The spare room glam-over with no spare cash

One thing I love about my house is the enormous attic space. It was where the maids slept in the 1880s, the soldiers hid in the 1940s and the politician's *insert imagination* in the swinging sixties. In this millennium it has mostly been a dumping ground.

But not any more.

IMG_3663.JPG

This week I needed the spare room to look special because my friend was coming to stay.  Not that I need to impress my friend. Xena stays regularly and takes me as she finds me. On this occasion she found me stressy and a bit shrivelled, but that's another story.

No, I wanted the attic guest space to look swish, because apart from having somewhere nice to sleep and a mate to laugh with, this was otherwise going to be a shit week for Xena.

Xena's mum, the one that used to let us have parties in the cellar, the one who'd let us scribble the names of boys we fancied on the bedroom walls, the one who always had long, blonde hippy hair when the other mums had short tight perms.... Xena's mum has Alzheimers. This week we've had the heartbreaking task of finding her a specialist care home at only 66.  

In the grand scheme of things, interior design doesn't matter. But when life sucks, I like to think it can at least be a tonic. I figured that if making my attic guest room all pretty and glamorous could, in some small way, lift the pain for Xena this week then it was totally worth a try.

Now I have lots of plans for this room, involving beautiful new wallpaper by Common Room and a stack of new bedding by The White Company. But I had neither the time, nor the funds to employ a full on makeover in time for my guest's arrival. Instead I needed to get creative with a vintage glam update that is pretty and cosy enough to detract from any crumby decorating choices that I'm stuck with for now.

If you've got a spare room to get guest ready, but no spare cash for a modern makeover, piling on the vintage glamour is a great way to get that boutique hotel feel on a budget.

I raided the rest of the house of accessories to glam-up the attic bedroom for the week and employed some simple vintage styling tricks:  

1) Layering

Layering is the key to cool vintage styling. I decided on a blush pink and gold theme and threw together all the rugs, throws and cushions I had around the house that fell within this colour palette. if you like this look try and mix different textures for maximum impact. Silk and faux fur are a match made in vintage style heaven.

The shaggy pink rug was a second hand market find for about £8 but the Rug Seller has a similar one here.

As I live in a lofty Victorian house we have a lot of throws about the place to snuggle up in on the sofa. I borrowed a few of them for this room including two from TK Maxx - One of the best places (apart from second hand shops) to pick up low cost luxe accessories. This grey bobble knit throw for example has £70 off the RRP.

Grey bobble Paoletti throw £39.99  TK Maxx

Grey bobble Paoletti throw £39.99 TK Maxx

Whilst this cheap and cheerful yellow throw can't fail to brighten up a boring spare room:

Yellow and white throw £16.99  TK Maxx

Yellow and white throw £16.99 TK Maxx

2) Frames

I have a ridiculous collection of redundant gilt edge picture frames lying about the house but I can't tell you how many times they've come in handy. Propped up on a bare wall they are great for "framing" focal points, such as the pink anglepoise lamp from Marks and Spencer.

busblind

I've also used one to hang a sparkly vintage cape on, just because it's got all that shizz going on and these magnolia walls needed all the help they could get. 

3) Fairy lights

So the rest of your house is painted all edgy and dark and the guest bedroom is a nondescript neutral with patches of match pot samples in the corner behind the door. Same. Too late to do anything about it now, the Christmas guests are on their way, so my advice is dim the lights.  

Fairy lights set a magical tone

Fairy lights set a magical tone

I suggest borrowing lamps from other rooms if it's just for a short stay/ short term fix, but if you need extras just use Christmas tree lights around a large house plant or display them in a big vase, glass bowl or bird cage. I also wrapped a set of Christmas ivy lights round the bed and the touch of green really lifted things, don't you think?

4) Storage

When it's not hosting house guests, this room is hosting boxes. I'm a loving collector more than a ruthless de-clutterer, which (roughly translated) means I keep too much shit. This shit can be beautifully disguised in gorgeous vintage trunks. Buy 'em, fill 'em stack 'em. In my opinion they are the cheapest, chicest storage solution out there.

