A day by the seaside with Joules

It's not everyday that a spontaneous invitation to the seaside happens to coincide with it being the hottest day of the year! So as you can imagine, we felt we were in the right place at the right time last Wednesday when Joules invited us to share in the celebrations of the opening week of their new sea-side store in Wells-Next-The-Sea.

We loaded up our car with our sun hats, lotions and beach chairs and began our trip over to the beautiful Norfolk coast where, after making a few diversions to take in the beauty of our surroundings, we finally arrived at Joules' new store near Holkham.

The funniest part of that journey had to be the heat which smacked us in the face as soon as we exited our car- air conditioning can be so misleading! I couldn't actually believe how hot the temperature was when we stepped outside! It reminded me of the sensation when stepping off a plane after landing in a hot country for the first time. You're immediately hit by what can only be described as a wall of heat as you adjust to the climate of a completely new environment! That was definitely Holkham for the day and it was the most gorgeous way to truly embrace a day spent 'holidaying at home'!

We met with our wonderful PR coordinator who so kindly provided ice creams for our boys to cool off with as we took a look around the beautiful new shop. I wasn't sure what to expect initially, but upon seeing the quaint, nautical beach hut store, I was instantly reminded of the quintessentially English beach huts that have become so part of our British seaside culture over the years.

 I mean, this store is just beautiful! With its crisp white wooden cladding and pretty decking at the front, every angle just invites you to step closer and explore the arrays of colours, shapes and fabrics that are displayed so beautifully within.

We spent a little while snapping some shots of the shop and chattering away amongst ourselves, all the while trying to keep sticky little fingers away from the pristine clothing that adorned the equally pristine shelves and rails of the shop floor. I found myself drawn in by the light, the colours and the wonderful juxtaposition of welly boots with beachwear, flip flops with cosy layers- Joules are so accomplished at providing the necessary accessories for a truly British summer!

Soon it was time to head off down to the beach itself and, having been supplied with the most exquisite locally sourced picnic, we trotted off with our goods in hand to search for an ideal spot for our feast. In the end, we decided to take a trip down the road to Hunstanton where we found the most gorgeous picnicking spot, high up on a hill which overlooked the stunning sandy beach below. The kids quickly got to work with unwrapping the goodies and making a start on their lunch while we skirted around, trying to get some nice photos and enjoying the scenery.

I can't explain how hot the sun truly was but we soon decided it was time to clear up our lunch and head for the water! And so we left the car, making the short distance on foot down to the golden sands below- It was so refreshing to finally cool hot little toes in the pools of water along the sandy shore. We walked and ran towards the waters edge, finally feeling a wonderful breeze that instantly soothed us. The kids were delighted to just splish and splash and didn't mind one bit that they were fully clothed at this point! We spent what seemed like an age just cooling down and enjoying the water for the refreshment it brought us! 

Of course, I knew soon our fun would come to a halt as the boys began to tire from the heat and all the walking. They had coped marvellously all day but we decided to close our day on a happy note rather than to wait until the inevitable tears of sheer fatigue began! (Luckily we missed them altogether as once we were back at the car, the boys dropped off to sleep almost instantly) There's a saying, 'quit while you're ahead' which I think is so apt when it comes to describing life with toddlers, certainly mine anyway!

We decided to do just that anyway and quit while we were ahead. The boys were happy but exhausted and the same could have been said for Eddy and I as we each carried a child all the way back up the hill to the car. Peaceful, content and still ludicrously warm, our day had been filled with everything we could have asked for from a trip to the seaside.

Our sleepy, sandy boys were soon rubbing their eyes and drifting off as we loaded them back into the car and cranked up the air conditioning once more! We all had a touch of sun-kissed glow about our salty skin as we finally sat for a moment before driving off to make our way home. With a quick pitt stop for one more ice cream en route, we were soon back on our way, happy as anything and filled with some wonderful memories to cherish from our spontaneous trip to the seaside!

I think it's good to be spontaneous sometimes and I thank Joules for giving us the opportunity to be just that! We had such a wonderful time getting to know the Norfolk coast a bit better and were so honoured to have played a part in the opening of the new Joules store which truly reflects the charm and character of the seaside in its stylistic sensitivity to the surrounding area.

Thank you for having us Joules! We had a blast and we can't wait to come back and see you in Holkham soon!



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