in my lil’ Aussie beach bag

Tue 9th, Oct, 2012

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OK girls, near, far and one man from the Netherlands, we be hotting it up in Sydney the last few weeks or so…and some rocking coastal shots on the way…it’s sporadic still, today is cooler and overcast, well it is, after all, still Spring, but we are getting warmer, and jiggly bits are making their way out again after a few, thankful in my case, months of being ensconced in a thermal vest.

So with Summer on the way (yep I know some of you are in Autumn, poor devils, you can dream and come visit me for the next few months girlfriends) I wanted to talk about something that I am loving in my beach bag…these Turkish towels, I am sure you have seen them all over the place..maybe not, but here, they are in all the trendy boutiques and have been for quite a while.


I first came across these towels when, guess what, I was in Turkey.

It was a very very interesting time there for me, and I would love to go back, I mean markets with waist high piles of real and proper Turkish Delight, one of my favourite things to partake in with a cup of tea mid-arvo, are enough for me to save my pennies and get myself on a flight.

I went to Turkey with a friend and let me just say that after that holiday I knew that friend a whole lot  better…there was much advice in those days about the food and the hygiene and all that stuff…of course being young, naive and adventurous we did certainly not heed any advice, we ate from stalls and in dodgy little restaurants and scooped Turkish Delight by the tonne down our necks as fast as we could….there was no worrying of jiggly bits in those days that was for sure.

But a few days in, errrm let us just say that the old delicate English stomachs began to let us know that all was not good…and all thoughts of being polite, spraying air freshener and even waiting patiently were thrown out of the window as we tag teamed the bathroom with our fair little bots that were far from smelling fair Winking smile

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I digress anyway, this was meant to be about towels…so being in Turkey guess what, we went to a Turkish Bath…it was a huge, old white building, if I remember rightly near to the hotel…probably put on solely for us tourists lol…we had booked in for it and were wondering quite what to expect…

What we found was a big old highly ornate fully tiled wet room with the little patterned tiles and bits of ornate gold around…yep right up my alley…in the middle of this large room were two very large tiled ‘beds’  more like an altar if you like and at each one was a masseuse…not for the faint of heart was this massage though I can tell you…

All around this centre engulfed in steam sat European women with their little pale skins and blonde hair wilting and awaiting their turn, all clad in their swimmers and these soft worn and very lovely white towels were all around


After that massage, which I believe I may still be recovering from and after having every bone in my body cracked, we shopped, as all the tourists did, and I purchased as much cotton as I could from Turkey, including one of these and it has been with me ever since.

Fast forward a few years, to a whole other world and a climate and lifestyle where one of these, thank-you-very-much might go down quite nicely on the beach..and they so do.

So the point I was getting to at the start of this post, is that if there is one thing you buy for your beach bag this year get one of these…they are so easy, as you can see I am, errm collecting them, yep eyebrows from that guy also known as Mr Beach Cottage when the latest watermelon pink one was plucked from the back of that magic wardrobe of mine, placed in my basket and flicked out happily on the beach…

If you buy one, shop around, there are a few different types to choose from, the thicker kind that are brilliant as beach mats and you can actually fit in your handbag – I am aware some of you might not actually need the benefits of a beach mat that fits in your handbag, but you know what I mean…these also double up very well as towels to actually dry yourself on..

..then there are some, like the navy blue and white one in the shots here that are much thinner and do all the same things as above but also work very well for one to tie around one’s body as one walks up the beach and does not want one’s jiggly bits to jiggle…

…oh and you can find these for a lot better price online than the price tags in some of the high-end boutiques (hello $85 the other day I saw one for in a very nice boutique, I mean like really, who pays that?)

See you soon, I have a Surfer Boy recipe that goes in your crockpot and tastes delish….

Mrs Beach Cottage Towel Collector

p.s. for other ideas for your beach bag from a girl who knows, go here.

p.p.s guess who has hydrangeas in her garden? wootwoot



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27 Responses to “in my lil’ Aussie beach bag”

  1. Morning Sarah. First of all congrats on the hydrangea, absolutely gorgeous, love them! And I love this post as I’ve been feeling a growing obsession with these little turkish beachtowels bubbling away in me for awhile now. Love the colours you have chosen. Are you able to share where you find yours for UNDER $85??!? Thanks as always…..xx

  2. meg smyth says:

    Love them Sarah….and beachwood.com.au has well priced ones online……can’t wait to order some

  3. alison says:

    So much culcha on this blog. I’ve never heard of these Turkish towel before. I’ll see them everywhere now!!