Vintage trunks make great guest room storage

Vintage trunks make great guest room storage

5) Mirrors

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating... I love using mirrors to dress a room. Not because I like looking at myself. Quite the opposite in fact. I love they way they bounce light about and the instant glam that comes from that shiny mirrored surface. Mix old and new mirrors for full effect. I'll be looking out for more vintage dome mirrors at second hand fairs, great for a cool porthole effect above a bed.

This star mirror from Cox and Cox is a stylists dream. It's been rocking up my lounge wall above the sofa but I moved it up into the attic for my friend's visit just to give the room a little touch of luxury. You can literally put it anywhere and it looks super cool.

Brass star mirror £80 by  Cox and Cox

Brass star mirror £80 by Cox and Cox

Also, you know how I'm into subliminal messages right? Well my mate can't deal with kindness at the best of times and at this point it might just break her. This little star was my way of telling her how I felt about the way she is dealing with this situation.

So what do you think of my vintage glam attic guest room? I'd love to know your thoughts, please get in touch in the comments section, or find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Xena has returned home now and I'm supposed to be putting a lot of this stuff back in the rooms they came from but you know what... I might just have a night up her on my own first. Here's the bath that I had installed in my attic 10 years ago when I first converted it and I have never so much as dipped a toe in! A quiet soak in here is literally all I want for Christmas.

My totally impractical, secret attic bathroom

My totally impractical, secret attic bathroom

Finally, I'm sorry this post has been late in coming. I've kind of been a bit pre-occupied this week... and just so you know, next week is not looking good either. Hope you are all way more organised than me and enjoying getting into the Christmas spirit. I'm going for the winging it all the way approach. Prossecco time yet?

Claire xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Festive Beasts and Where to Find Them

It's the office party at House Candy HQ and what a bunch of party animals we are. 

OK, truth be told it's just me and a load of animal shaped paraphernalia with ribbons round our necks, but hey, I've been to worse Christmas do's (and the obligatory mannequin challenge is going to be a breeze). 

Here's how the idea for a wilder take on trimming up came about.

Nothing I found in the pile of Christmas decorations stored up in the loft filled me with any joy this year. I took one look at all the tasteful gold baubles, the pretty, frosted white tea light holders, the au-naturel garlands bearing faux mistletoe and any festive spirit that had been there, suddenly drained away.

2016 does not feel like the year for sticking with the norm where Christmas is concerned. As Grazia so perfectly put it this week, it started with the death of David Bowie and went down hill from there. It's been a car crash on a global scale, so no wonder it needs help getting into party mode.  For me, that help has arrived in the unexpected form of a fat little penguin from TK Maxx. Mr Popper here got me thinking...

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My place has turned into quite the ornamental zoo this year. No trip to the second hand market has been complete without an animal themed trophy of some sort, be it a vintage brass heron or a yellow ceramic deer head. These fellas have lifted the tone of my interior to new levels and it occurred to me that they could easily do the same thing with Christmas. 

I'm not alone in my thinking that it's the animals having all the fun this year. John Lewis clearly got the brief and its seasonal squad of trampoline-ing wildlife has captured the nation's heart.

My four legged friends (2 in some cases) can't do party tricks, but my God do they know how to rock a festive ribbon. Let me introduce them to you:

My House Candy Party Animals

1. The Horny Host

Find me at the Baaa?

Find me at the Baaa?

2). Babycham

3). The Grumpy Git Who Loves You Really

4) The Unlikely Pairing

5). Seasonal Stalkers

6). Feathered friends

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

If Christmas Party at the Zoo feels like a totally appropriate theme for your mad house, but you haven't hoarded quite as many animal themed ornaments as me over the last 12 months, worry not. Here's a roundup of some totally gift appropriate festive beasts and where to find them in time for party season. (Just don't forget the ribbon). 

1) Monkey bottle holder

2. Flamingo Wall Hanging

3. Felt tiger head

£69  Uburnara

4. Swan Vase

5. Beagle Bust

£60 Abigail Ahern at  Debenhams

£60 Abigail Ahern at Debenhams

So there, no reason for any of us to feel alone this Christmas and please, PLEASE don't keep your festive fun to yourself. Let me see what fantastic beasts are residing at your place. Share them with me on Twitter or Instagram @myhousecandy using the hashtag #housecandyparty or post a pic on my Facebook page to come and join the party.  

