Herringbone print maxi dress

I hope you all had a good weekend! I’m recovering from a late night and a few glasses of wine last night 😉 We went back to Nottingham for a BBC reunion and had a wonderful time catching up with people we hadn’t seen for years. A night away without Isobel doesn’t happen very often so we made the most of it by going to a bar afterwards. Staying out until 1am was a shock to the system…I’m so out of practice!

This herringbone print maxi dress has been on a few holidays with me, but I never get tired of it.

For today’s post I’m sharing an outfit I wore to Oistins fish fry in Barbados. This herringbone print maxi dress has been on a few holidays with me, but I never get tired of it. I love the flared cap sleeves, and the almost migraine-inducing black and white print. Although the bag features a clashing pattern, it works because it’s also black and white (well, off white). I bought the necklace from one of the market stalls that set up at the back of the eating area. I was really pleased with how it complimented the dress.

Oistins fish fry, Barbados

Herringbone print maxi dress

Everyone who goes to Barbados should go to Oistins on a Friday night  – it’s the biggest fish fry on the island and a real party atmosphere. The stalls sell very simple, but very tasty food that’s reasonably priced. Standard fare is fish (obviously), rice and peas, plaintain, breadfruit and sweet potatoes. Although I don’t eat fish any more, I still loved going this time for the entertainment.

Oistins fish fry, Barbados

Oistins fish fry, Barbados

Some of the regular dancers have been there for years and are quite happy to share the stage with tipsy tourists…

It’s a very sociable and friendly vibe, with locals and tourists eating together at big tables. There’s loud music and a stage where anyone who wants to can get up and dance. Some of the regular dancers have been there for years and are quite happy to share the stage with tipsy tourists who think they’ve got the moves like Jagger after a couple of rum punches! There’s another area for couples who enjoy a more sedate style of dancing, which is lovely to watch. Going to Oistins fish fry is always one of the highlights of a holiday to Barbados for me 🙂

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for November’s Style Not Age post!

Oistins fish fry, Barbados, dancers on stage

Oistins fish fry, Barbados

Oistins fish fry, Barbados

Oistins fish fry, market stall

Herringbone print maxi dress

 

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Miss Tunica leopard print tunic and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

Any of you who’ve been to Barbados will know that the West coast is best for swimming. But if it’s stunning views of a rugged coastline you’re after the Atlantic East coast is well worth a visit. When we got married on the island in 2010 we had a meal at The Edgewater Inn, which has sadly now closed. But on our last holiday to Barbados we found another restaurant in Bathsheba that’s equally as good (if not better!).

Miss Tunica leopard print tunic and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

After a morning by the pool I decided to keep my Miss Tunica leopard cover up on for lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn. The drive across the island to the East coast is beautiful, if a little bumpy! Some of the potholes are the size of craters, and the winding, hilly roads certainly challenged the hire car! Nevertheless, we always make at least one visit to the East coast when in Barbados because the scenery is stunning.

Miss Tunica leopard print tunic and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

I first wore this tunic in Abu Dhabi back in the Spring. It has an accompanying long black jersey slip to wear underneath it, but I chose a shorter nude slip this time because it was so hot and humid. Although the tunic is very lightweight it isn’t too see-through thanks to the print. In any case, Barbados is much more relaxed regarding dress codes than the UAE!

You’ve heard the saying “more is more and less is a bore” right? Well I kept that in mind when choosing my jewellery: chunky necklace, statement ring and tassel earrings. Plus some gold frame sunglasses for good measure. It was my last full day of the trip so I really went to town! I also worked in a little pattern clashing with my bargain £6 bag from Matalan in the end of Summer sale. Surprisingly it’s really good quality and very practical for taking to the beach too.

Miss Tunica leopard print kaftan and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

Miss Tunica cover up c/o | Ribelle sandals (similar) | bag from Matalan (similar) | Roberto Cavalli sunglasses | necklace and ring bought in Cape Verde

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Vegan lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

Miss Tunica leopard print kaftan and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

Pity I was too full to try the vegan banana cake for pudding…another reason to go back though!

As it was a very late lunch (due to a cock up with my mum’s dialysis session) I indulged in a cocktail upon arrival. The banana colada was so good, like a coconut and banana milkshake for grown ups 🙂 I was delighted to have a choice of vegan meals at the Atlantis Historic Inn – the chef is vegan so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The burger was delicious and the thick cut chips were the best I’ve tasted in a long time! Pity I was too full to try the vegan banana cake for pudding…another reason to go back though!

