Now that my little girl is 16 and my son 19 and working full time, summer holidays are very different from when they were growing up. This year the summer break has been even longer as study leave and exams started in May and she won't be back for sixth form for another couple of weeks.
So what we do needs to be different of course! Trips to the local park, feeding the ducks and picnics no longer cut it!
We are patiently waiting results day this week, we have had two weeks in the sun in Kefalonia - see my post here and we have done lots of shopping to stock up for the move out of uniform in September. Last week we took ourselves off for two nights of mum and daughter time ... very precious.
We stayed at The Beach House in West Wittering. Do take a look! It is a small guest house with beautiful boutique style rooms and an excellent restaurant. And in a great location in the middle of the pretty village of West Wittering and only five minutes to the beach.
We were so lucky with the weather. We arrived Tuesday to blue skies and sat on the beach all afternoon - in bikinis! Yes a bikini on a British beach! Back to the beach Wednesday afternoon and not quite bikini weather but perfect for shorts.
Thursday was a bit rainy so we headed to Chichester to do some shopping before making our way home.
All in all, totally perfect, lots of time to chat, we are very fortunate that we have a really great relationship, open and honest and we love each others company.
The beautiful beach at West Wittering and my Holster sandals which I totally love!
We enjoyed a delicious meal at the restaurant at The Beach House and these gorgeous red sandals are from Marks & Spencer and I wore them with my trousers from Hobbs.
Chichester and we were very impressed with the house that is home to Jack Wills! We had a picnic lunch sat in the grounds of the cathedral.
My parents are both only children and longed for a big family and two weeks ago all 16 of us headed off to the Cotswolds to celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday. Three daughters, three son-in-laws and eight grandchildren (ranging from 19 to 12). It was an amazing family get-together and I am sure they were so proud to look around the table at us all and appreciate what they achieved. A large, happy family!
My dad started his career in the RAF. He did National Service initially then remained for additional service. He trained in photographic reconnaissance. When he left he started working at Wallace Heaton in New Bond Street (Wallace Heaton was a famous photographic retailer and supplier to the royal family). There he met my mum and got engaged within 3 months of meeting. He stayed in the photographic industry all is his life, working for Canon Cameras until his retirement. My parents have been married 54 years. Interestingly the two oldest grandsons have been inspired by him in their career choices. My son is a Videographer using Canon equipment in the music industry and my nephew has been at Wellbeck Defence College with the RAF and in September will be reading Engineering at Oxford University..
Anyway, I digress, the point is that we call came together at The Fish Hotel to celebrate not just dad's birthday but our family all being together.
The Fish Hotel is the sister hotel to The Dormy House where my husband and I have had some lovely nights away. It is fairly new to the hotel group and has only been open about two years but their focus is on family and friends getting together in a relaxed atmosphere, a touch of luxury, lots of comfortable space outside and in and fantastic food. Do take a look at their website as I can't do in justice in this small space but if you like my photos and the fun we had then it is worth checking out. The new Hilly Huts are a must for a romantic night away with the views, privacy and hot tubs!
Friday night we celebrated with a sharing feast at a big table in the private conservatory, Saturday morning we all did various activities (Segway, All-Terrain Vehicles and Archery) this was great fun and gave an extra focus to the weekend. Saturday night we did 'Feasting on the Deck' this is where you get your own private chef and he cooks a delicous menu on the BBQ and it is all served on a large table in an outside covered area with heaters, blankets and fairy lights. Fantastic!
Here are our photos ...
I think we all agreed we'd go back when he is 90!
I love the opportunity to wear a bikini but I am not completely bikini confident, I have my body worries the same as everyone else. But what I did notice again this year is that in a hot holiday location, it is pretty much bikini's all the way - yes there are a few swimsuits but mostly whatever size, shape or age you are, a bikini is the most popular choice.
And why not!? It is way too hot for a swimsuit. If you have been in the pool and your swimsuit is wet it is quite a mission to pull it off if you need to go to the toilet!. Whatever size you are a tanned tummy is much more flattering than a white one.
So I say embrace the bikini. I wrote a post last year about choosing a bikini - take a look here.
So here are my bikini's this year:
First up was my favorite one from The White Company. Navy with white flowers. Classic and comfortable. Tie sides which can be adjusted and mean they are not too tight and won't show any bulges. A slightly padded halter neck. Now I am small busted so I can wear bikini's off the shelf without a cup size so I can't offer advice for the larger ladies I'm afraid.
This was a last minute buy from Accessorize and I hesitated over keeping it as the bottoms are quite 'small' but it was so pretty and its reversible too.
This final one is from Coco Bay, it's called Moontide and comes in lots of different top and bottom style options.
Are you still to go on holiday? No more hot bikini holidays for me this year. We have a week on Cornwall though so I might get into my shorts one more time before having to pack them away for the winter.
Today I'm sharing some of my beach cover-ups! Going back to the cotton theme that I mentioned in my last post, I do struggle to find cotton beach cover-ups. I am not a fan of linen as I don't like the crushed look. But any man-made fabric just feels way too hot. I have a few cotton dresses and cover-ups that I have purchased whilst on holiday then they get packed away for the next holiday (and never worn at home as it just isn't warm enough).
My hat this year was a mans trilby from Marks & Spencer, I got a size small and I was so pleased with it, much more substantial than the equivalent ladies ones and a good price too.
This navy beach cover-up is Seafolly from Coco Bay and was in the sale (similar here), I love the little pom poms on it. I ordered a few beach covers from Coco Bay but so many of them drowned my size as they are 'one size' and way too big for me. I do have my eye on this Seafolly dress though - white and cotton. My flip flops are the essential Havaiana's!
This beach cover up was from Marks & Spencer several years ago and is still my favourite as it is cotton and ties at the front (rather than having to put it over your head). But alas I have not seen anything similar for a while.
I did find this white one in Top Shop this year and is very similar to the Marks & Spencer one in that it ties at the front but it isn't cotton and was prone to creasing so I don't think it will go on my favourites list. The bikini is from Coco Bay and is reversible. It comes with various different pants and bra styles - I prefer tie sides as I think they are more flattering. Excuse the dodgy tan lines - I didn't quite master my tanning this holiday!
This one (above) was purchased in Fiscardo and proved to be a good buy!
And finally this is the Grecian Dress from Hush, it drapes beautifully and is very lightweight. I wore it over a bikini for our day out to Myrtos Beach and Fiscardo. It did crease a bit and I wonder if it might look better without the belt, I will be experimenting a bit more with this one. I think it has virtually sold out online but it is a style then do each year so worth looking again.
Later in the week I will be talking bikini's and bikini confidence!
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