The Utterly Inessential Beach Shopping List: From ocean-inspired drinks to a Dragon paddleboard for the entire family to enjoy

Bored of being in the office? Well, this weekend is your chance to drop everything and jump on a train down to our gleaming coastline. Alexandra Fraser rounds up a few of the utterly inessential things that you should probably, potentially, but definitely not absolutely, bring with you.

Beaches! Seaside! Never mind that we may be hurtling towards a time when London could feel like Barcelona and Barcelona could feel like the surface of the sun. Never mind that my lavender plant is, as I type, dying on my windowsill from the heat. Never mind that desk fans will soon be more valuable than the ice bucket in last week’s list.

It’s summer! It’s the time of year where trains down to Brighton smell like sunscreen and crackpot journalists write articles on how to defend oneself from seagulls (you stare at them).

With summer comes the realisation that your Marie Kondo experience a few months ago robbed you of your entire summer wardrobe (why would sandals spark joy when they give me frostbite? Get in the sea).

Have no fears; we’ve put together the ultimate beach – survival guide, which funnily enough, includes neither sunscreen nor the mystical device which prevents sand finding its way into your sandwich.

1: the shoes

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When choosing a beach shoe, you need something breezy. Obviously espadrille fashion is back, so you’ll want to go for something with a rope sole. You’ll also want something which you can kick off as soon as your feet touch sand and put on again to go out in the evening, so a day-to-night shoe is ideal. Our suggestion is this shiny mule – you’ll never lose it in the sand.

Belluno Thick Hessian Sole Cross Over Mule in Blue, now £29.95 by Keith Scarrott available at

2: the shorts

You and your child are at completely different stages in life with completely different fashion senses. Therefore, what could be more inessential than matching swimsuits for you and your toddling cherub? Literally nothing, short of a dissolving paddle board.

However, absolutely nothing could ever be cuter, and that is why Tom & Teddy is my new favourite brand. With bold prints, the Austrailian-inspired brand produces durable swimwear that is sure to be eye-catching, even after a few ice-cream spills and action-filled days.

Turquoise Butterfly board shorts from Tom & Teddy, avaliable in both adult and childrens sizes, £69.95 (adult) or £34.95 (kids) from

3: The drinks

Let’s face it, it’s not a beach trip without a tin or two, and the perfect pairing lies with Adnams. A self-professed ‘big breath of fresh, sea air’, the Southwold-born, sustainably-run drinks company lives to be thrown into coolers and toted down to the shore.

For your uncle, they do a fantastic ‘Wild Wave’ sparkling cider, with apples grown in the foothills of the Malvern Hills. For your mother their ‘Copper House’ pink G&T is quite literally the cat’s pyjamas and their exotic Lemon and Tamarind gin is perfect for cracking open around a campfire or saving to reminisce about your wonderful holiday when you get home. It’s small batch, limited edition and delicious. Do you need it? No. Do you need it? Absolutely.

Adnams Copper House Pink G&T, £20.00 for pack of 12 or £1.99 for single can, Wild Wave English Cider, £18.99 for 12x 330ml cans available at Lemon & Tamarind Gin, £29.99 available for summer 2019 at 

4: The shirt

starfish linen shirt

You’ve been working in the office over the whole summer; this is your first chance at a tan since last year when you tanned sunglasses into your face at Glasonbury. You want to go out with no protection and shout ‘burn me’ to the heavens, but you’re a smart person and you know that’s the easiest way to spend the weekend huddled under a blanket behind a windbreaker with no part of your body on display.

What are you going to do? You’re going to bring a funky linen shirt that you can chuck onto your shoulders when you feel them start to turn from gold to puce and button up for an evening in the bar.

Starfish Linen Shirt by Oliver Brown, £135 now £69.00 available at 

5: The fun

So apparently, not everyone wants to lie on a beach all day. For those people (and my person is, unfortunately, one of them) Red Paddle has you covered. The leading SUP brand, Red Paddle have created a Dragon paddle board for multiple people to test their balance, team work and propensity to tumble all at once. It’s easy to transport, quick to inflate and can go darn fast when you’re trying, too.

In fact, Red Paddle love their Dragon boards so much that they run an annual race around them, the ‘Dragon World Series’, held in glamarous locations all over the world every year. So grab your board and get practicing for 2020!

The Dragon Paddle Board for £2519, visit to find your nearest stocklist.

To find out more about the Dragon World Series, visit

6: The inevitable layers

Look, you’re by the sea and the wind gets cold. Don’t hate me for being practical.

Falmouth Deck Shirt in Blue and Pink, £59.95 by Whale of a Time Clothing, available at