Have fun all!

Claire xx 

 

 

What your Christmas chocolate says about you

I'm 41 and if there's no Terry's Chocolate Orange in my stocking on Christmas morning there will be tears. That's milk Chocolate Orange for the record.

One year my parents gave my sister and I the dark version and there was beef. Like all family crisis', we met in the kitchen to decide the appropriate course of action.

"But we ALWAYS have MILK chocolate orange," I whined  as I tapped and unwrapped more aggressively than usual over family Trivial Pursuit. "Did you forget?"

"Perhaps Sainsbury's ran out?" my sister offered weakly, I felt it gave them a get out.  

"FFS!" Said my mum. (Since she learned the Queen swears there's no stopping her). "Does it even matter?", she shrugged stuffing 2 segments in at once and swilling it down with a double brandy.

Here's where agreed to differ for the sake of the kids witnessing a full on family brawl before watershed. See, getting the chocs right at Christmas DOES matter. It matters A. Lot.

You only have to look at the furore surrounding the scandalous double spacing of Toblerone triangles to see that we Brits do not like our chocolate traditions fiddling with.

And that's when I realised. Right there, as I hovered incessantly over the Like button on a Facebook post documenting the gradual demise in the size of Quality Street tins since 1980. I had joined the army of pathetic, fully grown adults who were stuck in a chocolate rut.

I cannot allow this to happen. I loathe ruts, even chocolate ones. I insist upon moving with the times as absolute basic practice, the ultimate life goal of course being to find oneself ahead of the times more frequently than not.

So lock up the mint Match Makers. Feed the Ferrero Rocher to the dog (if they'll eat the evil little suckers). We are updating our festive chocolate supplies as of NOW and there's not a Lindt Reindeer or a Roses Caramel Keg in sight.

Yes, I will weep on Christmas morning if there is no Terry's Chocolate Orange in my stocking, but they will be tears of joy and on 2 counts:

1) It means my husband actually read my blog.

2) Hopefully the orange will have been replaced by one of these thoughtful chocolate gifts that are far more representative of my on-trend/progressive nature where candy (house or otherwise) is concerned:

1) Chocolate Cacti

White chocolate cactus lollies £2.95  Trouva

White chocolate cactus lollies £2.95 Trouva

2. Chocolate Flamingos

12 pink chocolate flamingos £4.95 + shipping from  Etsy

12 pink chocolate flamingos £4.95 + shipping from Etsy

3. Chocolate Avos

Chocolate Avocado £12 + P&P Choc on Choc at  Notonthehighstreet

Chocolate Avocado £12 + P&P Choc on Choc at Notonthehighstreet

4) Chocolate biscuits

Box of biscuit shaped chocolates £10 Choc on Choc by  Notonthehighstreet

Box of biscuit shaped chocolates £10 Choc on Choc by Notonthehighstreet

Happy advent all.

Claire xx

P.S Did you know that chocolate coins were also passe? These days kids deal in dollar. Let me know if anything in this blog post disturbs you!

 

 

 

 

How I'm (not) handling Hygge

I'm struggling with this Hygge thing. 

For a start, here's a word (a funny one) that shares lots of letters with the word Hygeine and yet none of the sentiment. All that cocooning oneself in faux fur, fire on full blast, whilst slurping endless cups of hot chocolate. Isn't it a bit, um, sweaty?

My hotbed of hygge

My hotbed of hygge

I hygge dabbled last Saturday. I bought the boys furry bear shaped onesies, lit ALL of the candles and answered the door to the pizza delivery guy wearing my PJ's, dressing gown and fur lined slipper boots at 7.30pm. I experienced my first hot flush.

I don't want winter to feel like the menopause. Turns out I'm not overly keen on hibernation mode, especially since I bought a 70s inspired wide brimmed felt hat and realised November was the perfect month to do that Brigitte-Bardot/Paris in the fall look.

Way more me.

