Broadstairs (part 2) – Jazz, Art, Cafes, Skeletons, Quirky Pubs and Ab Fab Ladies!

Well, in the first Broadstairs blog, I didn’t really say what happened at Broadstairs and as it was such a weird and wonderful day, here goes…  We found a parking spot (which is amazing luck) and walked to the seafront.  There was a fete with an amateur art exhibition near the bandstand which was a jolly affair selling the usual stuff plus a small jazz band playing on the bandstand.  The art exhibition was an interesting mix of contemporary and traditional art and inspiring to look at as we soak up the community spirit of Broadstairs.

Strolling along the promenade was uplifting as you look across the glorious views. I headed towards town to the cafe “The Old Curiosity Shop” which is fascinating because it has a well in it! If you look down the well you will see, not water, but human skeletons at the bottom! Enjoyed a cuppa and tea cake and carried on exploring the small but bustling town. It’s an enticing place with lots of independent cafes, restaurants, pubs and gift shops.  Broadstairs may be on the small side but full of character and interest.

At lunch time, I ventured into The Chapel Bar to enjoy a pint and check out the craft beers.  The Chapel Bar was an old book shop but has been adapted into a pub.  Really quirky because the shelves are still filled with books on everything from philosophy to literature.  Quite fascinating.  The owners were opening the doors as we arrived and my hubby and I entered the premises eager for a small libation but they weren’t really ready and took about 15 minutes to pour our beers!  A person could die of thirst in that place although the beer was delicious so I suppose it was worth the wait.

During the afternoon, we went back to the car, grabbed some beach stuff and sat on the superb beach.  It was lovely and had such a warm, family atmosphere even though the weather was cloudy.  After an afternoon of people watching, reading and snoozing we ventured into the Dickens’ pub for dinner.  This is a great place,  commands wonderful views of Viking Bay and is very busy.  Luckily, a large party left as we arrived and I managed to seize a table for two.    Then it happened.  They saw, they entered and conquered.  A group of ladies arrived en masse.  The noise was unbelievable and I couldn’t help noticing how most of them were tall and fabulous.  I quickly realised they all had six inch heels on!  Yes, I kid you not.  Never seen such glamour.  Hair done, makeup done, fab dresses on and boy they partied on.  Squashed next to me, screaming with laughter (not me), I managed to enjoy a scrumptious roast dinner but I was glad to depart.  They looked absolutely fabulous though and that is great to observe.

After rediscovering the nostalgic grandeur and quirkiness of Broadstairs, I decided that I must frequent it more often so I can explore the surrounding area.  Possibly a few days away next August for the annual folk festival…

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Mini break in Weymouth…Sun, sweary lady and genius chip shop man!

Is it me, or is the south coast (uk) becoming fashionable again?

It was decided that it would be a super idea to have a long weekend in Weymouth.  After the initial panic of realising that every hotel and B and B had ‘No Vacancies’ in the window, booked a room with breakfast in a small hotel, on the sea front. Confusingly, in a room at the back and you have to go around the side of the hotel to enter it. However, it was clean and ‘newly decorated’, very near the beach and shops so it served the purpose.



On Saturday, the sun shone brightly and I decided to languish on the beach and make use of the neglected kindle.  I like real books but the device is OK on holiday.  I’m reading another Mark Edwards book and devoured, apparently, 50% of it.  Plus, watching the pregnant, smoking, lady screeching at her 6, yes 6, children.  Who, of course, had to plonk themselves next to me.  Not sure whether I was fascinated or mildly irritated.  However, during the afternoon, some soft drizzle descended on us and the sweary lady dissappeared with her brood.  I dragged my chair under a shop roof and was then entertained with another group of youngsters throwing stones at cans.  Clearly, the sign on my forehead ‘noisy groups sit near me’ was working.  But the sun soon returned and the chair was dragged back towards serenity and sunshine.

It was decided that fish and chips would suffice for the evening meal at the conveniently placed chippy near the hotel.  The chip shop man had a spray gun for the vinegar!  This means the salt stuck to the chips and were devine. Chip shop man is a genius.  It is official.

Oh, it does not stop there.  Went to a local pub and was enjoying the dulcet tones of the karaoke, and in walked a subdued gentleman dressed as a bride with his entourage.  (Think my son in law got off lightly as Mario.)  They all ordered drinks and sang Help! (how original) and I looked out of the window and saw a gang of laughing, lively girls dressed as Mexicans (sombreros and capes) coming down the hill towards the pub.  Yes, they came, saw and conquered the karaoke (I can’t get no satisfaction).

When a woman, sitting in the table near us, started slapping a man on his bum with her slipper, I decided I couldn’t take anymore madness, and headed back to the hotel.  Decaf coffee, sanity and sleep.

Day 2 I decided to take the car to Durdle Door and then to the Studland beach.  Parked in a lane nearby and walked and as I reached the Durdle Door car park felt smug and pity as I strolled past the long queues for the pay and display machines.

Durdle Door

Durdle Door

Durdle Door is stunningly beautiful and encompasses everything devine about the English coast and countryside.  The weather was sunny and hot and I climbed down to both of the beaches to enjoy the scenery, so endured a hot workout too.  Studland beach was incredibly busy and difficult to park.  Only stayed for a couple of hours and then returned to Weymouth.

The third day was spent on the beach and travelling home.  Another weekend over which was rather eventful, had splendid scenery and fabulous weather.  Felt great to visit the south coast again, and next time I won’t leave it so long.

Thank you for reading about my adventures and don’t forget to follow here and on twitter.  @mishmashmedia_