The sun has been shining for at least 3 days up north, so it is officially summer and I am totally ready for a couple of months of some golden rays.

I never really have much planned over the summer months as Tea House HQ can be quite busy with parties, school holidays and training up new tea bees but this year is a whole different kettle of fish.

In October I am getting married. You can read about it here and here. There is a fair bit of planning involved as you can imagine, but as we are getting married in Portugal in a little fishing town called Lagos we are keeping it quite low key and chilled. The most important part was booking the church which was done last October, but now we are on the hunt for a wedding venue. Another excuse to throw on a couple of summer dresses, jump on a plane and head out to Portugal for a few days in search for the perfect party joint.

I am only heading out for 4 days so I do not want too much luggage, just a small carry case will do me just fine. A few summer dresses for good measure, sun cream, wedding paperwork and we will be on our way.


I thought I would use this as an excuse to style up this beautiful summer dress from JD Williams and show you how to find the perfect summer dress for a beach getaway with some summer styling tips.

1. Interchange – I like to pack things that I can wear over and over. I like to pack light and interchange my outfits so it means I have more space to bring back bottles of Port and Pastel de nata, my ultimate favourite Portugese treat. This is the perfect dress to wear as it is or maybe pop a shirt over the top and tie it up to break up the pattern. I would also wear this with a jumper over the top, which makes the dress look more of a maxi skirt than a dress, or I would wear a different maxi skirt over the top to make the dress look more like a boho blouse. The world is my oyster with this little number.

2. Breathe – This dress is super floaty and let’s my skin breathe which I think is super important on holiday as you don’t want to be passing out. The lining covers you up just enough to not feel a chill but transparent enough to let a breeze flow though. I love something with a bit of swish and this dress is just adorable. Not too long and not too short making this the perfect summer dress for my jollie next week.

3. Cover up – Portugal can get a little chilly on an evening, especially the algarve where Lagos is.  This makes the perfect hot spot for surfers and golfers alike. I like to get dressed up a few nights when I’m away, to go out for dinner or a cocktail or too, but I don’t want to be too cold in my day dresses. Something like this is just perfect. I love the length as it covers my legs and with it being so light I can pop over a cardigan or a jumper.

4. Straps v No Straps – Who want’s tan lines? Well, I don’t really like tanning whatsoever but when you are out exploring and that sun is beaming right down on them very vulnerable shoulders of mine the last thing I want is some great big vest top marks. I would pick something that can be worn on or off the shoulder so you can protect yourself from the suns rays. Make sure you have plenty of suncream and keep applying throughout the day. 

5. Colour – I am always drawn to bright bold prints. When on holiday I tend to go for more toned down colours that have a pop of colour that I can match to accessories to dress up or down. I can then wear this a few times without it getting noticed so much.


I paired this Boho Midi Dress* with the Footflex by Lotus* sandals in tan. In Footflex you experience ultimate comfort and flexibility. I am a sucker for leather shoes and these summer sandals really get my juices flowing. 

These photo’s were taken at Jemsond Dene House in their stunning gardens. Stay posted for the most scrummy post next week about what I got up there while I was up in Newcastle.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Are you going anywhere nice this summer?

Love Carli x

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// Photos by Thumbelina Lillie \



  1. May 21, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    preeeeetttttttyyyyy!! Congratulations on your engagement also! Clearly I'm WAY way behind! This dress is beaut also. I'm off to Portugal at the end of June and I literally cannot keep my clothes on I'm so excited. Yours is obviously way more excited because well…you'll be getting married ! AH! What a fab place for a wedding! EEEk. All I could think when I read that first paragraph was 'I want to be a tea bee I want to be a tea bee!' Ramble over. The point of my message was that I like your dress.
    Betty x
    The Betty Stamp

    • May 27, 2016 / 11:19 am

      Heyyyy, why thank you!! Hahahah no you are not we have just been engaged for like ever!! Ooooh I love Portugal so much. I have to come back out again at the end of summer to do the last little bit of paperwork. Just another reason to come back out and soak up some piri peri chicken. Awwww you should head up as we need a tea bee this summer too. Thank you of liking my dress it is beautiful! I have some amazing posts coming up soon about the wedding so get excited and have a great holiday x x

  2. May 21, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    Oh well would you look at these photos with that new lens, beaaautiful! You looked like such a boho babe in this dress! Can't wait to hear about all the wedding excitements when your back BECAUSE YANO I ACTUALLY AM A BRIDESMAID!

    Megan xo
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

    • May 27, 2016 / 11:16 am

      Oooooh I know. Getting used to it still tho. Soon much to tell you when I get back. I loved how swishy it was and so airy. The perfect setting for these photos. I am super excited to shoot in more backgrounds this summer since our wall is well do grubby right now. Love ya x x

    • May 28, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      Awwwwww you. I never really wear long dresses but this is soon swishy. Thank you my sweets!! Ooooh I have plenty of content heading the blog way. I just can't wait x x

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