what i love about our town is that it still keeps its traditions – all through the year, there are numerous events and dates that not only attract a tourist trade to an area where there is massive unemployment, but is also totally inclusive of the local community; from cycle races, candlelit nights, flea markets, food festivals and of course the annual 2 week feria in august, which brings the whole community together night after night. last night we watched the local young girls, plus one cute little boy, do an evening of flamenco dancing in the main square, watched by tens of grannies and families. at midnight, you still have the youth and the old sitting side by side with their jamon and sherry in hand watching as the world is ablaze with the colour of the andalucian sounds and clapping of children having fun.
here is a collection of blue things in my bedroom – flowers from my terrace, a vintage dress, embroidered cushion, heart ceramic made by my daughter, silk spool from kempton, blue enamelled butterfly brooch, turquoise necklace by my favourite jewellery Peppi Taylor, glass goblet from a pop up sale…… blue is the colour of honesty, reliability, trust and loyalty – its a colour that seeks peace and tranquility.
we have arrived for our annual family holiday in Vejer and its hot, hot, hot….if you cant get up early, then the only time to go to the beach in spain is after 4pm in the summer; but once you’re there, you can sunbathe right up til 8pm. last year the kids built this rectangular sandcastle – inspired by the hogwarts castle that they saw on the beach.
my favourite beaches in andalucia are El Palmar – popular for surfing in the winter and the local beach to our village of Vejer de la Fronterra; Zahora, hidden away, this natural beach is within a bay, so a bit more sheltered than the wider open beaches; cabo de Trafalgar, is the famous beach from the battle of Trafalgar, totally unspoilt with nothing built on it – lots of kite surfers feequent this beach when the conditions are right for surfing; Zahara de los Atunes is a fishing village by the sea with a long windswept rugged beach, popular in the summer with tourists; Canos de la Meca is a smaller hippy beach, again a bit sheltered, but very busy in the summer – only worth going to out of the busy august period; Conil is more built up than the other beaches, but has a fantastic long wide beach and the sea is perfect for wave jumping; Bolonia is a great beach with the added attraction of some Roman ruins, dunes and the odd cow or horse stepping out on the seafront; Tarifa is hip, young and a magnet for windsurfing and kite surfers, but also has the wonderful dunes nearby; La Barossa has more hotels around, more built up, but again a fabulous long beach; San Lucar de la Barrameda is an old fishing village by the sea, famed for its seafood – its one of our favourite towns in spain – not at all trendy, just full of locals from jerez and seville.
have always liked honey and co for tea and breakfast, but now you can take home some of the products that they serve, including granola, honey, herb and spices and a selection of baskets and ceramic tiles. the food is from the middle east, but its very clean and fresh. its also positioned just off the tottenham court road, just opposite from their restaurant, so its nice to find somewhere independent to sit and have a break, away from the usual chains.
what a beautiful poem and how often you catch your loved one walking down the street ……..
Who has not seen their lover
Walking at ease,
Walking like any other
A pavement under trees,
Not singular, apart,
But footed, featured, dressed,
Approaching like the rest
In the same dapple of the summer caught;
Who has not suddenly thought
With swift surprise:
There walks in cool disguise,
There comes, my heart.
missed my place by the sea, but now we have a cottage not far from the sea in Wrentham, Suffolk. its 5 mins drive from the beautiful nature beach Covehithe and 10 mins drive from the lovely seaside town of Southwold and nearby Walberswick. its actually 2 georgian cottages that have been joined together, with wild flower garden, a couple of sheds and a summer house – we have spent the last few months repairing, restoring and furnishing. i had totally forgotten how stressful it can be working with builders from a distance, keeping an eye on work, quality and price. fortunately it is just about possible to drive there and back in a day, which is what i have been doing all summer. soon it will be all ready and it should be available to rent by the autumn.
to make the journey seem shorter, i have been stopping off at different places to break the monotonous journey on the A12. recently i discovered Woodbridge. woodbridge is inland, but has a lovely village green on which you will find numerous shops, old and new, including a lovely violin making shop, moose interiors and lifestyle for lovely indian furniture pieces, vanil for scandinavian look, geometric rugs and cushions, , homespun for cashmere and labels such as YMC and margaret howell. for healthy lunch, try wild strawberry cafe.
its been an adventure discovering the different areas of suffolk, but one that i have loved; its not whitstable, and almost double the time to get there, but there is definitely something very special about the area. here is our local beach covehithe – beautiful sandy beach completely unspoilt.
am loving the lime blossom tea from my cup of tea – i also bought the glass teapot with strainer, perfect for steeping the herbs in – its a really calming tea and especially good in the evening to help you wind down.
i fell in love with the mariage freres tea shop in selfridges – unfortunately its the only place to buy it in the uk, but i wanted everything! its pretty pricey, but the packaging makes for a lovely gift and nobody can have too many teas!
a friend bought me some stylish tins of fashionista tea from america – not sure if you can get them here, but there are some lovely blends all sourced from small tea growers, fair trade too, so everyone wins.
whenever i go back to manchester to visit my mother i always love to visit teacup and cakes in thomas street.
sadly noticed that my friends’ local launderette in chorlton has gone – along with all the amenities that disappear off our high streets, but is at least replaced with a nice looking brasserie/bar, aptly named the laundrette. elise has lived in chorlton for over 25 years, and each time i come a new bar/brasserie opens – its one of the things we cant buy on the internet – eating out!