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Top 50 ‘simple pleasures’ for Brits revealed – from coffee in bed to sun on your face

Brits have revealed the top 50 ‘simple pleasures’ in life – including hearing nothing but birds tweeting, a cup of coffee in bed – and having dinner made for you.

Researchers polled 2,000 adults to determine all the little things that bring people joy.

Sleeping in a big comfy bed, receiving a compliment from a stranger, and having a good hair day all feature in the list.

Other favourites include a roaring fire, getting a cuddle from your children and sitting in a pub’s beer garden.

The research was commissioned by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which also commissioned poet Laurie Bolger to come-up with a piece on life’s simple pleasures.

Wordsmith Laurie said: “I wanted my poem to remind people about the feeling you get when you are able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Women meeting for a drink
Meeting friends for a drink was on the list

“But on the other hand, I also wanted to highlight that the reason some of these things are so enjoyable is because they are a break from the norm.

“Feeling the sun on my face is definitely one of my favourite simple pleasures in life, and I’m glad the survey reflected that – and that we’re starting to see brighter weather too.”

The study also found more than three in 10 adults simply named ‘cake’ as one of their favourite simple pleasures, while a quarter love having a gossip with friends.

Sixteen per cent enjoy seeing older couples holding hands, and just under one in five enjoy exercise enough to put it on their list.

Going on a bike ride, meeting new people – and wearing a new pair of socks for the first time all appeared in the top 50.

But Brits only enjoy an average of six moments of simple pleasure each week – not quite one a day.

And the satisfaction of a moment’s pleasure can last for upwards of 22 minutes on average, although a tenth get a glow for up to an hour.

However, half of those polled, via OnePoll, believe they don’t get to enjoy life’s simplest pleasures often enough for their liking.

While 37 per cent don’t have enough time in their day-to-day to take advantage of as much as they should.

Long walks were also a popular choice
Long walks were also a popular choice

One in four put this down to work commitments taking up most of their time, while 17 per cent think being a parent has left them with less time to enjoy simple pleasures, although they also appreciate it more when they do.

Richard Hyde, managing director, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, said: “Our list found many of life’s pleasures are ones often found on holiday, such as seeing a stunning view, waking up to sunshine, taking long walks and discovering new places.

“It’s on our travels that we’re able to experience an abundance of life’s simple pleasures which have a longer lasting effect on us.

“Now that it looks as though coronavirus restrictions are starting to slowly lift, we’re hoping people will be able to enjoy some of these pleasures at home and abroad before too much longer.”

Woman sleeping in bed
Sleeping in a freshly made bed was the second most popular simple pleasure

Top 50 simple pleasures

1. Feeling of sun on your face
2. Sleeping in a freshly made bed
3. Stunning views
4. Waking up to sun
5. A nice dinner
6. Being in the countryside
7. Seeing flowers and trees blossom
8. Listening to your favourite songs
9. Making someone smile or laugh
10. Long walks
11. Going to the beach
12. Dining out
13. Hearing nothing but birds tweeting
14. Cake
15. Sleeping in a big incredibly comfy bed
16. Finding money in a purse/wallet you had forgotten about
17. Sitting in a pub beer garden
18. Having dinner made for you
19. A roaring fire
20. Getting a delivery in the post
21. Finishing a really good book
22. Watching your favourite movie
23. Discovering new places
24. Payday
25. Home cooking
26. Having a gossip or catch up with friends
27. Seeing a butterfly
28. Laughing out loud at a film
29. Wearing an outfit that makes you feel good
30. Receiving a compliment from a stranger
31. Sound of rain on the window
32. Getting a cuddle from your children
33. Having a picnic
34. Sunbathing
35. Not having to set the alarm at the weekend or on a day off
36. People watching
37. Someone making you a cup of tea
38. Having a good hair day
39. Having a coffee/tea in bed
40. Staying in bed on a Sunday morning
41. Doing exercise
42. Discovering new food
43. Hearing the wind blow through the trees
44. Smell of toast in the morning
45. Seeing old people hold hands
46. Discovering new music
47. Buying fresh local food produce
48. Spotting a species of bird you’ve never seen before
49. Swimming outside
50. Donating to charity

Seek Simplicity – By Laurie Bolger

Do you remember?
When every part of us
Longed to wander –

Born movers
We know life isn’t long enough
To stay in the same place.

Science has proved our lust for adventure
Is built in –
So why not surrender to it?

Seeking a place
With arms outstretched –
Learning each brick by name
Discovering new spaces with heart –

Those simple things that pull us in each time
Breathing out
Drinking in.

Do you remember when we chatted into the night
Then so in awe of the lights
We couldn’t say anything –

Do you remember wandering
When it was more than we imagined –
Full of life and sky and taking our time

Do you remember
When our stories weren’t box shaped
How it all tasted. When we decided to be inspired –

When it was more than an artificial cocktail.
A lukewarm pool. Remember when
The small never seemed more beautiful.

Remember when we realised we could have it all –
All those little bits we’ve missed.

When we took life’s ever-changing invitation
Picked up our feet
Said come on
Let’s do it
Let’s run.



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