Friday, 13 September 2013


When I book a holiday I'm never too sure what I am going to get. I was expecting a bit of sophistication  on the Costa Smeralda and had packed a number of good dresses. For the past few years the hotels that we've stayed in have been staffed by young people from many countries and English has been the common language. But this hotel was small and unpretentious and we were the only English visitors. The staff were local Sardinians with a very scanty grasp of our language. The other guests were mostly  families from mainland Italy. GREAT! It was just like being back in the fifties! Mealtimes could be a bit of a guessing game, even when they provided us with an English menu. What do you expect to eat when offered 'smooth hound'? A short-coated dog?
It was fish.
I had bought a new suitcase for the hold after the airport fiascos of the spring holiday. Regular followers will know that I usually travel only with an in-flight bag, but on the last trip, because I also had a small handbag, my case had to go in the hold. Add to that annoyance, my carefully tissue-packed clothing was searched in a very heavy-handed manner until they found my chunky necklaces.  So this trip I packed the new, larger case. Far too much stuff, I hardly wore any of it and the good dresses just hung on their hangers. It was all about the beach and the sea.
In the morning the sea was calm
and a pleasant onshore breeze came each afternoon to stop us overheating. 
There was fruit and plonk in our room.
That's a good way to cut pineapple!
And our shady little terrace a good place to eat it.
Simple clothes
and simple pleasures were the order of the day.

And the food was good.
I bought this Sardinian speciality to try at home.
We knew that at the end of the week we would be returning to autumn weather so we soaked up as much sand, sea and sun as we could - last ones on the beach!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Italian style

We've been in Sardinia for a week to enjoy some late summer sunshine. I like the brio of Italian style, good at simple, understated design but also good at bling. We had a stroll around Porto Cervo to see how the other half live - and shop! 
It was comfortable to walk along the shaded arcades and gawp at the luxury items on display. There were plenty of fur coats. FUR COATS! 
Himself was happy to sit and drink coffee and leave me to exhaust myself in window gazing.

Italian children are so charmingly dressed. When our daughters were small I would sketch the styles that I saw and then attempt to make something similar when we were home. This dress shop displayed just the sort of simple, classic styles that I like.
The thing that makes them special is the use of really good quality fabric and attention to detail.
I wouldn't mind wearing this funky little outfit.
Plus the beanie!
Although I draw the line at the penguin suit.
But what a collection of shops for grownups!

I loved this pinafore dress in the Prada window.
I went into the shop and spoke to the assistant. The pinafore fabric is a mixture of cashmere and mohair. It felt fabulous!
The camera has picked up a great deal of reflection in the windows due to the bright sunshine but I quite like the result.
I tried to photograph some bling - the most encrusted watch that I have ever seen - but the dazzle defeated me!
Check out these delightful shoes.

And the covetable jewellery.
I couldn't resist photographing this colourful lady! (I did ask permission first.)

She made me feel rather pale!
The shops were quiet because the beautiful people were out sailing. We went down to the harbour 
and did a bit more gawping at the astonishing boats!