Food & Adventures

Wednesday 22 February 2017

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad

I will be honest when I say that most of our holiday planning is left to Mrs Cool. I’m a pretty easy going kind of guy but I do always have one requirement - our holiday must involve delicious food. I don’t mind if this is 5* All Inclusive or Self Catering where I get to cook using local ingredients that I’ve picked up from the market. Good food is a big part of lives and I can’t imagine taking a holiday where food doesn’t form part of the trip. 

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad - Prawns

In the last few years we’ve enjoyed cooking in a Moroccan riad, taken a culinary tour at sea, tried wine tasting in vineyards and enjoyed various cookery classes with the kids - these have all been experiences that have turned into treasured memories that our family won’t forget. 

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad - making bread

So where does Mark Warner and their Family Ambassador programme fit in? Well after watching Jamie Oliver visiting Sardinia as part of his Superfood series, the Italian island has been high on my ‘foodie wish list’ and the Mark Warner Resort of Perdepera Beach Resort looks like it could be my dream getaway. 

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad - kids on holiday

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad - Jack looking out to sea

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad - Harry eating Calamari

I’m sure H,H and J wouldn’t be able to get enough of the delicious homemade pasta and I could happily live on Sardinian bread, cheese and seafood for the week. I’d be really interested to try some Sardinian specialities such as Culurgiones which is ravioli stuffed with potatoes and mint served with tomato and basil sauce and I would hope that Su Porcheddu (or spit roasted suckling pig) would be on the menu one night too. I bet it brings a real sense of occasion to the evening. 

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad - looking out to harbour

Sardinia is also known for their fantastic variety of wines and thanks to Mark Warner’s innovative evening childcare, the kids would have a blast joining in with a supervised movie club or Kids dinner and games nights whilst I actually got to sample a few of these wines with Mrs Cool. 

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad - pouring wine

I’d love the chance to represent Mark Warner Holidays from both a foodie and a dad’s perspective and be considered to be join their 2017 ambassador programme as a  #MarkWarnerDad . Part of this application process involves creating a ‘mood board’ of holiday essentials. I am much better with words than being creative with drawings or crafts so here’s my interpretation:  

My 10 Travel Must Haves

I always leave our holiday planning to my lovely wife,
If I’m honest I’ll do anything for an easy life.
When it comes to the day of travel, I have to check my phone,
And consult my list of essentials that i just can’t leave at home.

Coffee is the first thing to be packed into my case,
I need my Espresso fix to keep a smile on my face.
Next up is a good book that I can read in peace by the pool,
Making the most of those precious child-free hours with Mrs Cool.

As a redhead, a decent suncream is needed to protect my skin,
Calypso is my favourite brand as it’s quick to sink in.
My best pair of sunglasses are essential in sun or snow,
They always look better when paired with that ‘holiday glow’

For the journey I must remember a backpack for every child,
Packed with toys, iPads and books to keep their temperament mild.
My special bag of tricks will help to keep everyone sane,
Let’s not give fellow passengers a reason to complain.

My next essential is enough mobile data to last the duration of our trip,
So we can upload our foodie pics to Instagram (or do I need to get a grip?)
I definitely can’t travel without our Go Pro for the sea & pool,
Capturing tropical fish when we snorkel is always pretty cool.

Our deck of playing cards usually travel with us far,
We’ll enjoy a few games with new friends and drinks at the bar.
I’ll update my Apple Music Playlist featuring holiday classics for the sun,
These songs always remind me of good times and having fun.

Buying local food from markets is always a holiday ‘must do’ for me,
So a travel shopping bag is essential, I’m doing my bit for the environment you see.
These are my top 10 holiday essentials, that I can’t leave home without,
They help us make the most of travel, which is what life’s all about. 

A Dad's Top 10 Holiday Essentials #MarkWarnerDad

My Top 10 Holiday Essentials in no particular order:

1 - Decent Coffee
2 - A Good Book
3 - Suncream
4 - Sunglasses
5 - Backpack for the Kids
6 - Mobile Data
7 - Go Pro Camera
8 - Playing Cards
9 - Apple Music
10 - Shopping Bag

Let me know if food is something you consider when travelling or booking a holiday and if you agree with my list.

Well, that’s all for now




  1. This is great! Serious skills with that poem!

  2. I love the photos! Sounds like you would have a great time!

  3. Ah I barely used my phone last year on holiday!! wanted a social media break!! I would take a suitcase of books if I could!

  4. Love the poem! All the best of luck with this - I bet you and the family would have an amazing time. I do like your book choice of Lord of the Flies.

    1. Thanks you. I read Lord of the Flies when I was at school and liked it. Still good 2nd time around.

  5. I love a Dad's perspective and the poem! It sounds like a list my hubby would have too.

  6. A great idea from a dad's perspective- my hubby's list would be very similar. He loves the tech gear. Love the poem!

  7. Oh I am with you on the coffee. I get very.. .tetchy without decent cup first thing. And food is such a huge part of travel, I think, a taste of history and culture and indulgence in one.

    1. i'm a recent convert to coffee but i'm totally addicted now

  8. Food is a big part of a holiday for me, I love trying local cuisine and Sardinia sounds amazing for culinary delights. Your poem is awesome, good luck for the ambassador program

    1. thank you. local food is a must when we're on holiday. Sardinia is a real dream holiday for us.

  9. Oh I completely agree! Food is a HUGE part of the traveling experience;) Love your poem btw


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