'Cos BB knows how to work winter

'Cos BB knows how to work winter

No, I like a bit of glamour to my winter. It's going to be a long, depressing season if we spend it mostly huddled together in front of the telly fighting over the last Caramel Keg. 

So my winter room update is still cosy, but it's also sparkly and a bit pink in places. In our house we'll be warm, but won't develop heat rash. We'll be zen, but not overly zonked. With the exception of Christmas Day night when we're so tired we will fall asleep dribbling Terry's chocolate orange down our new jumpers.

I've realised that for me to embrace this hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) concept, it needs a top layer of vintage glamour adding to it. I'm good with the furs, obvs; all winter looks need furs, but I need a bit more old fashioned twinkle than lots of the skandi looks we are seeing on the gram. I'm starting with a mirrored wall that can be gradually added to as I get more involved.

My winter room update featuring star mirror £80 by  Cox and Cox

My winter room update featuring star mirror £80 by Cox and Cox

The curtains are closed for so much longer these days and a wall of mirrors above the sofa helps me feel a bit less claustrophobic. Mirrors bounce light about the place, but its the contrast of the shiny reflective glass against the fluffier textures that gives this a lovely lick of glamour. 

I like to have a cluster of smaller mirrors rather than just one big one and it's great to find a mix of shapes to add interest too. I get a lot of bevel edged and gilt framed mirrors from junk shops and markets but I think it looks way cooler to throw in one or two modern shapes too. This brass star mirror from Cox and Cox is a game changer.

Brass star mirror £80  Cox and Cox

Brass star mirror £80 Cox and Cox

It looks fab propped up on the original period fireplace in my guest room but I couldn't see it enough up there in the attic, so for now it's here in the front room for a bit of glamorous star gazing.  

Cox and Cox are great at vintage style accents. In fact if you're not one for rummaging round second hand markets, they've created this 3 mirror collection that will give you a similar vintage effect to mine.

3 scollop edge mirror cluster £175  Cox and Cox

3 scollop edge mirror cluster £175 Cox and Cox

Then there's the candles. Hygge fans must get through a lot of candles over the course of the season, which begs the question, how long is one supposed to hygge anyway? 

The big white church candles are great but they flicker more than twinkle. Tea lights grouped together in vintage cut glass beakers on the other hand feel fancy enough to make a Saturday night in appealing. These gold rimmed babes were my favourite find from this week's junk shop rummage and will be perfect for a glamorously lit Christmas table too. My tip? use black tea lights which cast a pinky glow when lit.

And then there's the furs.

Chroma Faux Fur cushion £45  Anthropologie  

Chroma Faux Fur cushion £45 Anthropologie 

I'm doing a nod to nordic and a wink to pink with this beautiful Anthropologie number. It feels more like a kitsch stole slung carelessly around the shoulders of a cheeky cocktail dress than a middle aged mum in a onesie. I just think that's a better place to aim, don't you?

And while we're on the subject of a suitably glamorous way to lounge, there's this:

Silk velvet kimono £285  Toast

Silk velvet kimono £285 Toast

Give me a blush silk velvet kimono to lol about in and and I'll Hygge all you like.

Let me know your thoughts on this Hygge business. It's HUGE. What am I missing? Are you layering up like a good 'un or so totally over the hygge hype? Get in touch below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Claire xx

 

 

 

Next Stop Christmas

Bonfire night is so last week. I like it, don't get me wrong. I love the sparklers and the parkin and it's genuinely not until the 50th banger has gone off in my neighbourhood, sending my Lhasa Apso into yet another yapping fit, that I start looking forward to the end of bonfire night and the automatic igniting of Christmas.

But that touch paper is now lit. My thoughts have turned to locating the perfect Nordic Spruce and I do not want to see another whizzy, bangy (and please not squeely) firework until New Year.

As you may well have predicted, decorating the house for Christmas is a big deal at House Candy HQ and I'm always on the lookout for new ideas to bring the JOY.

Noel letters £60  www.next.co.uk

Noel letters £60 www.next.co.uk

My letter box is already heaving with the bulge of Christmas catalogues and I am eager to take a peak at what decorative treats Christmas 2016 has in store. Today's offering came from Next and it got my festive feels off to a flier. 

