We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Kathryn Hughes, Katie Marsh, Annabelle Thorpe and Jo Thomas confess their holiday guilty pleasures!

Summer holidays are a time for serious indulgence: cocktails, lounging in the sun, and a limitless supply of ice creams!

This year, we’ll be embracing our guilty pleasures – along with some of our lovely authors, who are here to share all the ways they’ll be treating themselves this summer…


Kathryn Hughes, author of The Key

I like a drink as much as the next person, but there’s something about being on holiday that makes me think it’s okay to order pints! It’s the same with cocktails.  I wouldn’t touch them at home, yet on holiday I can go through the entire cocktail menu in one evening.  Also, it’s been a long tradition since my kids were small, to have a packet of Percy Pigs in our flight bags.  At no other time did I buy them sweets, so it was a huge treat for them.  They were supposed to keep them quiet during the flight but in reality they’d eaten them all before we left the departure lounge.

Katie Marsh, author of The Rest of Me

I give up feeling guilty on holiday – I spend far too much of the rest of the year doing that – but in terms of holiday indulgences, I have the odd glass of wine with lunch on holiday, I read for at least an hour a day (I have two young kids, so this feels like the ultimate treat), and occasionally I even aim really high and actually have a long conversation with my husband about something that isn’t child-related, like who our favourite character on ‘The Wire’ is (yes, we’re that behind on box sets…).

Annabelle Thorpe, author of What Lies Within

This year’s guilty holiday pleasure was floating around a swimming pool, in an inflatable swan, drinking prosecco.  It felt ridiculously indulgent, and also highly silly – always a good mix.  I also tend to listen to Club Tropicana by Wham! On a loop, and ignore the worthy books I’ve bought for something glossy and fun – anything by Penny Vincenzi is ideal.

Jo Thomas, author of Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard 

Oh it’s definitely books and a lunch time glass of rose wine and if I’m really lucky, a rom com film in the evening. I love catching up on books I’ve been meaning to read and losing myself in a film where a happy ending is guaranteed. I remember being away with Katie Fforde on a research trip to Andalusia where I wrote Sunset over the Cherry Orchard, and after the sun had set we introduced each other to favourite films and I watched The Devil Wears Prada for the first time.