When we heard one of our favourite bloggers Simone Oaks was taking a trip away, we wanted to hear all about it. From the wardrobe to how things have changed when it comes to planning a holiday as things reopen, get inspired for all your future plans!
Tell us a little about your trip away?
We love rural France as we live in rural North Yorkshire so it is like home from home – with a French twist! We drove this time which was a new experience for us as a family, but it meant we could go at our own pace and I could pack more clothes! We actually preferred it and will travel by car for any future trips.
We stayed in the Charente region in a very small village just outside a town called Aubeterre which is so peaceful. We visited the historic city of Saint-Émilion which is one of my favourite places with its narrow streets, Roman ruins and surrounding vineyards. We enjoyed getting outdoors and spending days swimming in local rivers and visiting lakes with beaches. We ended our holiday in the seaside town, Le Pouliguen which was my favourite part of the holiday as I am at my happiest by the sea.
Can you tell us a little about the Monsoon pieces you picked for your trip?
I am an advocate for a staple wardrobe; one you can enjoy year after year. I love French fashion; the textures, the fabrics, the art of perfect layering and the loose fit you often associate with French styling. The pieces I chose from Monsoon tick all of these boxes.
The pure linen and loose-fitting was perfect for sightseeing in Saint-Émilion. It has pockets and the culottes style fit gives it a stylish twist.
S.E.W Sustainable Dress Checked Dress
I bought this dress in a beautiful coral red last season and it is still like new. It is a timeless cut and the gingham print and cinched waistline creates a flattering silhouette.
A denim dress is a wardrobe must-have and the Tencel fabric of this dress makes it very comfortable to wear. The puff sleeve is a trend which is set to stay, and the subtle sleeve detailing of this dress is beautiful. Plus, it is created using sustainable fabrics!
I have worn this on repeat! It has become a key transitional piece and can be worn with high-waisted jeans for a casual look or with formal trousers and heels for an evening look.
This bag is so versatile, and the inner bag means you can safely hold all your handbag essentials. It hangs beautifully in my bedroom amongst my hat collection. Fact, you can never have too many basket bags and hats!
The perfect holiday cover-up and the elasticated waist ensures it stays in place. I love the pom-pom detail and it looks fabulous over a pair of jeans.
What is your favourite Monsoon piece and why?
The Dolly Schiffli midi dress is my favourite dress from the collection I chose. The shape and cut are flattering on all shapes and figures. The tie detail and longer sleeve make it so comfy to wear and flattering on the arms. The lace fabric is beautifully feminine, and the lining makes it comfortable to wear.
What are your top tips for preparing for going away? How have these changed for you this year?
We did not expect to be able to go abroad this year and decided to cancel our flights and opt for driving. We researched into safe places we could stop during our journey, I packed various picnics, so we did not have to stop for food, and we bought a toll censor for the car, so we did not have to stop to pay by cash. We only booked things we could cancel and receive a full refund for (where possible), we ensured our travel insurance was up to date and had all the cover we needed etc.
We have booked a staycation for the October half term and if this year has taught us anything it is to be grateful for where we get to call home. We are looking at new ways to explore what we have on our doorstep.
How have you found getting back to some sort of normality? Is there anything from your time indoors that you’ve learnt and think will stick with you?
The snippets of normality have been so welcomed, haven’t they? I don’t think I will feel it fully until the children go back to school and I do a normal workday (what is one of those?!). We have learnt to juggle and to be kind to ourselves, we can only do what we can. That is good enough. I have definitely taken more pleasure from the simple things that life has to offer, and in fact, these are pretty big things: a relaxing hot bath, finding my love for reading again, family film nights and just adopting a slower pace of life.