Oh, summer! Weather-wise, you couldn’t have done us more dirty if you’d tried but what you lacked in sunshine and long balmy beach days, you more than made up for with Jack Grealish, and for that, we say thank you.
With the advent of the humble photo dump, we all let out a big fat sigh and discovered a way to lighten up on social media, fully embracing the messiness of life with the kind of photos that look like you asked the waiter to take them. To hell with the curated feed, in with the “fuck it, that’ll do” movement. We’re talking dinner pics, podcast screenshots, messy bedrooms, cat candids, serotonin thirst traps and all the blurry and endearing evidence of living life to its fullest.
Join the team as we take a fond look back at the season of freedom, featuring the rebirth of nightclubs, happy tears, hugging our pals and legally singing / screaming Mr Brightside into a microphone at the top of our lungs, the loungewear > killer jeans and a nice top evolution, Aperol spritz on an overrated rooftop bar, fresh manis and of course, the rollercoaster that was England vs Italy in the UEFA EURO final.
Summer ’21 was the tonic I desperately needed! I know most people feel like it fell flat but compared to my 2020 summer it was such joy. I moved house at the end of April so this season was a flurry of new friends, a new home and finally doing the Brighton exploring and loving I was deprived of last year. As a result, my camera roll is a v happy place to be, and I’m ending the high summer months with a fuller heart and at capacity iPhone storage too. I think my bloodstream is 90% Rosé wine…
My summer kicked off at the end of May where I took a week off to go to Cornwall with my sibling to stay with our Sneaking in at the end of the season but a moment I have been pining for since literally March 2020- my first gig back! I live for watching live music and it has been one of the things I’ve felt completely lost without during the pandemic. Of course, the honour of this occasion could only be given to one of my favourite boys, and I was lucky enough to see Louis Tomlinson at his Away From Home festival at Crystal Palace Bowl. In the words of Kylie Jenner, I feel like I’m getting my personality back.
Me and my housemate and brunette BFF Georgia over the August Bank Holiday weekend getting ready for an evening of Tequila (a surprising love affair of mine this summer), vegan nachos and Hot Boy Spotting at a plethora of Brighton bars and pubs. We are nothing if not consistent.
Myself and my other housemate, Aoife enjoying one of the rare 25 degrees days on Hove beach, accompanied by gin, a BBQ and a portion of hummus and Sweet Chilli Sensations big enough to feed a small army. I feel most at peace on the beach with my friends and I live for those times where the day blurs into the night and the memories carry on into the wee hours.
The most STUNNING beach in Cornwall that we stumbled across by somewhat of an accident and turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip and my whole year! Pedn Vounder is only accessible by literally clambering down a cliffside and was quite the physical and emotional journey with a stuffed tote bag and inappropriately chosen midi dress. Regardless I think back to this day so fondly and would love to go back.
Because 7 glasses of Rosé simply looks like my idea of IRL heaven.
I can finally tick paddleboarding off my bucket list and boy am I happy about it! I’ve been wanting to SUP for the longest time and finally had the opportunity in Cornwall and it certainly did not disappoint. We hired some paddle boards and headed out around St Michael’s Mount as a group of 7 and it was quite honestly one of the most zen and wholesome activities I have ever done. If I had somewhere to store one at home I would 100% be a SUP addict!
Summer is always the superior season because it contains my birthdayyyyy. I turned 24 in August and had the most special couple of weeks celebrating over brunches, drinks, dinners and most notably a very extra and fabulous karaoke party. I wore a similarly extra outfit from Indigo Freya and am already trying to find another opportunity to wear it ASAP.
More sea swimming and outdoor adventures because I simply cannot get enough.
Polaroids from the Pride that never was but that we celebrated anyway because WHY NOT- I love, love.
Looking back at the Summer 2021 highlight reel, I feel quite emotional. After such a rollercoaster couple of years, families divided by covid restrictions, finally we were able to feel somewhat free again. Best of all my daughter Gigi finally got to meet her French relatives and we got to spend a lot more time in Cornwall with her Cornish side of the family too.
We spent a lot of time in Cornwall this summer (didn’t everyone!?) but for us, it’s less of a novelty and more home from home. On the sunny days, there really is no better place, I just wish there were a few more of them amiright? Fortunately, we did see some sunshine and made some unforgettable family memories with lovely walks along the cliffs, beaches, fish and chip dinners and enjoyed all that Cornwall has to offer.
