Summer Surf

Summer holidays are one of my favourite times of year.  Anticipation is high, but as a modern (in other words a somewhat fractured) family there isn’t the same level of mixed emotion that comes around with Christmas. So it is with a sigh of relief that I relish making our merry getaway each summer. For the past 3 years we have headed to France –  a happy hotch-potch of a newly reinvented family on a journey of discovery.  Traffic jams aside, France is an easy place to travel to with kids, gentle on the planet and a place where friends can drop in over the holiday even for a few days.

Our choice this year was inspired by Olive’s yearning to go surfing and mine to find some wide open expanses of beach and a big summer sky to share with friends and family.  I am a hippy at heart and I need my yearly fix of communal living. Sleeping under canvas is way up there on our list but this summer I had my eye on a real treat –  The Beachhouse, a 1920s wooden seaside villa in Montalivet in the Medoc. It had its very own idiosyncratic charm and was bursting with an assemblage of vintage curiosities, rattan chairs and embroidered and patchwork fabrics. It was hard to choose my favourite bedroom but I plumped for a floral indigo room that was akin to falling asleep in a rather bonkers vase of flowers. Our kids made a mad dash up to the attic to sleep under the eaves whilst I made a note to myself that I would enjoy several long soaks in the shell encrusted bathroom that had been neatly if rather eccentrically squeezed into a cupboard under the stairs.  It had all we needed and more. It was divided into three charming little houses that we occupied to create our own seaside commune where we waited for friends to arrive and for the bliss to commence.

We made daily trips to the local market to buy fresh produce, ate fresh oysters for lunch and drank wine from a local chateau,  the kids devoured books and freshly baked baguettes, we relaxed in hammocks and deck chairs in the garden, took the kids to their surfing lessons at Frankie’s Surf School (the kids loved him and so did I), picnicked on the beach, encountered the thrilling waves of the atlantic and took it in turns to prepare long-drawn-out suppers on the porch each evening.

What more could we ask for?

My holiday address book:-

The Beachhouse –

Frankie’s Surf School –

You can follow my daily visual diary on Instagram ashlyn_stylist.

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