Fun in the sun with Marina Fogle
Marina Fogle, Co-Founder of The Bump Class– London’s go to antenatal class for mothers looking for professional, non-judgemental and practical advice. Marina lives in London with her husband Ben Fogle - adventurer, TV presenter and writer, alongside their children Ludo and Iona. She shares her inventive top tips for keeping kids happy on a plane, what she can't live without on the beach, and top destinations both that she's visited and on her bucket list.
First up, what’s your favourite beach?
It has to be Guincho just outside Lisbon. About a mile long, the wild Atlantic waves thunder onto its yellow sands. You can lie and just watch - the waves, the surfers (it attracts the pros from all over the world), the kites. It is constantly changing - in the winter the sea comes right up to the rugged dunes and very rarely, usually in the late summer, the sea is as calm as a lake. Everyone on the beach looks amazing - not because they try. Unlike so many European beaches, there's no plastic surgery on display in tiny bikinis - the look good because they have a healthy love of the outdoors. Ben always jokes that it's the one place that makes him feel unhealthy.
What makes the perfect getaway for your family?
Somewhere we don't need to wear a seatbelt or shoes - two of the tedious everyday things I'm delighted to do without. We spend Christmas on Harbour Island where for nearly a month we go barefoot and get around in a golf buggy. It's one of my biggest luxuries.
Where is the most kid-friendly destination you’ve visited?
The Martinhal in the Algarve. I'm not a huge fan of the built up part of the Algarve but this is in the rugged western corner, a world away from the high rises further down the coast. The hotel is chic, luxurious and beautifully situated and in every corner children are embraced. They've managed to achieve what I've searched for years.
Which 3 words best describe your holiday style? Barefoot, barefaced, simple.
My mother used to tell my sisters and I that the pilot had a secret spy hole to every child on the plane and every time he saw a child misbehaving he would ping them. Three pings, he threw you off the plane. I believed it for an embarrassingly long time. I tell my children the same story and the other day a couple sitting in front of us congratulated me on such a fantastic story....
What small things would you be lost without on holiday?
My sunglasses - I have blue eyes that they say are more sensitive to the sun. A chic hat - I love being in the sun but try and keep it off my face as much as possible and my kindle. I'm an avid reader and my favourite thing this year has been reading the Famous Five to my children. They are as obsessed as I was at their age.
What’s on your holiday reading list?
Ben meets a host of amazing people and often brings back books they've written. But right now I've got Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn, The Worst Date Ever by Jane Bussman, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. I devour books on holiday so my kindle has made my packing significantly lighter.
What are your beach bag must-haves?
I'm a light packer and hate hauling a heavy bag around so as long as we've got some water and a picnic (sandwiches, crisps and fruit) I leave everything else behind. We don't even take beach toys but instead we build sand castles, boats, cars and spaceships with lots of help from our imagination and what we find washed up on the beach. An old bottle is the petrol tank, a tyre the steering wheel, and a feather our mast.
Bucket list destinations - Goa! Uruguay - I've never been to South America and the wild Atlantic beaches look fantastic. I'm dying to go on a riding safari in Africa - galloping through the Okavango Delta would be a dream. And Antarctica - might not sound like a holiday but a friends runs a luxury camp called White Desert which does Antarctica in true style while embracing the adventure of kit skiing, exploring ice caves and visiting the emperor penguin colonies.
Which holiday sticks in your mind as truly special?
This Easter we took our children on a road trip in an old Land Rover Defender through Tanzania - visiting friends and camping. I spent my gap year in Africa and fell head over heels in love with the unruly continent. From the moment we arrived our children were transfixed and embraced the long, dusty, hot car journeys, sleeping under the stars and most of all the wildlife. It's a holiday that they have not stopped talking about and I doubt they'll ever forget.
Finally, when you get home, what are the signs you’ve been on a successful trip?
The photos - I do as many albums as I can because otherwise those photos are lost. Having a shelf full of albums lets us relive those amazing days.
Marina has published a book called 'The Bump Class'; An Expert Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Marina Fogle and Dr Chiara Hunt is available from Amazon and all good bookshops.
You can purchase from Amazon here