Every year Next delivers one or two pieces that could easily be mistaken for designer. As I thumbed through the Christmas fashion today, I couldn't help folding corners of pages bearing such high end copycats as red velvet platform ankle boots and quilted animal print handbags. Luxe winter boho was also temptingly well represented with a multi-printed tie neck dress that looks straight off the runway. It would be very easy to get distracted, but let us just focus on the homewares shall we?

Next is always one of my go-tos for a quick, on trend update that won't break the bank. This Christmas they've got all interior trend angles covered ... and then sprinkled them with glitter. Here are my favourite festive picks so far:

1) No brainer neon

Red led heart light £35  www.next.co.uk

Red led heart light £35 www.next.co.uk

White LED Love sign £50  Next

White LED Love sign £50 Next

Well LED lights actually but at £35 and £50 respectively, these are the perfect entry level light up signage. Agree?

2) Infinity and beyond lights

Infinity arrow light £55  Next

Infinity arrow light £55 Next

These infinity lights will be a sell out, I am sure of it. Personally I'd prefer to splash £55 on this beauty that can be used all year round than invest in the life size LED nodding reindeer that my kids are swaying towards, but hey, apparently they are the experts in this department. 

3) Gold trees

Gold tree £100  Next

Gold tree £100 Next

Gold is the new black where Christmas trees are concerned. Okay so it looks a bit like a real one in January after a month of central heating abuse, but teamed with these coloured berry LED fairy lights in an oh-so-trendy dark painted room and you've got one achingly hip bauble hanger.

Coloured berry lights £28  Next

Coloured berry lights £28 Next

4) Festive furs

Present stocking £12  Next

Present stocking £12 Next

Now I'm not one for a festive cushion. I do not have a Christmas table cloth, nor a saucy santa pinny to cook my turkey in (sigh). However, I'm strangely drawn to this blush pink faux fur velvet stocking with gold effect sequin trim. Santa come hither...

5) Christmas bunting (I know, Christmas bunting FFS!)

I almost couldn't include this on the basis of it epitomising the very category of Christmas decoration that by rights should be banned ...  and yet...

Christmas bunting £12  Next

Christmas bunting £12 Next

Pretty innit? Like it's been written with a sparkler.

So that's the seal broken. I've placed my first Xmas mail order and any minute now I'll have popped my first mince pie and choked on the stench of a cheap cinnamon infused candle. 

What catalogues have got you excited for Christmas? Do you go all out to deck the halls or does the idea of trimming up fill you with dread? Like it or not, Christmas is coming and your letter box will not let you forget it! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section, I'll crack open the mulled wine in anticipation.

Claire x

 

 

 

 

The nest feels empty, but the fridge feels full: The joys of going Back to School

Oh I used to get upset about them going back to school, I did, I did. And of course I've still got their first little pair of shorts and the elasticated tie that they chewed at the end and accidentally dipped in their gravy.

I still take a doorstep photo of them looking all smart and shiny every first day of term. Here's this year's offering as they embark upon years 8 and 4 at Hipperholme Grammar School.

Same doorstep, bigger boys. I wonder what this year will bring? 

Same doorstep, bigger boys. I wonder what this year will bring? 

But these days there are none of the tears. Today, for example, was a 100% happy event. They were ready, I was ready, the dog was ready. (She has NOT enjoyed this disruption to her morning walk routine one little bit).

The boys were excited to wear their new shoes, keen to see their mates and - though loathed to admit it - I know they were secretly looking forward to using their sharp new pencils in their brand new books. There didn't seem to be the usual thumped-in-the-gut feeling today for any of us and I think I know why.

Today, with the house eerliy quiet (I can even hear the clock ticking) I could, if I tried really hard, miss the shrieking, the squabbling and definitely the laughter. But then I remember how my fridge has held on to its contents all day long and will still be fully stocked by home time. I realise that I'm not stealing 5 minutes to make that phone call or send that e-mail, I can do it In My Own Time. I enjoy depositing rubbish in the kitchen bin without discovering I can't because it is already rammed full of GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT - and then I do know what, because there it all is, all over my kitchen floor, after the flimsy bag has burst.

