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Luxury for less

luxury for less

We all like a little luxury,  a nice meal or fashionable clothes. When we go to a posh restaurant, what is it we are actually paying for? We pay not just for food but for an experience. We can create our own ‘experience’ for a lot less.

Picnic in the park

I’m organising a ‘picnic in the park’ in June and I’ll invite a few members of my family as well as friends and try to create an unforgettable experience. I shall make sure it’s unforgettable by taking a lot of photos. I also intend to encourage people to dress in period costume and I’ll decorate the picnic area a little, with flags and bunting. That will be an experience but on a budget!

The food

The food is part of the experience you’re creating whether it is a ‘happy meal’ with French fries for the kids or a seafood salad for a stylish picnic. I’m looking for a tasty but unusual dressing to toss my salad in and although I’ll probably use prawns as a base for the salad, I could cut the cost and use ocean sticks cut into bite sized pieces.

The best champagne

You might be trying to create a really impressive experience at an event. Do you need vintage champagne? Try finding a cheap champagne at a discount store like Aldi and then age it a little by making champagne cocktails. Just drop a small ice cube into a glass, sprinkle with caster sugar, add a drop of vintners bitters, a shot of brandy and then top up with your champagne. The quality of the brandy is far more important than the quality of the champagne, in fact, any sparkling plonk will do, even a perry or cider.

Posh clothes

The wealthy tend not to be too fashionable, but go for a traditional stylish look. At my picnic in the park, I’ll wear clothes that look a bit 1930’s Henley but are in reality more 2016 Matalan. The pale coloured flannels will be replaced with pale coloured chinos. I’ll wear a linen shirt over a grandad style tee shirt and to complete the look my summer trilby. I’m still not too sure about the shoes. I want them to match the rest of the outfit but be comfortable. I wore stylish boat shoes to the carnival two years ago and at the end of it my toes were killing me!

Luxury cars

If you look at modern weddings, the wedding cars are often vintage and are highly polished and well looked after. It doesn’t matter how old your car is if it looks cool for an event, it adds to the experience. My car is 19 years old and not quite a collectible but getting there. I bought a car that is bigger than people said I should but although it’s expensive on fuel and car tax, it is reliable and comfortable and has worked out very economical because I don’t do many miles. For special occasions, I clean and polish it.

The experience

You can do all sorts of luxury for less but remember it is the experience that is important.  You might be doing a three course meal for guests and you make it an experience not just with good food but with a well thought out ambience. That might include subdued lighting, soft music and champagne cocktails as an aperitif. Your luxury for less experience could be a Teddy Bear’s picnic in the local woodland or a luxury for less drive out into the English countryside. In summer there are many outdoor events that you can go to and take food and drink for a ‘luxury for less’ day out.

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