I’ve always been a bit spontaneous (some may call it last minute) when it comes to booking holidays, and last week was no exception. I had booked the time off work several weeks ago, but hadn’t got around to organising anything. As it turned out, it was just as well as I had the funeral to go to last Wednesday and then Crystal Palace played Reading in the quarter finals of the FA Cup on Friday – more on that later!

By Thursday of last week, I still had nothing organised.

‘I know’, I said to my long-suffering other half, ‘Let’s go to Javea for a few days.’

We used to own a house in Javea, so know the area well, and I thought it would be nice to just relax, write and revisit some of our favourite restaurants. The flights to Alicante were horribly expensive but fortunately Javea is located slap bang between Alicante and Valencia airports, and when I checked Valencia, the flights were half the price.

While Chris visited the dentist (his turn to have a crown stuck back on) I booked the flights, hired a car and emailed a chap whose villa we had holidayed in two summers ago.

Our holiday view

By Friday lunchtime it was all sorted!

We flew out first thing Sunday morning and arrived in beautiful sunshine, but we knew from past experience that the weather can be changeable at this time of year and the nights are quite cold.

Fortunately, the villa had a log burner in the lounge and reverse air-conditioning units in the bedroom so, despite the weather not being great, we were plenty warm enough.

As I mentioned, one of the reasons for going was to get some writing done and this was the view from my writing desk – very inspiring. Another reason was to get a few new photos of my books in ‘beachy’ locations.

The beach

Fortunately, Wednesday was really warm and sunny so we went down to a little pebbly bay called Portixol to take some photos. For fun, I tried to re-create the cover of ‘If He Really Loved Me…’ but I’m not sure how successful I was? I didn’t know Chris had taken this photo of me taking photos – notice the Birkenstock Eva flip flops!

If He Really Loved Me... on the beachTaking photos on the beach

It was a really creative but also relaxing three day break and I would highly recommend Javea if you are looking for a slightly less commercialised Spanish holiday.

So, I mentioned the FA Cup quarter final game against Reading last Friday.

I picked Sophie up from our local station and we headed off to Reading, which is normally only a 25 minute drive from us. The traffic was dreadful and when we got there we couldn’t find anywhere to park.I was on the point of heading home, at least we would be able to watch the second half on TV, when we spotted a chap holding a sign for a private car park.

We only missed the first ten minutes of the game and, with Palace struggling to break the deadlock until the 85th minute, we hadn’t missed much. Considering our current league form, I’m delighted that we have made it through to the semi-finals at Wembley next month against Watford. I’m hoping for a repeat of the scoreline from the play-off final against them a couple of seasons ago – but I’m not holding my breath!

We have Leicester in the league this weekend who are currently riding high at the top of the Premier League table. I hope they win the title, but not before we take three points off them.

This week’s Focus on Fashion is a bit of a last minute heads up about a new range, Sigrid Olsen Studio, featuring on Fashion on Friday at 5pm. It launched this morning at 9am, so I’m hoping there will be plenty of stock available for those of you who missed it.

Sigrid is well known for creating her own prints and she originally started by cutting designs out of potatoes. Do you remember doing that at school in art class? I do.

Talking of artisan prints, make sure you check out our Style List next week which will have a new feature next week to tie in with the Today’s Special Value from Nina Leonard on Tuesday 22nd March.

They are doing a print trouser Today’s Special Value for the first time ever and are offering five designs for you to choose from.

My favourite is the one that looks like Spanish or Moroccan tiles, which we’re calling Multi Geo (pictured below). They will be perfect for holidays, or summery days here in the UK, and there are a couple of co-ordinating pieces to help you create a whole outfit for under £100. One is a plain sleeveless tulip-hem top, in a choice of six shades – including Sunflower and Orchid (below) – and the other is a long sleeve, pleat back cardigan in five colours (Turkey Sea below).


Nina Leonard Today's Special Value in Multi GeoNina Leonard top - 158481Nina Leonard cardigan - 158482

Well, I have a very busy week ahead on QVC. Here are my hours and some shows to watch out for:


3pm Bronzo Italia
5pm Sigrid Olsen Studio


2pm QVC Selection
3pm L’Occitane – quick update, I’m still using and getting great results from their Divine Cream
5pm Household Helpers with the H20 steam mop – LOVE mine


2pm Bose (Today’s Special Value)
4pm Georgina by G Scott – a new jewellery range


4pm Nina Leonard
6pm Honora (Today’s Special Value)


5pm Northern Nights
6pm Nina Leonard


3pm Diane Gilman Outlet
4pm Yankee Candles (Today’s Special Value)
6pm Tarte – 2nd Anniversary – a lot of my make-up these days is Tarte!

