Tales of walking, eating, watching and playing. Vintage treasures and simple pleasures ... the things that make her happy.

Monday, 9 May 2011

You win some, you lose some ...

The sun was shining promisingly over our patch so we took a chance, packed up the car and headed off for the coast with our trusty cooker and a bag of foodie delights! However, once through the Beaminster tunnel the sky began to lose its brightness and very soon a menacing blackness was looming ahead. A few miles more and the heavens opened. Undeterred, we decided to head for West Bay instead of Seatown, abandoning the now impossible idea of cooking on the beach, and giving ourselves up to portions of greasy, artery filling fish and chips instead! Rounded off with chocolate brownies, we were fully sated and, as the rains had abated, we decided on a brisk walk. Togged up in puffas and winter hats it now felt more like January.

I like West Bay – it’s real with no pretensions. Very close to ‘hip and happenin’ Bridport (beloved and oft frequented by Hugh Fearnley-W), it is very much the poor cousin with a toughness about it. These pretty cottages and a little chapel are the only buildings that add any quaintness:

In 1883 an extension to the harbour was completed and the West Bay Building Company was established to build houses for visitors. Only a terrace of 10 houses were ever completed, designed by the Arts and Crafts Movement architect Edward Schroeder Prior. They remain a prominent feature of the harbourside. I was going to take a photo of them but at that point the rain that had been threatening in the distance, seen here …

… decided to arrive.

In the minute it took us to run back to the car, we were drenched. We literally looked as though we had taken a fully clothed dip in the sea! At that point, we gave up and headed home.

So, here is a pic of them that I didn’t take!

There are a few small shops and pubs, numerous ‘chip cabins’ (I think we chose the worst one!), one very good restaurant and a little changed caravan site that I remember staying at for a week with my mum and cousin as a child. Some new and presumably expensive flats have recently been built but the complex does unfortunately resemble a prison block. They have also recently replaced one pier and rebuilt another as part of the new coastal defence scheme. Otherwise, little has changed here and I think that’s probably what I like about it. My childhood memories of it are still the same, still here, still real.

It’s a great place to come and watch rough winter weather although the entire bay area has been prone to flood in the past.

The following day proved to be dry, and so, after a quick scavenge at the car boot, we went for a long woods walk. Walking across fields on the way to the woods we were treated to a Skylark's song and an eventual glimpse of it high in the sky. Sadly, these amazingly tuneful birds are now in rapid decline.

It quickly turned into a perfect day … a warm sun emerged and layers were removed. We found more wild garlic (but I won’t bore you with more of that), now in full flower with much larger, very pungent leaves.

Love this decaying building. Just the place for little man's imagination to run riot.

The vagaries of British weather ... you win some, you lose some!

Wild garlic flowers make a pretty posy ...


... but are better in a salad!

Trout wrapped in parma ham, salad (watercress, wild garlic leaves and flowers, celery and dressing) and roasted mini new pots with a glass of red. Helped ease my aching legs no end!


My Spotty Pony said...

Looks like you had a lovely weekend despite the weather. It is so nice to return to a childhood holiday destination and find it unchanged, especially when a special place holds happy memories.
I had a walk through a wood full of wild garlic at the weekend... wish I had thought to pick some now!

Susy said...

Hello Jane,
I'm sorry it rained, I hope I did not
ruined everything and you have enjoyed, good fish and chips.
A hug
Susy x