Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

A UK family travel and lifestyle blog


Small Gifts for the Modern Millennial

Millennial mother

Millennials, we cover a pretty wide age range, even though I have kids I still fit into the Millennial generation and while I cannot talk for everyone the way we navigate this digital world is far different to our parents era and therefore our needs are different. Many of us live life on the go, we live more for today and like to enjoy the things we can afford like brunch and coffee (as cliches as that is), as a generation many of us are also thinking more ethically, we want to support local business, be more sustainable and travel a little more. Also personally I find when it comes to gifts I want them to be meaningful or practical and here is a little gift guide for the digital millennial.

Reusable flask
zero waste

1. In a world where we are trying to cut out plastic as much as possible these two gifts are perfect for eating and drinking on the go as well as look stylish and dear I say Instagrammable. I am loving the stainless steel Black + Blum thermal food flask which keeps lunch both hot or cold and completely portable.

2. Next but is the super stylish and price point water reusable water bottle from Matalan for £8! Stay hydrated on the go, save money on never buy a plastic single-use water bottle ever again.

3. How cool is this handmade zero waste cutlery wrap in a geometric print from a small independent maker based in England via Etsy. This is a great little gift and you can even opt for the Bamboo cutlery with metal straw making is a great option for food on the go, a must have for any digital millennial. 

4. If your a regular reader of my blog you will know I'm a big fan of Keep Cups (or any reusable coffee cup for that matter). They come in all different colours and designs and you can even make a custom cup. There is no excuse to by buying single use take-away coffee and nearly all big chains as well as plenty of independent coffee shops offer discounts to people who use reusable cups. 

Wanderlust jewellery
Wanderlust pin badge

5. I will put my hands up straight away and say I love prints, especially typography ones or simple lettering and this Wanderlust print is not exception. Simple, straight to the point and captures that current minimalist, Scandi vibe and would look great in any millennial flat, home or workspace. 

6. The Mountains are calling - how pretty is this wanderlust inspired silver necklace! Handmade by Justyna from CocollaArt based in Norwich, UK. I know I would be over the moon if someone got me this for my birthday or Christmas as it's both unique and meaningful.  

7. Rose gold, it's really having a moment and for the right reasons as it' gives the traditional silver or gold that more feminine and unique appeal. I'm in love with this linked heart silver and rose gold ring as the two-tine effect has a delicate minimalist feel I love in jewellery. This unique piece is from UK based Kigu London which have a fantastic range. 

8. I don't think you can ever have enough pin badges right? This one is really fun and is great as a small budget friendly gift for any of those friends who love to travel or head off on outdoor adventures. With rose gold and glitter enamel this one is not your normal pin badge an is designed by indy owners Sparrow and Wolf

wooden phone case

9. We are all starting to wake up to the benefits of bringing nature into the home, from helping to purify the air to having a calming affect it's certainly a positive growing trend. It also makes for a great little gift and these concrete geometric with marble affect, each one being hand made by Little Deer in Brighton, meaning each pot is unique. Succulents and cacti are also a great low maintenance option. 

10. We all use and have phones, this is a fact in this modern world, so it's a pretty safe bet if your stuck for a gift to go with something phone related wether that be a portable charger or this cool wooden phone cover. These are handcrafted using sustainable wood by Mandallion and their are a variety of designs although I am loving this mountain engraving.

This is of course just a small selection but I hope it's been helpful and all of these gifts are £35 or under making them some great price point budget friendly options for birthdays and Christmas gift ideas.  


Why you should consider going away for Christmas

Christmas, I'm already starting to break out into a sweat thinking about it. Having grown up as part of a expat family in South Africa our Christmas's were usually very small, with only immediate family on the day and possibly heading to some friends for a party on boxing day but always fairly calm and spent outdoors as the festive period fell during our summer time. Even when we did fly over to the UK every 3yrs or so it was still a small gathering and as children it never made any difference to us where in the world we spent Christmas as long as it was with family. We of course had gifts but growing up we were never over indulged like children are now and I do think we are forgetting what the festive season is meant to be about.

My childhood experiences are completely different to the now which has become very manic especially having kids and trying to divide time between two sets of in-laws and to be completely honest I feel exhausted just by the thought as it always ends up in a manic mess and all I crave is calm and quality time with my kids, away from screens, just enjoying the festive period together. It's also refreshing to see other families feel the same and I was really inspired by Fritha from Tiger Lilly Quinn who spent Christmas in Amsterdam two years ago.

kids in snow

Here are a quick run down of a few reasons why you should consider going away from Christmas

1. Easily avoid excessive gift giving
2. No pressure to host (and skip any family drama)
3. Enjoy quality time with your family and the festivities can last as long as you want.
4. Experience a different culture and a different way of celebrating Christmas
5. European Christmas Markets are amazing

These are just a few reasons why we are considering going away this year, to keep things simple and really saviour the season together as a family unit while still enjoying the festivities. A few years ago in my mid-twenties I was working in the South of France and stayed there for Christmas and New years and hd such a fantastic time with my work colleges. We ate good food, danced a lot and had a really good time and with slightly milder weather than the UK, the South of France is a great place to get away from it all but still enjoy traditional Christmas markets, carols and everything in between.