So a hectic few days, hope you can join me for some of them,

Much love,
Julia xx


  1. Linda Finch March 19, 2016 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, glad you enjoyed your few days away from our horrible weather, hope you got plenty of writing done,I had a lovely yankeecandles melts jar and melts bought for mothers day ,it is gorgeous my very first Yankee candle ,hopefully first of many look forward to the show love as always Linda Finch xx

    • Julia Roberts March 23, 2016 at 11:29 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      We both really enjoyed our break in Spain – it was nice to revisit old haunts. The light is so bright & the air so clean in Javea.
      I di manage to get a lot of writing done – still about 15,000 words to go though & then the editing & proof reading begins!
      So pleased you liked your first Yankees – I wonder if you will get the TSV?
      Julia x

  2. TINA S March 20, 2016 at 12:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    So glad you enjoyed your break. It looked very relaxing. I’m hoping we’ll go somewhere (not as exotic though) after the Easter break when all the kids are back in school.
    We had a very exciting final game today which has put us in 2nd place in the 6 Nations. It made up for the terrible one last week. Don’t know what we’ll do now with no more rugby to look forward to for a while! I think we’ve got a game in a few month’s time against England. I’ll have to check the fixtures list.
    I had the Tiana B dress today that you wore on air in the alternate colour. How’s that for speedy delivery. One thing I’ve noticed about the range though is that the sizing is coming up smaller. Other dresses I have are a size smaller than the dress I just received. My other dresses still fit so it’s not as if I’ve put weight on. I’m glad I ordered the bigger size or my normal size would have been too snug.
    Well I’m off to bed as I’m shattered after all the games today!!
    All the best, Tina S x

    • Julia Roberts March 23, 2016 at 11:34 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      I hope you will enjoy your break wherever you decide to go – my only complaint is that three days wasn’t long enough.
      I saw the last bit of the England Rugby match but must confess I wasn’t really watching – I still don’t understand it.
      Wow! Very speedy on the Tiana B delivery – I think it’s the styles in the range now that are slightly more tailored.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  3. Michelle March 20, 2016 at 1:55 am -  Reply

    Nice to hear you had a good time in javea my husband and I met you and your family there a couple of years ago we love it and we have been twice this year for a few long weekends we are going again on Thursday for five days my parents have just spent three weeks there they said the weather was cool but in the sun it was lovely hope you and your family are all well take care Michelle x

    • Julia Roberts March 23, 2016 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

      Hi Michelle
      I guess by the time you read this you will be in Javea – hope the weather is a little kinder for you.
      My son wants me to rent a villa in June for my 60th birthday – I must admit I’m tempted. I always feel so relaxed there.
      Family all good thanks. Have a great holiday
      Julia x

  4. Anne Costello March 20, 2016 at 11:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia ,I have at last discovered how to message you haha! I have been a fan of you since beginning of QVC . I remember always trying to stay up to 12am especially for Diamonique .I still have my first purchase a 9ct two stone on a twist ring .I still wear and admire as many do just beautiful .Thankyou QVC for my many purchases ,and also to my fav Presenter that is you Julia well done for your hard work .PS., you always look like a model xxxx

    • Julia Roberts March 23, 2016 at 11:45 pm -  Reply

      Hi Anne
      I’m very pleased to hear from you and to know you have been a fan of QVC for a while. I do miss doing midnight launches, the excitement of showing something to the viewers for the first time, but my health has to come first.
      I still have my first Diamonique purchase too – over 21 years old now & still as good as new!
      Thanks for you kind compliments – very sweet of you. Now that you know how to post I hope you’ll be a regular
      Julia x

  5. Joanna Downey March 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia, Terracotta roofs atop whitewashed walls and that stunning Mediterranean blue of sea and sky – absolutely magical and your super photo brightened up a grey and chilly Monday. I wish I could be spontaneous and just “book and go” unfortunately I’m claustrophobic and the prospect of getting on a plane makes me lose all reason so I have to be well prepared and calm for weeks before we travel. Colin did book our first holiday to Sicily while watching a travel programme about that beautiful island, however, it was in January so i had another seven months before leaving terra firma. You always sound very positive about your writing and that enjoyment is evident in the one and a half books I’ve read, there will be a second book review during the Easter holidays when school’s over for a couple of weeks and I can catch up. We went to your home city on Saturday to see Ludovico Einaudi in concert, we found a fantastic veggie and vegan restaurant and had a wonderful evening. Still on the topic of food I made Welsh cakes a couple of weeks ago; I decided to follow Janet’s suggestion of using dried cranberries and they were delicious, I now need to buy a flat griddle because getting them out of the frying pan was a tad tricky and some ended up looking distorted to say the least. My Vionic TSV toe posts have just been delivered so I’m off to try them. Enjoy your busy week. love from Jo x

    • Julia Roberts March 23, 2016 at 11:54 pm -  Reply

      Hi Jo
      There is something about the light in a lot of southern Mediterranean destinations that is just magical. I do miss having a house in Javea but I don’t miss the worry that everything would be ok each time we arrived for a visit.
      I hope you will enjoy the rest of book 2 now that the Easter holidays are upon us. Not far to go in book 3 now – it will feel a little weird once all of Holly’s story has been told but I look forward to new ideas.
      I must confess I haven’t attempted the Welsh Cakes yet – with or without cranberries. The whole family is here for Easter so I’ll make a cake of some description I guess – maybe not chocolate as there will be a lot of that around!
      Hope your Vionic toe-posts are comfy?
      Julia x

  6. Irene carlin March 30, 2016 at 10:18 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia loved reading your blog. Javea looks beautiful what accommodation do you stay at and would you recommend? Sounds very peaceful just the type of holiday I love. Thank you. Irene

    • Julia Roberts March 30, 2016 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

      Hi Irene
      Javea is particularly lovely outside the months of July and August when it does get busy and is also pretty hot.
      We have stayed in several hotels in the area including the Parador & the El Rodat – both good. If you would like the email address of the owner of the villas we have rented send me a message to my webpage http://www.juliarobertsbooks.co.uk and I will reply privately
      Julia x

  7. Carole Palmer May 17, 2016 at 1:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Can you please tell me about the shorter necklace that Jan was wearing during your 3 hour gold fever show?
    Many thanks, Carole.

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