Decadence is a state of mind. Here are five ways to indulge yourself when you’re financially embarrassed…


Go somewhere unnecessarily glamorous for a coffee

Why sit in a drab Costa, looking out sadly across some tawdry high street or other, when you could be flossing somewhere gratuitously decadent?

Take youself to The Delauney on the Aldwych. Or to Swans Bar in Maison Assouline on Piccadilly, undesputably the most sophisticated bookshop in the world.


Go to a matinee at the cinema

Turn your phone off. Don’t tell anyone where you are. Go to the cinema.

A matinee is double decadent because there’s probably somewhere else you’re supposed to be. Sitting alone in the cinema, lit by the ceaseless, rippling movement of the screen, you’re absent from your own life and immersed in someone else’s.

Every Monday and Wednesday cinema tickets at Genesis are £4 all day long.


Get yourself some flowers

Flowers are the height of decadence. At most florists a fiver will barely get you one solitary rose, but at Columbia Road Flower Market five quid can go a long way – either a bunch of something special or a single stem or two of an unusual bloom.

The flower market at Columbia Road is every Sunday from 8am-3pm or thereabouts. Get there early if you want to avoid the crowds. 


Madeleines from St. John

The madeleines in St. John are mega indulgent. They’re baked on demand, which not only means they’ll be handed to you still warm from the oven, but you can luxuriate for fifteen minutes while you wait.

Madeleines are £4.50 per half dozen from St. John, 26 St John Street, London, EC1M 4AY (020 7251 0848). Order from the bar.


Buy something perfectly useless

Decadance is about desire rather than need. Dispense with practicality and buy something you really want. Here are a few tiny extravagances:

HAY brass clip from Goodhood

What does it do? What could I possibly use it for? Is one enough? will be your approximate response to this brass clip by HAY.

Strike matches in apricot by HAY, from Goodhood

You’ve got a spendy scented candle. Now what you need are some unjustifiably expensive HAY matches to light it.

Brass Clip (£5) and apricot Strike Matches (£4) are both available from Goodhood, along with many other luxuries.