But most of all, I enjoy knowing that after 7 or so weeks of disruption, the jobs I start, actually have an outside chance of getting finished. Here's what's on my to-do list and getting me all excited for the new school term:

1) Hallway goals

The clean up campaign commences. Shoe bank here I come with a box load of stinking old football boots and trainers, sandy flip-flops and past-their-best Converse. For the surviving family footwear I have the following storage solution in mind:

2) Flowers

My house has been baron of flowers for 7 long weeks. I'm not exactly sure why - concern for their welfare in a house full of boys? Trolley already overloaded with snack food and fizzy drinks? Not even the time to plonk them in a vase? Who knows, but I am treating myself and my home to some New Term Flowers as a thank you for putting up with us and our clutter all summer long.

3) Filing

It's my nemesis. I am completely incompetent in the admin department and the holidays have not helped. Anyway, I found a bright pink, 2 drawer lockable filing cabinet in Staples and it just might be enough to give me a hint of the Miss Moneypenny's.

Poink filing cabinet £59.98  www.staples.co.uk

Poink filing cabinet £59.98 www.staples.co.uk

 

4) Wardrobe workout

If holidays teach me anything it is that I really need to sort out my closet. The stuff that comes outta that suitcase is alarming. It gets packed, flown to a foreign country, unpacked, rejected and returns home unworn and just a little bit travel sick. I wear about one third of the clothes I own and have got to learn to let go.

I'm not doing that mad Marie Kondo decluttering thing however, all that folding sounds tiresome. Instead I am turning to the How to be Parisian method of wardrobe editing and banning everything on page 8. It makes perfect sense and is sure to result in me looking a lot more, well, French I suppose. Unfortunately you need to read the book for details as it would take far too much effort for me to repeat it all here, which (as you will discover) is not very Parisian at all.

 

So what's on your back to school to-do list? Are you feeling motivated or just counting down the minutes until you can get those little cherubs back home? Either way I've been there and bought the commemorative class t-shirt, so I can promise you've got a friend in me.

Happy New Term all,

Love Claire

xx

Why I'm still in a flap over exotic bird wallpaper

What is it with me and brightly coloured birds with big beaks? I somehow find myself gravitating towards them. Like, there I was on my first night on holiday here in Portugal. I'm just finding my way around, when suddenly a wrong turn has me treading a path paved with a giant flamingo. What are the chances?

And then when I tried out the gym over here and, on my first sit up, noticed the ceiling was one huge mural depicting a sky of exotic flying birds, swooping at my imagination. An intense set of cloud gazing was all I could manage thereafter. (Okay, so it doesn't take much).

Regular readers will know I have this thing with flamingos and I was alarmed when recently, somebody asked me if they were passe? I laughed, obviously.

Sure, they've been a round a while, but I still don't think I'm late to the party. More like I refuse to leave the party. Especially the one hosted by King of maximalism Matthew Williamson whose wallpapers, lamps and side tables all err on the side of exotic.

Matthew Williamson Flamingo Club wallpaper from  Amara.com

Matthew Williamson Flamingo Club wallpaper from Amara.com

Exotic birds are great for adding a bit of unexpected interest. I particularly like to find them in downstairs loos, dressing rooms, utilities.... anywhere in fact that's not an obvious place for showing off.

But if you are concerned that flamingos are too, um, 5 years ago, here's a few other birds of wallpaper paradise that might still fit the bill.*

Hummingbird Wallpaper by  Cole and Son

Hummingbird Wallpaper by Cole and Son

Swans wallpaper by Nina Campbell available from  Rockett St George

Swans wallpaper by Nina Campbell available from Rockett St George

Bird print wallpaper by  Julia Rothman

Bird print wallpaper by Julia Rothman

Happy bank holiday all. Hope your feet help you seek out some inspiration too!

Love Claire xx

*It's 30 degrees in the shade and I got off my blow up pool flamingo to bring you this post. Allow me one little holiday pun won't you?

Win a weekend at The Sands, Scarborough!

Well hello again!

Seeking the shade at Selfie School Kos with my favourite teacher (who was flown out especially).

Seeking the shade at Selfie School Kos with my favourite teacher (who was flown out especially).

