MY LIFE ON THE BEACH: Liz Earle
Liz Earle MBE co-founded the award-winning Liz Earle Beauty Co in 1995. She now runs the LiveTwice charity, offering opportunity to disadvantaged children and is also working on a series of sustainable food and farming documentaries. Follow Liz on Twitter for style and wellbeing news @LizEarleMe
Where is your favourite beach?
Shela beach on the East coast of Kenya near Lamu - a truly magical spot with stunning sandy coastline, clear azure waters, friendly locals and relatively few tourists. Peponi hotel is just perfect - family owned and run, child-friendly, great food and plenty of fishing and water activities. We go every year without fail.
What's your idea of the perfect holiday?
Somewhere with plenty of variety - a beach with a bit of culture nearby or lakeside with activities and interesting sights to explore. The family has a low-boredom threshold! The last time we were in Lamu we saw turtles hatching on the beach which the children found fascinating and still talk about.
Where was your first family holiday with your kids?
We took our then very young children to a smart, glitzy hotel in Mauritius one year when they were all quite small, but it was a pretty grim experience - too many people in over-crowded pools full of noisy others. It was exhausting just to walk around the vast hotel complex whenever we left anything behind in the room. These days we stick to smaller, family-run hotels - low-key but much more enjoyable.
How do you keep looking chic on holiday?
I don't! I do keep colours neutral though so everything works together with minimal packing - black, white and beige seem to be my beachwear staples - my children are the colourful ones in their Sunuva! Sarongs, beach cover-ups and stripy Kenyan Kikoys are my fall-back.
What are your top tips for surviving a long haul flight with your kids?
Ideally have them follow a day later with their father! Seriously, it is tricky. If we're going long-haul I try and book night flights and wear them out with activities that day so they sleep most of the way. I usually resort to bribing them with absorbing games on an iPad that they're not usually allowed to play.
What do you always have in your hand luggage?
A Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic spritzer - works wonders to calm the skin and keep fresh and hydrated, also smells delicious. I also pack a small travel pillow and thin blanket for either the children or me to doze. Neat lavender oil is also useful for dabbing onto the temples to encourage sleep and it has a wonderfully comforting smell. I especially like the Tisserand lavender oil and this doubles-up during the trip as a handy first-aider for mozzie bites, minor burns and stings. A few drops in the bath are also very soothing for hot skin.
What did you read on your last holiday?
My emails...I really am not very good at switching off and letting go. I do have a Kindle now which I have promised myself I will pre-load with a few good historical novels - am longing to read Wolf Hall.
How do you keep the kids entertained on the beach when you want to sunbathe?
A blow-up beach ball provides endless hours of fun, ditto shrimping nets and the trusty bucket and spade. I don't know what it is about digging in the sand - my children can spend hours doing this. Sand castle competitions are also very absorbing and seem to work for all ages from my youngest, who is three, to my older teens.
What are your beach bag must haves?
A roll-up hat with a wide brim, I like the ones from Pachacuti which is the only Fairtrade Panama hat company! A change of sandals as I find new ones often rub in awkward places. Extra-large sunglasses to give some skin protection around the eyes and a couple of tubes of mineral-based sun screen (in case one gets lost). I also pack spare hats for the children - I especially like the Sunuva legionnaire-styles with their pop-on neck protectors.