Door wreath

Obviously spending Christmas away from home as a parent of two is different to being child-free on the French Riviera so our needs would change but my dream would be to hire a luxury French Chateau such as the beautiful ones on ChicVillas, which are complete swoon, even if it was part of a larger group because there really would be room for your favourite extended family members and just to be in a fairytale setting what would be more magical? If your a regular reader to my blog you will know we are fans of self-catering when it comes to family travel as it means you can go at your own pace and can cook up a real feast or just keep things simple, the choice is yours. You can also take it slow and enjoy the festivities for an extended amount of time and over a few days as you don't have that same rushed feeling as we as parents feel back home.

French Chateau

France is also a great option for a few other reasons and one being that Christmas is less commercial in France and more focuses on family and food which makes in an inclusive destination that has something for everyone, also it produces amazing wine so no complaints there either. Most villages also host a traditional Christmas market and they love decorating with big Christmas trees in the main square and lights illuminating the streets, which of course is very pretty and adds to the ambience. If you still need convincing here is a list of 25 French Christmas Traditions to get excited about.

Of course you dont have to hit the continent to get away and can also have a staycation. We personally love West Wales and usually always visit Tenby during the New Year. We also spent an Autumn in a very cute cottage a few years back that would make for the perfect Christmas bolt hole. 

French holiday
How beautiful is this Luxury French Chateau 


5 reasons to visit South Devon

South Devon Castle

We recently had the chance to explore South Devon, a destination that has been on our radar for a while and I wanted to see why it's such a great place for a family weekend away and in all honesty we were really spoilt for choice in terms of family friendly things to see and do. As we only had three nights in the area we wanted to make the most of our time without it being too much and thats really something one has to bare in mind when travelling with young children, you need to go at a slightly slower pace. We also wanted to explore as much of the outdoors as possible take in all that Devonshire countryside and coastline. I can safely say that South Devon is a great option for a quick getaway and here are 5 reasons why you should consider it for your next weekend break. 

Powderham Castle was around a 10 minute drive from our apartment at Cofton Holidays and was one of the first places we decided to check out as it had come highly recommended. Both of my boys are fascinated with Knights and Castle so they were naturally excited to explore Powderham. The estate has a really fascinating history as it's been in the same family for hundreds of years and was involved in both the War of the Roses and the Civil War. What is a real highlight about the Powderham is the Victorian Walled Garden and Petting Farm with a large Wooden fort and zipline where the kids had an absolute blast. They also really enjoyed spying deers in the deer park and tucking into warm scones and Devon cream in The Courtenay Cafe

2. Torquay & Living Coasts

There is a reason why Torquay is nicknamed the English Riviera and while I thought we would enjoy a walk along the quay it wasn't until we were there that I really understood why so many people love flock to this part of the UK. The quay is a hive of coffee shops overlooking yachts and fishing boats and stunning coastline and it's a must-visit town in Devon. We also popped into Living Coasts which is part of Whitley Wildlife conservation trust and has a focus on education around seabirds and coastal wildlife which my kids found fascinating especially the small tidal estuary and mangrove swamp. The Cafe at Living Coasts is also a great spot for something to eat as it sits on the edge of Torquay harbour and offers some fantastic panoramic views from the large outdoor terrace. 

3. Dawlish Warren

Dawlish Warren found just north east of Dawlish, is a great spot for families as it has a long blue flag beach, sand dunes, nature reserve and there are also amusements which are not really our thing but still make for a long of fun by the seaside. What we liked most about spending time at Dawlish Warren was the free-range fun on offer for the kids, to go rock pooling and running in and out of the waves before indulging in the tradition that is ice-cream at the seaside. 

When we are exploring somewhere new we always have a quick check to see if there is a National Trust property nearby and not to just put our membership to good use but also because we have yet to be disappointed by any we have visited so far and Killerton is no exception. Killerton is an 18th Century Manor home set in a stunning estate with lots of natural play areas, tree swings, a bear hut and ice house as well as acres and acres of forest to explore. There is also a beautiful bistro-style reasturant, Killerton Kitchen which cooks up special seasonal dishes daily and looks over pretty gardens where kids can run free. 

5. Cofton Holidays 

You may have already red my review of our stay in one of the stylish apartments at Cofton Holidays but what you might not know is that they do day passes for holiday makers to have access to their fantastic facilitates such as their two outdoor pools! It's so rare to be able to swim outdoors in the UK so this was a huge hit with my kids and you could easily spend a whole day sitting around the pool just soaking it all in. You can also say hello to the local donkeys or zipline in the forest play park and if it's raining you can take advantage of the indoor play park and swimming pool.  

Thanks to Cofton Holidays and Visit South Devon for inviting us to explore this beautiful part of the UK.

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