Miss Tunica leopard print kaftan and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn, vegan burger

Miss Tunica leopard print kaftan and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn, Bathsheba

Not far from the restaurant on our way back we happened upon a troupe of monkeys…so of course I immediately jumped out of the car for a photo! They were decidedly underwhelmed by my presence, but I was certainly pleased to see them 🙂

green monkeys, Barbados

green monkey, Barbados

 

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Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer silk maxi dress

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I posted an outfit from a holiday in Barbados where I extolled the virtues of the maxi dress. Well as I make last minute preparations to fly off to sunnier climes once more I thought I’d share some photos of the other maxi dresses that have become the mainstay of my holiday wardrobe.

I love the mix of prints in this dress and the pretty ruffles on the bust…and it co-ordinates perfectly with the stunning sunset.

Most of my dresses I picked up for a song, either on eBay, in sales or charity shops. This silk one-shoulder dress is from Marks and Spencer but I bought it on eBay for about £10. It was brand new with the tags on. Because I have so many clothes from M&S I can buy without trying on, confident that they will fit. I love the mix of prints in this dress and the pretty ruffles on the bust…and it co-ordinates perfectly with the stunning sunset. Most of my outfit photos were taken either at sunset or after dark because the sun sets quite early in Barbados (around 6pm) and getting the little one out of the pool before then wasn’t easy!

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer silk maxi dress

sunset at Surfside, Holetown, Barbados

Almond BEach resort, Speightstown sunset

night-sky-holetown

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe dickins-and-jones-maxi-dress

This dress is from Dickins and Jones, bought from House of Fraser in the sale at the end of Summer. It was reduced to just over £8! Even though it was only available in a small I had to chance it for that price (knowing I could return it if it didn’t fit) but to my delight it did fit! It’s very low cut so I needed to put a safety in it to spare my blushes, but the deep V means I can wear a big necklace.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe dickins-and-jones-maxi-dress

Barbados Holiday WardrobeMarks and Spencer silk-maxi-dress

Another M&S silk dress that I bought on eBay, again for less than £10. It’s a little small on the bust – the black part of the dress isn’t quite deep enough – but otherwise it fits fine. It’s lovely and cool, plus the straps are detachable so you could wear it as a strapless dress too.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe black-and-white-striped-dress

I’ve had this black and white dress for years and it’s been on quite a few holidays. It’s not the easiest dress to get into (getting my shoulders through the waistband is a bit of a tussle) but I love the design. I bought it from Asos, but with being so old it’s no longer available – this one is the closest match I could find.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress

I love the colours in this dress and how the sleeves look like wings when I spread my arms!

Now this dress really was a bargain; I found it on a clearance rail in Marks and Spencer (a long time ago) for the grand sum of £5! I didn’t have to think twice about snapping it up. I take it on every beach holiday because it’s cool and airy, doesn’t crease and feels fantastic on thanks to it being super stretchy. I love the colours in this dress and how the sleeves look like wings when I spread my arms! It has a built in top underneath the flowing sleeves so my sides are covered. I wore this dress on the last night of our holiday when we went to the Speightstown Sizzler – a little food and music festival where our friend Beveny was cooking traditional Bajan fishcakes. They were absolutely delicious and I want to go back for more!

Do you have a tried and tested formula for beach holiday packing? I’d love to hear how you prefer to dress on vacation 🙂

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress Speightstown Sizzler

 

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Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

For today’s Style With a Smile link up I’m reminiscing about a wonderful holiday from a few months ago. Barbados is a very special place for us as we got engaged and married there, so we like to escape to our favourite island whenever possible. It was my husband’s birthday towards the end of the holiday so we dragged ourselves away from the beach and went exploring.

The Foursquare Rum Distillery is tucked away in the southern countryside of the island on 8 acres of a former sugar plantation.

Barbados is famous for rum (the rum punches are delicious!) so it seemed fitting to visit a rum distillery. The Foursquare Rum Distillery is tucked away in the southern countryside of the island on eight acres of a former sugar plantation.  This working rum factory is best known for its collection of spiced rums but it produces a wide range of rums including Doorly’s (the husband’s favourite). Entrance is free and you can wander around, learning about the various stages of rum-making. The aroma of molasses, yeast and spices is intoxicating. For a small fee you can sample some of the rums, but unfortunately we got there a few minutes too late. Lesson learned: not everywhere operates on a 9-5 basis! We made up for it by buying a couple of bottles at the airport.

