Frocks at Sunset
Frocks at Sunset
View from Terrace
View from Terrace
Double Denim
Double Denim
Lipgloss Thief
Lipgloss Thief
Heidi Klein
Heidi Klein
Beach Life
Beach Life

Fashion & Frolics In Portugal {Charlotte}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

As you may have read my summer staples feature a few weeks ago, you will know I had recently bought a few new bits and bobs for our May holiday to Portugal. I was so proud of my packing skills! seriously, such a ahem, capsule wardrobe.

What you may have also read, is that the weather was due to be fairly inconsistent, I will admit to being rather defeated on how to pack lightly for sun, wind, rain, thunder storms, cool mornings and evenings, warmer afternoons and completely blue skies and hot hot hot all day long towards the end of the week we were there.

As it turns out, I made some positive sartorial choices (see the slider above or my personal instagram account for the actual stuff I wore) and some not so clever ones. The mornings and evenings were actually really quite chilly and apart from the the cardigan I had for the plane journey (!) my usual layering knitwear was missing. Fail.

I also decided that my summer footwear was frankly, a bit old and tired looking so apart from my cross strap birkenstocks (love!) only really wore one other pair of flat silver sandals the entire time. If only I had paid more attention to Lolly’s epic shoe post before I left.

Thank goodness for my pack of ASOS ultimate easy T-shirts (the best!) that I bought last minute and then layered over a vest top and wore with skinny jeans to keep out the coastal breeze.

I don’t mean to sound all woe is me, the sun shone far more frequently than expected and I was uber impressed with my Heidi Klein Malibu push up bikini that made my chest appear significantly more pneumatic than it is in real life. Sometimes the odd spendy clothing investment is completely worth it when it boosts your confidence and magically lifts your bum.

We stayed at an apartment in Quinta Do Mar owned by JES property management and rentals which was directly in-between Vale Do Lobo and Quinta Do Lago, both great locations for shops, restaurants and golden sandy beeches. The apartment was one of the most luxurious places I’ve ever stayed, with a large private terrace, a fully equipped kitchen and two impressive bathrooms – one with a huge jacuzzi bath and rain shower. Apart from the amazing accommodation, one of the holiday highlights was um…the car hire situation. Yes I know, I’m showing my age.

Last year we waited two hours at Faro airport (TWO hours with a tired hungry baby!) after getting off the plane before we were in our hire car and actually ready to leave for our destination. Such a laborious task.

This time we booked through VDL, they pick you up from the airport (the taxi has a child seat already in place) drive you to your holiday apartment where a car is outside and parked ready and waiting for you – again complete with child seat already in place. On the return journey they come and pick up the car approximately 30 minutes before your return taxi arrives to take you back to the airport.

Cost wise because we had a smaller vehicle this time around (we didn’t have the requirement for a large boot as we didn’t need to fit suitcases in at any point) it didn’t work out much more expensive than last year. And the extra was worth every penny for the sheer convenience and lack of stress.

Our favourite family places to eat were The Shack (live music from 4pm on Thursdays) and Koko Lane which did lovely breakfasts and had a well equipped play park right next door that Mabel could safely use whilst we watched her from underneath a parasol whilst enjoying a caffeine fix (or by Midday, a glass of wine…)

Holidaying with a two year old means relatively early nights and (sometimes painfully) early starts. As you can imagine, James and I were not exactly dancing on tables until dawn. To be honest we were more than happy to read, watch a film or open a bottle of Prosecco and actually have an uninterrupted conversation. Bliss.

On the subject of films, we watched “The Longest Ride” (cheese and sugar strand sprinkles on toast but I loved it! you all know I want to be a cowgirl…it’s written by Nicolas Sparks, and it’s very um….Nicolas Sparks.) We also watched “Joy” with Jennifer Lawrence. She was ace (love her) but I found the film…mediocre. For those of you that don’t know it’s based on the true story of the lady that invented the magic mop. I wanted more detail and background on her as a business woman, rather than the rather uninspiring exploits of her family.

We are already planning our next holiday so do leave me some recommendations in the comments box below. Also films I need to watch – there must be loads I haven’t seen, James and I rarely venture to the cinema these days.

Also, is anyone watching “The Tunnel – Sabotage”?! Oh M Gee. SO. GOOD.

You can read more about Mabel and her holiday fashion (much more functional and covetable than mine!) over on Rock My Family. Talking of her majesty, I was surreptitiously admiring a rather dishy waiter whilst we were out for dinner one evening when she pointed at him dramatically and shouted at the top of her lungs “You! Man! Get. Me. My. PUDDING!”

I nearly died.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
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21 thoughts on “Fashion & Frolics In Portugal {Charlotte}

  1. Loving The Tunnel. Have you watched The Bridge – if not, I highly recommend – I think it’s (shock horror!) better than The Tunnel.

    1. I have heard about it Siobhan but not watched it….if it’s better than the Tunnel then it must be really good! x

  2. I’ve NAILED this holiday capsule wardrobe malarkey. Currently in Lanzarote (obvs reading RMS on the daily, sitting on the terrace with a coffee in hand ?โ˜€๏ธ?) and have only packed 15 pieces plus 2 bags / pairs of shoes. I’m feeling very smug. No “what will I wear” dramas over here!

