Archive for the 'Family travel' Category

Holy Week in Portugal

It’s Holy Week, which is Portugal means church processions through the streets. This video was taken in Obidos, a gorgeous Medieval town just over an hour north of Lisbon. I’ve shot many Papo catalogs against the town’s whitewashed walls and think this procession tells you everything you need to know about its unpretentious charm and love and respect for tradition.

If you are still looking for special Easter outfits for your children, we can ship them until Thursday for a Friday delivery. My favorite Easter dress this season is the Smocked Dress  in a pastel floral Liberty print. It matches the V-Back Sundress (perfect for older sisters) and coordinates beautifully with the Button Down Collar Shirt and Little Boy’s Shirt in rose and yellow grid checked.

I also want to wish a very happy Easter to Papo’s finance director Vera D’Orey and her husband Bernardo on the birth of their baby, also name Bernardo. Congratulations!! Enjoy your first Easter with your new little one.

Happy New Year

For the first time since I became a mother, my family is spending the holiday season at my childhood cottage in the North Woods of Wisconsin. For my children it’s an opportunity to experience a true American winter, with snowdrifts as high as cars and the pale blue glow of the late afternoon sun. We spend the days cross country skiing, skating, and even ice fishing.

For me, retreating to the winter woods has  been a wonderful way to relax and reconnect with nature at this most reflective time of year. It’s a joy that can get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Our Winter Sale is in full swing, with up to 50% off selected items. We’ve added new items to the inventory and I hope you find that perfect bargain. Going forward, we will be promoting all our sales–from the website and warehouse to our Lisbon store and Harrods boutique on Facebook. Please become a fan and urge your friends to do the same.

I wish you a peaceful New Year and all the best in 2011.




Summer’s Last Gasp: Harbor Springs, MI

Paige, Billy, Libby, and Bo Howenstein enjoying the long summer days in Harbor Point, Michigan.

The places we spend our childhood summers are special to us for our entire lives. For Los Angeles-based Papo d’Anjo trunk show director Angela Howenstein and her family, that place is Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Harbor Springs is a classic midwestern summer retreat. Located only 45 minutes from Mackinac Island (home to the historic Grand Hotel), its a meeting spot for sailors from all over the world who understand the unique challenges and thrills of Lake Michigan regattas.

One of my favorite places in Harbor Springs is an area known as Harbor Point. No cars are allowed–only bikes or horse-drawn carriages. It’s quiet and charming and a safe and easy place for children to explore on their own. Make sure to check out the beaches with their turquoise water and enormous sand dunes. Truly a magical setting.

Harbor Springs is a cottage culture, where families have gathered for generations. But if your family prefers hotels, the place to stay is the Colonial Inn.

I know that this time of year can be hectic and that many moms are busy filling out school forms and buying supplies. I hope you get at least a moment to savor summer’s waning moments.

Family Vacation Insider: Wisconsin Travel Tips

Patrick and Edward enjoy a perfect Wisconsin summer day with their cousins Emma and William.

Every one of us has special places that no matter how old we are evoke the essence of our childhood summers. For me, that place is a remote lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods. Even though I’ve lived in Europe for almost twenty years, I return there with my family each and every summer.

Wisconsin is a huge state and it’s impossible to capture all of its charms in one blog post. But when I asked my brother Peter for recommendations for wonderful family experiences, he reminded me that part of Wisconsin’s appeal is that it always makes the most of its many lakes–from tiny rural ponds to the sweeping city vistas of Lake Michigan.

My family spends most of our time in Wisconsin waterskiing, canoeing, sailing, listening to the loons, and reading and relaxing on the dock. But when we do venture beyond the confines of our own special place, here are some of our favorite lake activities:

  • Biking on Madeline Island: This tiny dot of  meadows and forest is a true gem. Located just off  the southern shore of Lake Superior, it’s an idyllic throwback to the time when families escaped the heat and diseases of the cities to breath cool crisp air and enjoy summer days that stretch almost to 10 p.m. Swim at Big Bay State Park and immerse yourself in the island’s Native American history with The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich’s enchanting children’s novel.
  • Apple and cherry picking in Door County: Wisconsin is shaped like a mitten–which is appropriate when you consider that the state is covered in snow for months on end. The thumb of the mitten is Door County, a peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. The region is covered in fruit orchards, which makes it a perfect place for late summer and early fall visits. Be sure to check out the many historic lighthouses.
  • Outdoor concerts and movies at the University of Wisconsin’s Memorial Union Terrace: Madison is one of America’s most lively and beautiful college towns and this outdoor hotspot overlooking Lake Mendota is the heart and soul of the campus. Don’t forget to sample the ice cream at Babcock Hall Dairy Store, the gourmet ice cream outpost run by the university’s Department of Food Science.
  • The Milwaukee Museum of Art: Set on Lake Michigan, the highlight of the museum is the stunning Quadracci Pavillion. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it perches over the lake like a giant graceful bird opening its wingspan.

What are your family’s summer traditions? Share them on our blog and post photos on our Facebook page.

California Insider: Los Angeles Travel Tips

At a time of year when many families take their vacations, a great American city often gets overlooked: Los Angeles. With its perfect weather and loads of attractions, it’s a terrific family holiday destination. I asked Natasha Croxall, our trunk show hostess in Pacific Palisades (her beautiful children are pictured above), for her recommendations.

  • An excursion to Legoland in nearby Carlsbad.
  • Walking the Santa Monica Pier.
  • Disneyland.
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills.
  • Beverly Hills Hotel Coffee Shop.
  • Shopping at The Grove (American Girl!).
  • Universal Studios.
  • LaBrea Tar Pits.
  • Make your own books at Scribble Press in Santa Monica.
  • Sightsee and check out movie stars at the Malibu Country Mart and Lumber Yard in Malibu.

The Volcano and Mr. Jefferson: Charlottesville Notebook

Patrick and Edward enjoying our impromptu holiday in Virginia.

A few weeks ago, my family and I flew to the States for my oldest daughter’s college tour. Little did we know that the volcano in Iceland would delay our return back home to England for a week.

Luckily, our trip took us to Charlottesville, Virginia, where my in-laws live for part of the year. I’ve always loved Charlottesville and our impromptu extended stay turned out to be a delight. With it’s perfect weather, stunning architecture, and earnest respect for early American history, I think that Charlottesville is the best college town in the country.


My children particularly loved walking around the campus of the University of Virginia and touring Monticello, the beautiful plantation Thomas Jefferson designed as his family home.  The trip turned into a crash course on this Renaissance man president.

My boys are 12 and 13 and enjoyed the adult tour. But for families with younger children, Monticello offers special family friendly tours where children are able to do hands-on activities in every room of the house.

Other tips include: Dinner at C & O, where the Steak Chinois is an old favorite. We also love eating at Duners, which is just outside of town, and Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar. The most charming place to stay in the area is The Clifton Inn.

Please add your own tips for visiting Charlottesville or the surrounding area. And if your travel plans were delayed by the volcano, I hope you are home safe and sound.

Travel Insider: Spring Break in Palm Beach

One of my favorite ways to find inspiration for the clothes I design is to travel. For this collection, I chose several fabrics–including the red and blue coral used in the party dresses and the madras plaids for both boys and girls–because they reminded me of Palm Beach.

Growing up, a trip to Florida was a staple of every winter.  When my children were younger and we didn’t have to worry about conflicting school schedules, we took them to the Sunshine State for easy family holidays with my extended family.

Palm Beach reminds me of  a bygone era of big shiny cars in sorbet colors,  white capri pants,  big dark sunglasses, immaculately pruned hedges, and two tone shoes. And even though it’s certainly a draw for older people, this bastion of traditional Florida preppy style is also a great vacation spot for families. Here are a few favorite places to visit.

  • Sprinkles of Palm Beach An institution since its founding in 1985, this is the place to take the children for homemade ice cream–try the award winning double chocolate. The tuna and chicken salad sandwiches are also delicious. The shop was closed in 2009 due to a fire but is now back in business (561-659-1140).
  • Hamburger Heaven Classic American fare in a vintage Palm Beach setting where the kids will feel more than welcome (561-655-5277).
  • Lion Country Safari Roll up the windows and drive through this wildlife preserve of animals to see not only lions and tigers but also impalas, tapirs, and Asiatic water buffalo (561-793-1084).

What are your favorite Spring Break tips?

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