorite character. They probably wrote a letter somewhere in the story. Personally, I love to write thank you notes because they bless both the writer and the receiver. My wonderful mother received a thank you note from her step-son last December that made her feel so good that she read it to me over the phone. A simple note can make such a difference.


Buy some flowers. Think Colonel Brandon. Hothouse flowers all the way. Unless you live in the Southern hemisphere, in which case you can gather wildflowers like Willoughby.


Bathe with lavendar scented soap. Honestly, I can’t think of a Jane Austen character who talks about soap, but I feel very elegant when I use Yardley soap because the company has been around since before Jane Austen’s time.

If all else fails, there’s nothing like snuggling up with a good book. Follow the example of Catherine Moreland and escape into the world of literature.

What are your favorite simple pleasures?

Logo Rebecca H. Jamison


19 Responses to Add Austen Charm to Your Weekend

  1. The thoughts of a candle light dinner always seemed so romantic. As a newlywed I wanted to pull all the stops; however, my husband complained that he couldn’t see what he was eating. Not to be outdone…I placed about 25 or more candles on the table so he could see what he was eating. He couldn’t help but laugh. That was many years ago, and today we still laugh about those candles.
    I love the aromatherapy line that Bath and Body Works has called Sleep. My favorite is Lavender and Chamomile and it comes in lotions, creams, bath oils, hand soap, etc. They are so soothing especially at night when you go to bed. I’ve always liked anything lavender. I don’t know which JAFF author gave Elizabeth lavender as a favorite fragrance…but I love it.
    Anything we can do for that peace we are seeking is soothing to the frayed nerves of today’s society. All the things you have listed are usually in the top ten of any list an analysist gives. So readers, JAFF is good for you. Take a hint from Austen and drink your tea, have that walk, play or listen to music, pick or smell flowers, smell lavender, write a letter or note, and eat an apple. It’s all good.

  2. I might mention that my Austen obsession is adding to my waistline. Before Jane Austen, I had never had an English tea. Now I attend about four teas a year because of the Austen birthday tea, our summer Donwell Abbey tea, the Sherlock Holmes spring tea and the P.G. Wodehouse birthday tea (not including additional teas when attending AGMs or visiting the UK). Of course it’s not the tea that causes the weight gain.

  3. Lovely suggestions, many of which I do almost daily. Candle light and flowers are not daily additions and a walk in 23 degree weather – I don’t think so. But it was a nice pause to read and look at the photos. Thank you for taking the time to give us these worthy hints to soothe our lives.

    • I agree about the cold weather. I am such a wimp about going outdoors, as pretty as it is. Today our weather is in the fifties, so I took my cub scouts to the park. It was nice to be out in the sun a little.

      • Ah, i was a Girl Scout and a Cub Scout leader back in the day. Girl Scout cookies are on sale around here – love the Thin Mints. Yes, the chill factor this weekend is going way below zero! So I am only walking indoors at the grocery store or chasing my 3 year old granddaughter.

  4. I enjoy sipping a cuppa tea while reading. I didn’t know that Twinings brand was around during the time of Jane. Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Some of these are daily actions for me. I drink several cups of tea daily, but my favorites are those that I can have at home in beautiful cups and actually savor. Curling up with a good book is a regular thing, often while listening to classical music (particularly piano). Writing letters, particularly cards, is not unusual for me either. Walks and apples are normal too. Sooooo I shall strive to eat dinner with DH by candlelight after bathing with lavender soap. 🙂 Did I mention I’m allergic to flowers? LOL We’ll skip that one. Love this, so very much. And what a great exchange for the commercial dinner out/chocolates/roses! Have a great weekend all!!

  6. I love these suggestions. My favorites are: reading a book while listening to music, taking a walk in the countryside (used to love horseback riding along wooded trails), and dining by candlelight.

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