Oh Wales-it seems so long ago now that we were there but it was literally only a week ago! Luckily, I treated myself to yet another notebook (I have a REAL and pretty consuming obsession with notebooks-and stationery in general)! but this one was a necessity- and meant I could scribble down notes during our lush week away making it easier to reflect back and write this post.
Yes, I know I’m literally justifying my millionth notepad but I love putting pen to paper and can’t function without somewhere to keep notes or jot down inspiration when it strikes.
..It had been 4 years since I’d last visited wonderful Wales-my husband was in Anglesey last year after the Passportgate debacle with Oliver (we discovered his passport had just expired the night before we were due to fly)- so it was pretty magical to return this time and retrace the boys’ steps but together, as a family.
And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
We had a completely picture-perfect idyllic week in North Wales, just 2 1/2 hours away from home, a sunny window of a week where we could all switch off and zone out.
It was just what we needed too: special, uninterrupted family time together-sunny days filled with blue skies and nothing but tranquil days to while away collecting shells and drinking lattes by the sea.
Beaumaris beach utterly captured our hearts. My first time there, but the place Oliver and Peter spent most of their week last year, we couldn’t keep away no matter how far we travelled or explored.
This new family’s happy place saw us crab catching (we threw them back after), enjoying walks on the pebbled beach before ice creams on the pier as the sun went down.
The town of Beaumaris is a total beauty too.
I adored the pastel painted houses (an instagrammer’s dream) and the eclectic indie shops which lined the streets. Pristine and so pretty, with the glorious sun, I felt I was far away in the South of France.
The ideal backdrop for an impromptu shoot.
Scarf Louis Vuitton, Coat, Topshop, Shades Chanel, Wellies, Hunter.
Also the perfect place for ice-cream lovers too.
If you pop to Beaumaris, promise me you’ll race over to the Red Boat for the best ice cream in town (Peter even dined on soup and homemade bread there and said it was top notch) too!
I was actually shocked that a lady who worked there who is also a fellow blogger recognised me. I always find it surprising and rather special when I’m recognised because of this blog here, especially when it happens outside of London, where my biggest audience is based.
Anyway, while there, this Greek Yorkshire lass opted for a healthy Greek yoghurt scoop with fresh strawberries (and a few licks of the moorish chocolate flavour my husband opted for!
A favourite for locals too, I loved that they had colouring in stations to keep kids busy, proudly pinning little customer’s work up on the wall.
Not far from there, by Beaumaris Castle lies a sweet park the boys (and Mama) loved to play in. With the local kids back at school (with different term times to us), my boys had free reign of the park most days, much to their delight.
When we weren’t chilling and playing in Beaumaris, we were out driving around, discovering the unmissable sights of North Wales.
South Stacks stands out as a captivating day-it could however prove a worry with little ones on the loose. I held onto Xander the whole time as the cliff drop is shockingly high without any safety barriers to protect children.
Please make the trip with that in mind. We walked down to the cliff edge (there are stairs and the descent is safe) but I do think it’s better suited to adults and older children.
A complete beauty to behold once you get there and it reminded me of Sea Point in South Africa, such is the view. Achingly beautiful.
Another day saw us make the drive to the weird and wonderful Portmeirion my agent had recommended we visit.
A tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales, it was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams Ellis over a 50 year time span (!) between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. It’s now owned by a charitable trust.
I was born in 1980 so missed this show, but you might recognise it as ‘the village’ from the 60s television show The Prisoner.
It definitely reminded me of a stunning film set and it makes sense lots of weddings are hosted there.
The day we visited was overcast but when the sun is out, you could be in Italy, not North Wales.
While the buildings could do with a little tlc, the views were dreamy and it was well worth the visit.
The kids had so much fun playing in the fixed boat there-cue the cutest ‘I’m the captain’ pictures before you.
I must note that the food was outstanding in the restaurant there too- and I only wish I hadn’t been in such a hurry to return back to the hotel- as that evening saw my family and I judge Ch 4’s Too Many Cooks on TV. Hilarious fun but I would have loved another hour at Portmeirion!
I actually forgot the food shot (#badblogger) but here’s a fashion one of me looking pensive in a stunning red coat c/o of Jacques Vert, shades c/o Chanel and back pack bought that morning from New Look.
Backpacks are all the rage daarlings, don’t you know?!
Wellies are navy Hunters which I lived in for the trip.
The most touching part of the whole holiday was witnessing the boys bonding, yes they still fought ( a lot) but their relationship truly developed in Wales and they shared many a tender moment from precious cuddles to holding hands and even snuggling in bed together at night.
I loved seeing them fast asleep in a hotel double bed together, there is nothing sweeter than two babes cuddling in their slumber.
Talking of sleep, I enjoyed a lot of disco naps myself-daytime drives through the countryside made me drop off (it was all that sea air) and it was so restorative to snooze on those journeys and wake up in the most gorgeous of surroundings.
I need to live by the sea and am putting that wish out there to the universe. Sea life make me happy.
Nothing beats collecting shells with my boys and breathing in that soul-replenishing salty sea air.
I always thought a move to LA for sunny days was in our plans one day but now I’m thinking North Wales is the way to go!
Aw, beach time is the BEST time!
Under the pier I told Oliver all about a little show called Baywatch as I pretending to do the Pammy run (in a coat and wellies I might add). He wasn’t too impressed!
Don’t blame him, there were sandcastles to be built and Mum was doing stupid impressions of lifeguards running down the beach!
For a quick city fix, I picked up some swimsuits (I’d forgotten to pack) and a few tea dresses in Llandudno with even a spot of pamper time in Debenhams where I treated myself to a French mani and eyebrow thread and dye (simultaneously too).
I had a pedicure another day at the brilliant Polished in Bangor too. A chic monochrome salon, my tootsies have never looked prettier- and if I’d had my way I would have spent the day there!
My sweet Xander sat on my knee throughout the treatment, stroking my arm. Such a darling Mummy’s Boy!
Now with swimwear in hand we could swim at the hotel we stayed at towards the end of the holiday and left Wales wet-headed, relaxed and totally rejuvenated.
What a happy, happy time we had.
Thank you Wales, we will be back!
Buy my bestselling book in paperback or audio
My debut book is my guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home and offers insight into how to create a digital business or return to work with confidence.
Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home (UK 2nd Edition)