I feel like I have neglected you over the past two weeks, wth two back to back vacays and an indulgent fortnight of sun, sea, sand, selfies, surfing and ...er what's that other S word that crops up a lot where my holidays are concerned? Oh yes, Scarborough!  

My boys kicking off the summer holidays in style at North Bay, Scarborough

My boys kicking off the summer holidays in style at North Bay, Scarborough

Now, I reckon I owe you one for sticking with me through LOTS of lame instagramming and not enough actual blogging sooooooo - drum roll please... I have decided to treat at least one of you to a weekend away at my (not so secret) seaside hideaway.

The Sands  is where I escape to when I need to get away from it all. Tanya Burr has SoHo Farmhouse, Zoella has Miami. My House Candy has Scarborough. That's just how it is, but you know what? I wouldn't swap them. Not even for their 32 million followers and a lifetime's supply of own brand nail polish... I doubt.

Because THIS is the view you wake up to if you stay in a seafront apartment at The Sands.

The actual view from my actual balcony at The Sands, Scarborough

The actual view from my actual balcony at The Sands, Scarborough

And whether it's cracking t'flags with scorchio North Yorkshire sunshine like this...

My special place (and theirs too)

My special place (and theirs too)

North Bay promenade outside The Sands

North Bay promenade outside The Sands

Or bright and bracing with waves that can knock you into next week like this...

...the beautiful view of multi coloured beach huts, a crumbling castle ruin, Victorian holiday villas and a sea that makes me want to head over the water to Scandinavia aboard a longboat with a bearded, horny headed Viking ... have I gone too far?

You get the drift. It's a view (and a micro climate) that allows you to leave your troubles behind. And I want you to have a piece of the action.

All you have to do is like My House Candy Facebook page or share this post on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #housecandy. The competition will run until the end of August when I will pick a winner at random. The prize is a 2 night stay at my 2 bed, sea front holiday apartment* worth over £500.

The apartment is self catering with one double en-suite and one twin bedroom. Included in the prize is a luxury welcome hamper full of delicious local Yorkshire farm produce, towels, complimentary toileteries and even your own white waffle bathrobes. So if you want to stay in bed eating bacon butties and ogling some fit surf dudes for the entire weekend, well it's my pleasure ;)

Learn to surf at Dexter's Surf School at The Sands

Learn to surf at Dexter's Surf School at The Sands

Our swish seaside home from home

Our swish seaside home from home

For those of you who are slightly more adventurous or want to bring the kids, The Sands is just a stone's throw away from the brand new 14 million pound Alpamere water park boasting the biggest water slides in the UK and a tropical, heated infinity pool looking out to sea.

A map of the brnad spanking new 14 million pound Alpamere water park in North Bay, Scarborough

A map of the brnad spanking new 14 million pound Alpamere water park in North Bay, Scarborough

Peasholm Park with its crazy Chinese theme, complete with island pergoda and dragon boats is right on your doorstep. Depending on what time you go you could be treated to a war time military sea re-enactment, a mad old geezer in the middle of the lake singing songs and playing star wars theme tunes his organ or a quiet game of pitch and putt and a proper 99er (juice and sprinkles required).

Peasolm Park, Scarborough

Peasolm Park, Scarborough

If you're into cricket (or want to bring Grandad) Scarborough cricket ground is also a five minute's walk from the apartment and has got to be one of the prettiest grounds the sport has to offer.

Good old fashioned stripey deckchair fun

Good old fashioned stripey deckchair fun

There's also a mini railway to take you to the Sealife centre, an open air theatre that this week will play host to Noel Gallagher and of course the obligatory donkey rides on the beach.

Noel Gallagher's high flying birds (not Seagulls) are playing Scarborough open air theatre this week

Noel Gallagher's high flying birds (not Seagulls) are playing Scarborough open air theatre this week

Sorry but dId I just use the words Noel Gallagher and donkey rides in the same sentence? I mean, THAT's Scarborough for you and my advice is just roll with it.

So go on, get liking and sharing and hashtagging #housecandy and hopefully I will see you for a slap up fish supper in Scarbs. 

Good luck!

Claire x

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