Caroline LeGrand's Guide to the Maldives

What better way to finish the summer than going to chill in the Maldives? After not having spent much quiet time with my kids, and on the heels of a busy Ibiza month and a social Sardinia week, the Maldives were quite an unusual choice at this time of the year but was the one that sprung to mind when thinking of 'quiet, chilling, spoiling and great for the kids'.  We split our time between my (so far) two favorite islands, Cocoa Island and Reetih Rah.  The weather was up and down, sunny, cloudy and rainy. But nice and warm and it didn't stop us from doing what we wanted to do: fishing, diving, having massages and just 'being'.

Maldives landscape - Caroline Legrand guest blog at Donna Ida, donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

The good thing about the Maldives is that it's like time has stopped. No need to hurry anywhere, no bookings necessary, no shoes, no nothing.....well a bit of organising is necessary like "hmmmm, should I dive at 10am or 2pm?" "massage at 4pm or 6pm?" but that's about it.  We all read, watched movies, and while the kids did their daily homework I did my own homework which is buying new season key pieces on the internet....click click click!

Caroline's style on the beach at Maldives - Caroline Legrand guest blog at Donna Ida, donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

Fashionwise I didn't bother to put on more than mascara on for ten days and I felt very 'dressy' when I put my Isabel Marant chiffon mini and matching top on for dinner! I packed very little: lots of bikinis, beach cotton dresses, some casual dresses like my favorite Ralph Lauren crochet dress, my silk paisley baggy Isabel Marant trousers and little cropped t-shirt.

Cycling in paradise - Caroline Legrand's guest blog about Maldives on Donna Ida, donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

It was surprisingly busy for this time of the year, I guess the world is big and Summer holidays are not limited to Europe for most Europeans nor for the Asians or the Arabs, and this is closer to home. Cocoa Island is so small that you can walk around the island in ten minutes. Reetih Rah is bigger and it is wonderful to ride around on your bicycle (once you have managed to find your way out of your villa to the right side of the island!) Reetih Rah has a great beach store (if you arrive empty handed!) and the fashion boutique actually has all the brands one would want if stranded on a deserted island.....I found some Missoni dresses which was a great surprise.  They had sold out in London but I decide not to splurge on the full priced item as I will not wear it until the next beach holiday and by Christmas I will have already purchased new resorts pieces.....

Caroline Legrand and kind - guest blog on Donna Ida, donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

Oscar my eldest got his diving licence at Christmas and it was such a joy to be able to dive with him every morning.  Diving is so peaceful and a reminder that there is another world down there. All those fish and corals - just magnificent. I love the fact that nobody can disturb you when you are down there, you can't talk, you can only watch and enjoy the beauty around you. No noise but the sound of your own breathing....

Carolines son Oscar diving - guest blog on Donna Ida, donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

Fishing was also a great success as we caught lots of groupers, and I caught the only barracuda! I was very proud of myself and so were my boys...not that I consider myself a great 'fisherwoman', line fishing is pure luck. My boys would love to fish every moment of the day if they could. I am happy to do it once in a while and don't like to kill the fish but rather free them and throw them back where they belong.  My boys are overjoyed that they will be able to eat their 'catch' the next day for lunch. They decide how they want to have it cooked and I am pleasantly surprised that they know exactly how they want to eat their fish! That's London boys for you I guess...

Caroline Legrand fishing - guest blog on Donna Ida, donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

Reetih Rah's beach club is just paradise on earth with the sliding bouncy castle and the floating climbing wall and all the other toys.  I feel invisible and don't think they even notice me sneaking out to the spa.....I loved my daily spa escapades and still have a few bruises from the 'detox' massage which consisted of brushing and very very strong strokes and hard slapping! I was secretly laughing my head off as I thought 'geez I am going to get bruises'...and I did and still have them!  Ha! It was worth it though.

donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

donna ida, london fashion, london style, caroline legrande, meldives, beach, sun, water, tan, family

So, coming back two days before school started felt like we had landed back on Mars.  It is always hard to finish a great Summer, to leave your room with a view on the beautiful Indian ocean and arrive home the same night to a grey/dark London was quite a shock.  With school starting and the whole stress of it all, it all seemed like this was all but a dream....but a beautiful serene dream it was!

Read more from Caroline's Diary here and shop designers here.