Whilst January is prime time for leaving British soil in favour of far-flung sandy islands (in our case this year Antigua – read about it here, here and here), the summer months are ideal for appreciating the wonders on our own doorstep.
The downside of course is that you can't risk only packing a handful of bikinis and featherweight beach dresses; gearing up for an English holiday potentially calls for about three suitcases. And true to form, on our recent trip to St Ives, the blustery Cornish drizzle told a familiar tale on day one – cue blush-inducing, inside-out umbrellas. Enter the number 1 packing list must-have: the waterproof. I couldn't have been happier to have a classic, can't-beat-it trench with me. I've had a black one before, and a dark grey but have strangely never got my mitts on the all-time classic beige, a wardrobe mainstay that I don't know how I've avoided until now. An easy length and well-cut, this one is just as good open or done-up. And was a welcome alternative to a mac-in-a-sac for browsing the St Ives galleries and shops.
But of course summer is also all about slipping into easy-breezy, barely-need-to-think-about-it dresses – and capitalising on the fact that they look great with virtually zero effort. In the case of the two below literally just add pants. The Bardot cami dress couldn't be an easier off-duty, not-too-dressy throw-on: its loose fit makes it just as good for long road trips around the country as it is for beach walks and exploring; and a red smocking dress which has been fantastic for dinners out though has also experienced its fair share of airtime during the day. Needless to say they'd both be just as good in Spain, the South of France or any Southern European getaways with soaring temps as they are on the UK's own coastline.