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Before our ill-timed visit to the distillery we had lunch at Atlantis restaurant at Bathsheba on the East coast. The Atlantic coast is very rugged and breathtakingly beautiful, but a definite no-no for swimming. I had the best Bajan fishcakes ever for a starter, washed down with a spiced rum punch. Atlantis has the most amazing view so you simply have to take your time over lunch. No-one rushes in Barbados anyway…even if it does mean missing the rum tasting!

I mostly wear maxi dresses on a beach holiday because they are so easy to throw on with a pair of sandals and some jewellery.

We snapped quite a few outfits during the holiday, which I’ll be posting at a later date. I mostly wear maxi dresses on a beach holiday because they are so easy to throw on with a pair of sandals and some jewellery: job done. Trying to tame my hair in the humidity takes quite an effort (I usually give up and leave it frizzy) so I don’t want to be faffing with what to wear…that means missing valuable cocktail time!

I found this particular maxi dress in a charity shop for less than £10. It’s made of stretch jersey so it’s incredibly comfortable, while the embellishment makes it dressy enough to wear for dinner. For variety I do pack a pair of lightweight trousers (seen in this post with ridiculously frizzy hair!), a couple of skirts and some vest tops. Refining my beach holiday packing is still very much a work in progress but maxi dresses are always top of my list!

What’s your beach holiday go-to outfit? Do you prefer dresses or separates? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to link up 🙂

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados Atlantis Bathsheba

bathsheba

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados



 

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Red Herring tribal print trousers Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

I’ve never been one to travel light but going to the same place more than once certainly helps to avoid over packing too much. Over half term we went to Barbados, a place that is very special to us as we got married there, in fact this was my fifth trip there (and the husband’s 15th!) so I knew what to expect weather wise…hot hot hot! The temperature doesn’t fluctuate much throughout the year so light and loose clothing, flat shoes and beach wear is basically all you need. I tend to take the same things with me on every beach holiday, and while that’s practical and thrifty, I’d got to the point where I just needed to add a few new items to my holiday wardrobe to freshen it up without breaking the bank. I was browsing the Debenhams website for bikinis when I saw these tribal print trousers on sale and thought they’d make a nice alternative to skirts. The pattern is perfect for holidays and the fabric is soft and light, they are so comfortable. The flat nude sandals go with everything so they are holiday wardrobe essentials. Barbados is very laid back so I don’t bother with heels – flats are much more practical, especially after a few rum punches!

White M&S lace crinkle skirt Barbados holiday wardrobe

This cream lace skirt and beaded vest is one of my favourite holiday outfits; the M&S skirt is made from a crinkle effect fabric so it travels well, and the vest is very light and stretchy. Again I wore my nude flat sandals and leather cream bag, which is also a holiday staple as it’s both roomy and goes with everything.

Red beach dress and straw hat Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

Simple maxi dresses are great to throw on over a bikini to take you from beach to bar if you don’t have time to get changed. I just added a pair of drop earrings and I was good to go and catch the sunset at the beach bar. I’m never without my straw hat during the day to keep the sun off my face and a pair of big shades to protect my eyes.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe red beach dress

Marks and Spencer Cote d'Azur sundress

This cotton sun dress was a real bargain; I bought it at an M&S outlet for about £5 a few months ago. It has a Côte d’Azur boat theme print which is perfect for holidays. As we were doing a lot of walking that day, which included a trip to the beach, I wore my red and white stripe Fitflops. I love Fitflops because I’m very flat footed and the thick, moulded sole makes walking much more comfortable. This photo was taken on the lookout point at Welchman Hall Gully – the exact spot where we got married back in 2010. It was lovely to go back there again.

Freya melon print bikini Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

One of the new items of swimwear I bought from Debenhams was this watermelon print bikini by Freya. I was instantly drawn to the tropical print, which gave my husband the perfect opportunity to say “Nice melons!” on more than one occasion! Men eh?!

Floozie frill bikini Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

This frill bikini is one I’ve had for a while now but I love the frill detail, which makes it feel less skimpy. It’s by Floozie Frost French – a range stocked by Debenhams, who have a fabulous range of swimwear for curvy ladies. I don’t mind admitting that I had serious doubts about posting a bikini photo (especially after relaxing the carbs intake the moment the plane took off!) but after seeing Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb post some beautiful holiday photos I was emboldened to just go for it. It’ll be quite a while before I get to spend a week basically living in a bikini again so I may as well savour the memory!

 

What are your tips for holiday packing? Are you a disciplined packer or do you always take too much stuff? Let me know in the comments!

 

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely day!

 

 

Emma xxx

 

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