Following on the Cornwall highlights my sister in law got married! After a couple of postponements and a set of twins later they finally tied the knot in a quintessential Cornish way, complete with a Landrover entrance, folk singers and pasty midnight snacks. It was just perfect.
We were lucky enough to get away this summer to spend time with my family in the south of France. Our daughter Gigi had just turned 4 months old and due to him running his own business my husband hasn’t been able to spend a lot of dedicated time with us without work interrupting. It was especially special to get some time together before the end of my maternity leave. Despite the various hoops we had to jump through, PCR/lateral flow tests/double jabs etc it was most definitely worth it.
While we were in France we pretty much stayed at our house 99% of the time with one exception. We did manage to go to my favourite restaurant in the world which is at the Hotel Gorges de Pennafort. It’s such a special secret (not so secret) spot where the food is just unbelievable. I was a bit apprehensive about how dinner out with a 4-month-old baby would go but she was a total angel and slept in her pram all evening. Praise the lord for white noise and snooze shades.
My husband and I, we’re National Trust kind of people and we love nothing more than a long walk at the weekend, dog and baby in tow. We’re very lucky with where we live and getting out and about has always been our happy place.
The end of summer brings about my wedding anniversary, this year my husband bought me an olive tree which I love so much, I had wanted one in the house since before we built it. We kept things low key this year and went to the pub for dinner, back in time to put the baby to bed….how things have changed!
This brings me to where we are now, with a nearly 6-month-old who is starting on solids (and loving it so far). As an exclusively breastfed baby, this feels like a big step and I do still occasionally feel a bit overwhelmed with it. There is so little prep involved with breastfeeding so suddenly I’m having to get really organised and make sure she’s getting everything she needs, so far it’s been very messy!
I bloody loved summer 21′! I think the combination of the weather and the re-opening of the world made it feel like life was on track again. It’s was the first time I saw so many friends and family all in one place, and despite the cliche “what a year” chat it was wonderful.
My summer kicked off at the end of May where I took a week off to go to Cornwall with my sibling to stay with our parents. I think that’s the closest to a vacation I got this year, and even though the weather was touch and go, we managed to visit some gorgeous places I hadn’t been to before, this pic was taken at The Pig at Harlyn Bay where we had the most delicious meal and walk around the grounds.
After moving house in late December it’s been so nice to see the place through the seasons, people usually come and visit us as we’re by the sea and Brighton so I’ve loved hosting friends and family, and having them stay. This photo represents all the meals I’ve been able to serve, and it was also one of the best for summer months – Steak sandwiches, potato salad and Tricolore salad!
Headed into London for my Mum’s birthday, this was the first time we have all been together in the city since before COVID and it was glorious, we walked from Borough Market to Covent Garden and had dinner at Flat Iron which is one of our all-time faves.
A snap of me and my two besties at our friend’s hen do, it’s been so nice going to hens and weddings celebrating love, without the threat of cancellation. We had a narrowboat tour in London and then went for food and to the clurrrb. I was unsurprisingly one of the first to leave and finished the night with my best friend eating pizza and watching Arctic Monkeys at Glasto in our hotel room.
Just a fab shot of the sun streaming through the windows of the kitchen. I had dinner with my Mum and Auntie as they came for the weekend to house and puppy sit whilst Harry and I went to Silverstone for the Grand Prix!
The Warren in Brighton opened up again and even though I couldn’t go as much as we used to when we were working in the office, we all booked tickets to see a comedian one Saturday. This was all the same day as the England semi-finals so we headed home after to watch the game, another amazing part of Summer!
We booked 3 nights at The Hoxton in Southwark for Harry’s Sister’s wedding and I couldn’t wait to check in. The interiors and restaurants were all BEAUT and it was SO nice to stroll into Borough Market for breakfast and enjoy the hustle and bustle of London.
Pic from said wedding above! It was a double-header and this was the marriage ceremony day, lots of smiles, tears, dancing, chatting, all the good stuff! Weddings are my fave but as this was Harry’s sister it was so special, one of my best weekends of the summer!
After moving into a new neighbourhood it has been so great getting to meet lots of people on our estate and go to parties! Everyone is so much fun, this pic was taken at a cowboy party where we all ended up dancing in the pouring rain. The best parties are always the ones a 2-minute walk from your house ha!
