Lili Sanchez, The Shed, West Bay
Lili Sanchez’s family share a beach hut family tradition of Christmas brunch at ‘The Shed’. Each year, she adorns her little shed with a real tree and lights and takes out her Christmas pudding tea cosy. Having felt guilty for enforcing this freezing tradition on her children for years, she’s recently come to realise that they’ve actually always enjoyed it.
Lili’s even had international visitors from Thailand over Christmas – it's fair to say that Christmas on the beach in Kent is quite different to Christmas on a tropical Thai beach! But as the photos show, they loved it!
I do decorate for Yule and have a real little tree and lights! I also have a tea cosy that is a Christmas pudding, which my son always wears as headgear on Christmas Day. I usually plan to be a little squiffy, then the young'uns prep and cook breakfast. I've always felt my family froze for me, humouring the old girl. However, they've just told me that is not the case - they love the madness of it and wiz pics off to friends all over the world. How wrong I was and oft felt so guilty, what an eejit!
When my lovely friend from Thailand, who has spent Christmas with us for several years bought his mom, it was hilarious. She loved it, even though we had to wrap her in layers of thermals and fleeces. I will of course be at my 'Shed' throughout winter. I love the winter, as I am the only beach hut open. The fierce seas are amazing and I am inclined to resemble the fisherman featured on the packaging of Fisherman's Friend lozenges. Wind burn is not a great look and bit aging for skin, but I don't care...
Liz Baum, Serenity-on-Sea, Bournemouth
Having moved to Bournemouth from London, the Baum family's blue beach hut, ‘Serenity-on-Sea’, is their sanctuary. This is particularly true in the off-season, when a cool tranquillity takes over the coast. Liz shares her account of Christmas at the beach…
Mention the phrase “going to the beach hut” in summer and most people immediately conjure up an image of the English seaside, with a ramshackle beachside shed containing an assortment of buckets, flippers and seashells. Dare to utter the words “going to the beach hut” during the winter to anyone other than another beach hut enthusiast and you could be forgiven for thinking that the men in white coats were on their way, such is the look of disbelief and sheer unadulterated horror you receive in return for this nugget.
For my husband Martin, and me, our beach hut gives us year-round pleasure. But actually, it’s during the winter months that it comes into its own for us. We love the peace and tranquillity when there are less visitors and it gives us the opportunity to spend time there, being inspired, writing and working on new projects. We close the glass doors, get the soup and coffee on the stove, keep a couple of warm throws to hand just in case and that’s us set for a precious few hours.
Christmas in particular is a very special time there, with Boxing Day being favourite for a party atmosphere and copious amounts of mulled wine and turkey sandwiches! We’re normally busy entertaining at home on Christmas Day, so are happy to let friends use the hut then. We always make our hut as festive as our home and visitors are always welcome. No need to bring anything with you, not even a blanket, as we always have plenty. All we ask is that you don’t call the men in white coats just yet. You need to experience it for yourself and you’ll find, as we do, that it’s what keeps us balanced and calm in the first place!
Happy Christmas from Serenity-on-Sea!
Vicky Gunn, Millie’s Beach Huts, Walton-on-the-Naze
Vicky, owner of Millie’s Beach Huts (Millie being the name of her spaniel) is the proud owner of three Walton-on-the-Naze beach huts which are available for hire all year round. Each year, Vicky decorates her huts for the festive season in a traditional nostalgic style – think Cath Kidston quilted throws, hot chocolate, and even real Christmas trees adorned with beach hut themed decorations.
Some of Vicky’s past Christmas guests have shared their Christmassy beach hut experiences on her blog:
Carly's Winter Beach Hut Hire - This family spent New Year's Eve at Millie, 2016 Beach Hut of the Year finalist.
Christmas Eve Beach Hut Hire: The Jones and Brown Family Day Out in Essex - "Christmas can be hectic and when you start to make plans to spend time with family and friends, not everyone will immediately think of a trip to Walton-on-the-Naze to hire a beach hut. But even if they did, they may not go so far as packing some beachwear including their shorts."
Do you have any festive beach hut traditions you’d like the share? We’d love to feature them. Send us an email at email@example.com
Christmas at the Beach Hut
Beach huts probably aren’t top of your list to visit when thinking about Christmas festivities – or the winter in general. But if you’re looking to do something a bit different this year, these hutters might inspire you with an idea or two. Read on to hear how 2016 Beach Hut of the Year Finalists use their huts during the festive period.