    10/10 for your hydrangeas.


  4. Selby says:

    Beautiful hydrangeas !!:) love how intensely colored they are- they must be very happy to be so vibrant- good work!:)

  5. kate says:

    This makes me so excited for summer! I can see tiny hydrangeas starting in my garden and a Turkish towel is now on my shopping list too!

  6. Beautiful hydrangeas. We just had some huge green beauties here in France, but the floral gems are definitely in your hemisphere at the moment!

    Enjoy your spring season!


  7. Fiona says:

    I love hydrangeas! Worst thing about living in an apartment is the lack of flowers!

    Those towels really are beautiful. I might need to track down some before summer hits Perth!

  8. laurie says:

    Turkey? Where haven’t you been, girl??? What a fun and fascinating story! I love the way you spin a good tale and share your memories, Sarah. I always leave here smiling!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  9. I have to laugh Sarah … because of course I’ve managed to sneak five into our house now. And I bought one each for twins for their baptism on the weekend. Got a lovely text from the twins’ mum last night saying that the “throws” were now on their bed. I explained that they were beach towels and the mum said there was no way sand was getting near them ;) So there’s another use. Also great for an impromptu table cloth at home or in the park. I love them!

  10. mellie lang says:

    $85! what? $40 is plenty thanks very much! especially when I paid £40 for mine back in the UK, they have been around in a lot of the cool boutiques for a while now thanks to lovely Welsh company toast.co.uk and their fabulous designers and stylists, their photographs have been in Elle Deco, Country living mags throwing a Hamman towel anywhere they can.
    Loved hearing your story of Turkey, I went there on a design trip and went to the markets and got shouted at with my girly colleagues for being the Spice Girls, loved apple tea, Turkish tiles and Jewellery in the markets.
    Gorgeous Hydrangeas, I had these and this colour for my wedding bouquet, ahhh.
    Another lovely blog, laughed out loud about your fair little bots :D

    • sarah says:

      haha thanks Mellie, I would love to go back to Turkey someday…

      yes the old Toast people with some crazy styling sometimes! I am remembering I think a wing back chair in a rowing boat or something along those lines?


  11. Melinda says:

    Here is the bargain story of the centuary ;
    I spotted 2 of these ( pink and blue) in a near to me charity shop for…wait for it….$3 each !! AND they had never been used / unfolded OMG. I grabbed those babies so fast and happy danced my way to the register. I have a bit of a collection and these were coming home to join the family.
    I really dont think whoever first owned these understood what they were – if they read your post they’ll be kicking themselves that they ever popped them in the charity bag – too good
    I love that fine striped one of yours

    • sarah says:

      haha I love finds like that, I think often people get gifts like that and think oh I will never use them, great find!

  12. Aysegul says:

    I live in Turkey but I still cant get enough of these towels. Prices increased here as high as USD 20 in recent years probably due to lots of export, but I still managed to buy 4 for USD 7 in the autumn sales in my local market. Planning to make new pillows… .

    • sarah says:

      wow I am surprised the prices increased there too! very interesting…I must say they are such a great addition to my life in this climate…I have them in the back of the car too, so much better than a bulky towel for a last minute beach trip decision

  13. ann says:


  14. annie says:

    I remember those towels. I bought a couple there that had beads on the edges and used them on tables for years.
    I also remember the Turkish Baths. They scrubbed a mole off my chest that I had all my life! Talk about thorough! Still I would do that every week if there was one here.

  15. Love those towels and the flowers. still counting my days to The Outer Banks! I’m so…excited!

  16. I’m getting “curiouser and curiouser” about that man in the Netherlands… Ain’t I nosy?

  17. Diana says:

    Those are beautiful towels. i need a set in my new kitchen!

  18. Diana says:

    Gorgeous textiles!! I am such a sucker for anything like that!!! Your hydrangeas are BEA.. U…TI… FUL!!! My fav flower!!! Please don’t be sad for us going into fall… it is a most gorgeous time of year here in the midwest of the US of A… my hydrangeas are turning love fall colors of purple/brown/beige/light blue and love having them in vases around the house as they dry… enjoy your spring into summer…I have had quite enough summer for a while thank you very much, but know that I adore looking at your pictures and will probably be ready for a beach vacation in about three months!! Thanks for the eye candy!!!

  19. Bev says:

    Pretty hydrangeas Sarah and I love those towels. I check Etsy and found some really nice ones, good price too. Enjoy you day !!!