My most recent pic in this last ‘heatwave’ of summer we seem to be having! Just down at the beach with a cooler and my super cringy beach chair you can carry on your back. I love going in the sea more than life itself and feel so privileged to live so close to the beaches when the sun decides he’s not leaving!
I feel like summer ‘21 came and went in a blur of Aperol and Pfizer but however short-lived it was, we had some cracking times, didn’t we? Plus, we’ve still got the prospect of some late summer September sun, so all is not lost.
If my cameral roll is anything to go by, I have two moods: wholesome granny who loves nothing more than a sea swim, walks and a National Trust day out OR wild thing, chatting shit about how repressed our vulvas are and alas, I’ll be honest, my summer has mainly consisted of the latter. After 18 months of not seeing anyone, I’ve gone a bit ham on the sauce.
I’ve been in a permanent drunk or hungover state since June 21st but I’ll try to balance out the boozy times with some wholesome sensible snapshots, too. Here’s what’s happening in my photo dump:
Settle Norfolk – it was back in April so strictly speaking, not quite summer but whose policing photo dumps anyway? We actually had this place booked for December 2020 in the Christmas break that wasn’t to be so finally getting to escape the city for a much-needed countryside breather in a cosy cabin was unbelievably good for the soul. I would recommend taking a trip if you fancy chilling with mama nature.
Goodwood – This was the first time I’ve been around a big crowd of people since BC (before covid) and it didn’t feel all that strange ya know. It was so nice to see everyone all dressed up in their glad rags again, letting their hair down (I know I certainly did. The hangover was savage) and just living life. Even if it was pissing it down with 50mph winds. British summertime eh, who’d have it?
Huns on tour – My pals came down to Brighton for the day and the weather was on point for once. We spent most of the afternoon at Bison beach bar and the details get kinda blurry after that… I know I did a rolly polly on the sand at some point and I there was a lot of talk of vaginas, OnlyFans and clitoral orgasms. Standard.
Horsing around – My mum and I went horse-riding and it was 100% a summer highlight for me… until she broke her back. Don’t ask. She didn’t even fall off. I like to look at this nostril pic every now and again when I’m feeling particularly guilty haha. Is there anything better than kissing a horse’s nose. It should be prescribed IMO.
Crow photobomb – This photo dump is now an animal appreciation dump. This cheeky little fella was clearly feeling himself and with a breast like that, who can ruddy blame him. I did a little time-lapse of a morning swim with my boyfriend and found this when I went back to watch it. I grabbed this still from the video because it makes me laugh every time. I haven’t been able to have quite as many sea swims as I did last year but I guess that makes the ones I have been able to squeeze in even more precious. Ta for the mems, Mr Crow.
Walks with pa – One good thing to come out of lockdown is all the walking. Dad and I started walking in lockdown 2020 and just never stopped. It’s become a weekly ritual now and I value that time with him so much. A walk followed by an obligatory stop at Victoria Sponge in Steyning for coffee and a slice of cake is exactly what I need when I’ve had a screen-heavy week.
First trip to the cinema – Yes, I went to see Peter Rabbit 2 on my own as a 30-year-old woman, what of it? It was actually bloody great because it was like 11am on a Monday or something mad so it was lovely and quiet for this little grandma. The last time I went to the cinema was to see Emma just before the pandemic hit so it felt poignant to be able to enjoy the big screen again with a giant popcorn to boot.
Put a sock in it – I have no idea what’s going on in this photo but it was the first night our big group were all back together and England won the quarter-final against Ukraine. It was such a good albeit messy night, as documented by my filthy sock.
I’ve had a rocky summer 21. I’m so glad things were getting back to normal and visiting new places again but a mixture of bad mental health and diminishing bank balance meant that I couldn’t enjoy it to its full extent. So I’ve popped in a few highlights that I’ll definitely look back on with fond memories.
Some friends and I had a little staycation to Liverpool and a spa in Birmingham. It was exactly what I needed. The hectic hustle and bustle of exploring Liverpool and drinks every night followed by a relaxing 2 spa days in Birmingham. We spent a solid 48 hours in these robes, having massages swimming in the pool and exploring the grounds. I did get sunburnt and we stuck out like sore thumbs in the hotel but hey that’s all part of the fun!
My beloved The Warren reopened this year and my goodness it was an experience. I look forward to it every year but they exceeded themselves for 2021. There was a beach bar with a plane wreck, barrel venue and all the food and drink you could ever want. The Warren is usually one of the venues for the Fringe Festival but they also opened their beach venue for August and it just made life feel normal. I watched Shitfaced Shakespeare 3.
