Birthday Meal on Lake Garda

Limone sul Garda

My recent trip to Italy with the family was only 3 full days long, arriving late on Saturday night and leaving on Wednesday afternoon, but I surprisingly managed to get 3 sets of outfit photos! While my last ones were of a daytime outfit, this post includes one of my evening ones. Actually a very important evening – the evening of my mum’s big birthday!

Boat to Limone

The morning of her birthday we spent in Limone sul Garda. We took a boat across the lake, which was rather chilly on the way out there – I chose to wear my red gingham Primark midi skirt with a white long sleeved top and only took a cardigan with me rather than a coat, so despite starting out sitting outside on the boat, we quickly ended up inside. Everyone else was wearing coats, jeans, scarves – not me! It was a small touristy town that we wandered around, looking in the shops, buying lemon soap and balsamic vinegar, and of course, managing to walk in entirely the wrong direction for about 20 minutes! We’d read about the old lemon grove and house, Limonaia del Castèl, that you can visit but in the end didn’t make it that far as my sister is struggling with her damaged knee and the walking up and down tiny cobbled streets didn’t help much, plus we had to catch the boat back.
We sat down for a drink though and I thought that since we were in the home of lemons, surely they’d have something lemon-y (aside from Limoncello, it was only midday!) on the menu. I didn’t spot anything so I asked the waitress who said she would bring my sister and I a “fresh lemon”. We expected something along the lines of fresh lemonade like you get in America, mixed with water and lots of sugar to bring down the sourness, but instead got what appeared to be about 5 or 6 lemons squeezed into a glass each, accompanied by a single sachet of sugar and a jug of water to mix our own! I mean, it was definitely fresh! Suffice to say that we had to stealthily grab some more sugar off the counter and that we didn’t manage to finish it!!

And then because we’re awesome, my sister and I went for a dip in the lake…I wish I had a photo of this!! SO, Beth was throwing rocks into the lake while we were waiting (see the photo at the top of this post, she was sat where the duck is), and her bracelet flew off into the lake. And of course, the obvious thing for her to do was run straight into the lake to get it.
Problem: she was wearing denim cropped trousers, and the bracelet was definitely deeper than knee deep in the water.
Solution: I was wearing a midi skirt that could be pulled above knee height. So I shouted for her to stop and went running up with my skirt hitched up as high as it could modestly go with a crowd of people watching, because, oh yes, did I forget? A crowd of people were waiting for the boat right there! It wasn’t long though before I realised that the bracelet was deeper than we though, so when the water splashed up and caught the bottom of my skirt and threatened my underwear too, I climbed out of the water, not wanting to flash my giant knickers (because I chose that day to wear big short like, high waisted ones!) to the eagerly watching Italian public! So Beth just plunged straight in with her jeans on, up to her waist!
She emerged triumphantly to an applauding crowd, holding her bracelet aloft! Only then was it that we realised the “precious” bracelet we’d assumed was one of her special ones was actually a $2 elastic one from Florida!!
So see below for her “drying on the boat” photo – luckily it was warmer on the way back!!
Limone lemon Boat from Limone

My dad had booked my mum, sister and I into the spa in the afternoon as a surprise for her birthday, so we headed down there once we returned to the hotel in the early afternoon, much to my sister’s dismay as she’s not a fan of spas at all!

Hotel du Lac et du Parc spa

For the evening, my dad had booked a surprise meal out for us at a small restaurant in the town where we were staying – Riva del Garda. I’ll post more on the restaurant soon as I’ve got a whole post about that because they were so accommodating and planned lots especially for my mum’s birthday, plus the food was amazing, so it really deserved its own post! My mum and dad have stayed at Lake Garda before and loved this restaurant then, so my dad had emailed the owner before the trip to book us a table, mentioning it was her birthday.
My dad planned lots of surprises for her birthday – the holiday was obviously the main one, the spa and the evening meal were the other main two, but he also had a diamond replaced in her engagement ring, a classic one like the Vashi engagement rings for example, which had fallen out. You can also see here the necklace that my sister, Ben and I bought between us for her – it’s Welsh Gold from Clogau – and our dad got her matching earrings too.

Welsh Gold from Clogau Replaced diamond in engagment ring

Since it was her birthday evening, I dressed up a little more, wearing a favourite Collectif dress that mostly gets worn on holiday (see here from last year) along with my new silver sandals from ASOS. I’d planned these for evening wear but had also taken a pair of nude heels. In the end, I didn’t wear the heels once as the walk into town was about 25 minutes so I didn’t want to destroy my feet! The backdrop of the lake was gorgeous as the sun was setting – this was just at the bottom of the gardens of our hotel, a beautiful landscape!

Collectif fairy dress outfit Collectif fairy dress outfit Collectif fairy dress outfit Collectif fairy dress outfit Collectif fairy dress outfit Collectif fairy dress outfit


  1. Karen
    May 3, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Your Collectif dress is such a classic holiday dress and it looks great on you with these wonderful views behind! Kx

  2. May 4, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    Super cute dress! And it sounds like such a fun trip too!! 🙂

  3. May 5, 2016 / 11:18 am

    I’m so envious! That looks like the most beautiful location! I’d love to visit Italy. I’ll get there one day lol!
    You look lovely, the dress you wore is so pretty!
    Suzy x

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