    I also forgot to pack a hairdryer so I’m embracing the salt water and rocking mermaid tresses. I haven’t been this carefree since Ayia Napa circa 2002.

    Little Miss on the other hand has a 30kg suitcase ?!

    1. ha hahaha! Mabel’s suitcase was also much bigger than mine! You will have to share what you took when you come back Lynsey. I think if it was going to be warm OR cold I would have faired better but didn’t really take the right clothes for either climate! x

      1. I will lovely, sharing is caring.

        I’ll add that being Scottish makes packing for all weathers easier in that once we are “on our holidays” we’ll literally wear our summer gear even if it’s p*ssing it down!

  3. Talking about holiday packing fails we went to France for a little weekend away last September and I’ve totally underestimated how cold it was going to get in the evenings (the previous years it was baking hot). We’ve booked a hotel room with a terrace so that we could enjoy a a few glasses of champagne while Anna slept but the lack of warm clothes meant we were sat out there wearing pretty much everything we took + hotel dressing gowns on top. Layering at its best. NOT. You’ve managed your slight wardrobe crisis rather stylishly.

    1. Ha ha Kat! Some mornings at breakfast I was wearing 2 T-shirts, a cardigan, James’s hooded zip up on top and a towel over my legs! I think you go away automatically assuming it MUST be warm, even if the weather forecast tells you otherwise x

  4. Oh Charlotte you will hate me as I went to the Algarve last week and the weather had perked up so we had gorgeous sunshine! I don’t know what I would have done otherwise… I had carry on only and Silvia’s car seat bag so packing was a real exercise in self discipline. Thanks for the tip with car hire- we went with my parents who were apprehensive after a couple of nightmare car experiences. I love that area- we were in Dunas Douradas which is lovely too, with a great kids pool that S enjoyed. So many good places to eat, back on the wagon now!

    1. ha ha Lucy I know – we looked at the weather for the week afterwards and it looked perfect!

      Carry on only….that is AMAZING. What did you do about toiletries and what not?

      I’m going to Ireland in a few weeks and I could deal with carry on only space wise, but I need my hair mousse etc – it’s a posh wedding so I can’t not do something with my barnet!!! xx

      1. I ALWAYS travel with just hand luggage as my husband refuses to pay for luggage allowance.

        Here is how….

        So, you take two pieces of “free baby luggage” perhaps your buggy and car seat in universal travel bags from amazon (other suppliers are available). The only thing is that you pack around your car seat and buggy. We flew to Scotland with hand luggage only (admittedly we were the people with the maximum sized hand luggage bags) for 10 days and packed our hiking boots, board games, heavy coats etc. in the buggy bag. Likewise the car seat bag. When we’ve flown abroad we’ve always put in wipes, sun tan lotion and nappies and things (I can’t comment on toiletries because…gasp…shock…I never take anything other than sun tan lotion).

        Even the low cost budget airlines allow you to take two pieces of child luggage like a buggy and car seat for free.

        Nailed IT.

        1. Yes that’s my secret too! For toiletries if you are worried about them in the big bag I double wrap in plastic bags and duct tape to inside the car seat so the plastic protects them. It’s amazing what you can hide in those big bags!

          1. Ah I see. We didn’t take one of those this time around, silly. Because we could have – and saved on a suitcase.

            Can I take one to Ireland even if Mabel isn’t coming? Ha ha ha xx

  5. We’e been to vale do lobo so many times and i spent my holidays growing up there as a child ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love it and would return all the time but we so also like to try other places to keep the excitement going!!

    Skiathos in Greece is such an amazing island, lovely and quiet at the beginning and end of the season and the beaches and sea are perfect for children!! Calm, sandy and warm water!!


    1. I have only been to Greece once Laura, we went to Mykonos for our Mini-moon, and I LOVED it. One of the best holidays ever. I haven’t really considered it as a family destination though x

  6. Hahaha at Mabel! Would have loved to see the look on the water’s face, bet everyone was giggling! x

    1. He actually thought it was hilarious – as did the rest of the restaurant!!! Honestly, she is the centre of attention wherever we go! x

  7. Also, we love Tuscany so so much. I used to dig out there (archaeology) so in the village we go to everyone knows us and Italians in my experience (sweeping generalisation alert) adore little ones and go out of their way to help them. My favourite place we have stayed is a spa hotel with naturally hot springs called the Adler- it’s so so beautifully set and June is the best time to go. They are 100% toddler friendly too, it’s a real family affair and the food is out of this world! Do have a google Charlotte I think it would be right up your street.

    1. Lucy this sounds EPIC. I have never been to Tuscany and I romanticise it like nobody’s business. Hilariously someone I know is getting married there next year (you should see the venue, OMG) and I am determined to get myself an invite. Somehow I am going to have to make myself the brides best friend in the next 6 months… ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  8. I second Skiathos! We took our son when he was 14weeks new. Hoping to return one year. Skiathos Town is gorgeous with so many fantastic restaurants. If you stay there or nearby you can also make use of the water taxis to access the best beaches. Love your holiday reports Charlotte! We are off to the Balearics next weekend ???

    1. Rachel I am so jealous of your Balearics trip, definitely going to check out Skiathos xxx

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