This pic serves a double purpose because not only did clubs reopen but it was in time for PRIDE. My all-time favourite weekend of the year. We started the weekend with bottomless mimosas at my house in the morning with everyone I love and then of course went to the one and only place to be, Revenge (Brighton’s best, most inclusive club). Revenge has my heart, Pride has my heart, Love has my heart but mostly, the new Photo Booth in revenge has all of my money.
My auntie and I went on a caravan holiday to Weymouth for a few days and it was like stepping back in time in the best way possible. I felt like a 10-year-old at a Haven holiday park. The perfect combination of chilled out and entertainment value. I’ve never been to Weymouth before and you can imagine my surprise when on the first day we saw a real-life seal just basking in the sunshine on the beach. Again, a memory I’ll hold for a lifetime.
If you take one thing away from this post, I hope it’s that you go away and hire a boat for the day with your best friends. It was a friends birthday party and they hired out a whole boat for the day. The person who organised it is also a DJ and took their decks out. The sun was shining and we spent hours just sailing the coast of Brighton with the old school music you could imagine. My god I will remember that day for a long time (until about 11pm when I had one too many drinks) – I wish more than anything that I had a summer birthday for that exact reason.
After a long year of not being able to see my best friends in the world, we managed to book some time for them to come to Brighton. Bottomless brunch lead to daytime karaoke and then tattoos. Need I say more? I love my little Dolphin friend though, absolutely no regrets whatsoever.
My best friend came to stay with me for a little while when we were allowed and by gosh did we spend a lot of time at sea. Took the kayak out every evening, paddled out as far as we dared and cracked open a cider just looking back at shore. Pretty sure we had the camp rock soundtrack on the speaker too, what more could you genuinely want?
And who’s 2021 Summer round-up would be complete without an honourable mention of the euros. Talk about a way to get back into the swing of things. A genuine highlight of my life so far is that moment when Luke Shaw scored for England in the opening minutes of the final against Italy. I threw my pint in the air, threw a random man in the air, was crying, it was the best kind of hectic.
Well, Summer zoomed by in a flash! This Summer I think will be memorable for many people being the first fairly normal Summer since Covid hit us hard. I’ve had a lovely time soaking up the UK sun, drinking many Aperol’s and enjoying seeing all my friends in one place again!
The Warren re-opened in Brighton and so we went to a drag bingo show at the Spiegeltent which was fantastic, we had a load of drinks and good food and ended up out all evening! Was the same day I got my second vaccine… whoops didn’t feel so fresh in the morning!
I did a couple of staycations this Summer for a much-needed break and my first visit was this lovely campsite in Sussex called Dernwood with family. We stayed in really cute and cosy shepherd huts and safari tents, but the highlight every year is the ice cream truck which serves proper ice cream and all the iconic flavours like mint choc chip (my fave).
Enjoyed an afternoon tea at Sketch in London with one of my close friends Amna for her birthday, we felt extra boujie going here and the food was divine! They were playing the Bridgerton soundtrack between every course, the scones were unreal and the vibe is so cool.
More food content! For my birthday I went to the Salt Rooms for some delicious seafood, got to make the most of it while living next to the sea and their food is blooming delicious. Garlicy seafood with chips doesn’t get any better than that.
Some friends and I went to Broadstairs for a lovely staycation, we were super lucky with the weather and it was sunny every day. Of course, we spent the majority of our days having bevs on the beach and I think this picture captures that perfectly haha! We loved it there and had the best time, visiting the different beaches in Margate and Broadstairs, we went surfing too and did an escape room which was intense but so fun!
Pride babyyy! I had the best time at the unofficial Brighton pride celebrating with all my friends. Such a shame things like the parade couldn’t happen this year but I have full hope for pride normality in 2022. We spent all day and night soaking it up, was so good! Although one of us caught covid, so 10 days of isolation followed, 2021 am I right?
The food content keeps on coming, I went to Sheffield for another staycation to see my uni friends in our university hometown. We went to this little Italian called Nonna’s and the food was SO good. I had a very risotto themed meal by accident, having arancini to start followed by a parmesan risotto lol, no regrets though!
This picture of my friend James captures the chaotic vibe of my Summer perfectly, Aperol in hand of course.