Packing for a Palava Holiday

August is here, which means holidays! Several of team Palava have trips coming up this month. I am lucky enough to be travelling to Croatia next week - I'm so excited I have already started packing. Here's a selection of my holiday essentials, chiefly - sunglasses, books and dresses! 

This is my pick of books for the trip: an anthology of women travel writers, a novel by Elizabeth Bowen and my favourite novella by W. Somerset Maugham. 

Elizabeth Bowen was an Irish born writer from Dublin. Born in 1899, her first collection of short stories entitled 'Encounters' was published in 1923. Bowen went on to be a prolific short story writer - her work is often taught as part of creative writing and literature courses as a shining example of the craft. This novel, 'A House in Paris' was first published in 1935. Split into three parts, it follows the meeting of two children in France's beautiful and majestic capital city. From there we travel back in time to learn more about the boy's parents and the family's history in Paris - their lives, loves and adventures.

William Somerset Maugham was born in France in 1874. His influence as a writer is apparent in not only the continued popularity of his novels and short stories but also the many film adaptations of his work. One of my personal favourites is 'The Painted Veil'. Maugham himself was an interesting character - during WW1 he served with the Red Cross, going on to work as a government spy. He fictionalised his experiences of espionage in 'Ashenden: Or the British Agent' (1928) and other short stories.


'Up At The Villa' (1941) is both a literary classic and the perfect holiday read. I have read this twice before - the last time was a few years ago, so the memories of the story have faded a little. One of the most enjoyable things about returning to a book is the different perspective that time can provide. The nuances of characters and plot can shift, depending on your own experiences and the context or the place in which you read the book. Without giving too much away for those who haven't read it, 'Up At The Villa' is essentially a tale of romance with a dark twist. The clean prose and vivid characterisation enable you to get lost in the luscious Tuscan countryside where the novel is set. 

'The Virago Book of Women Travellers' is a collection of short stories by female authors: including Mary Wollstonecraft, M.F.K Fisher and Joan Didion. Selected for their common theme of travel - all stories take place with the author or lead character visiting places far away from home. The stories date between 1717 and the later part of the 20th century, and are fascinating snapshots of women who were fearless in their ambition to travel and explore the world, even during times when it was particularly unusual for women to do so. I am looking forward to dipping into this during my own summer adventure! 

 Now that I have my book choices sorted, on to the dresses! These are all currently in our big Summer Sale, alongside countless other styles. I picked these three for myself and am looking forward to wearing them in Croatia.

 The detail on our Kew Gardens print is very special - featuring Mr. Giraffe and several of his animal friends including a crafty snake, a few birds of prey and a magnificent peacock in full plume. The vibrant colours, unique print and flattering cut make this one of my favourite Palava designs. 

Irene Coral Doodle is a lovely lightweight summer dress that was designed by Bryony after an afternoon doodling. A little sketch on a notebook transformed into the print you see on the dress. The muted coral colour is vintage inspired and perfect for summer.

Our Rose Pineapple Heaven dress is a classic - with a V-shaped neckline, pretty pink waist tie and lovely knee-length skirt. I love the fun quality of the novelty print.


I can't wait to share some photographs from my holiday with you all, so stay tuned. In the meantime, have a browse of our sale. Many of our gorgeous prints are limited edition and won't be made again. Which makes them even more special!



Whether you're going away in August or staying at home, here's to a good month ahead!



05th Aug 2017

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