Tuesday 20 April 2010

Is It Just Me?

A volcano erupts in Iceland and the world as we know it comes to a grinding halt because the resulting cloud of ash is so thick it can bring down any plane fool hardy enough to attempt to fly......and yet, we can't see it. In fact, not only is this monstrous cloud invisible from the ground, but we here in the south of England have experienced the best weather so far this year. Coincidence? Well I don't think so. How come since the day of this natural disaster we have enjoyed unbroken sunshine? The skies above are clear, and blue and sunglasses have become a hand-bag must. Not that I'm complaining, I'm all for a little peace and quiet over-head, it's just that....it's too quiet. However, my trip to Worthing was vastly improved by the splendid sort of sunset one might expect over the Serengeti rather than a retirement stronghold on the south coast.

I was in Worthing to visit a friend who has recently moved there due to fact that it is vastly cheaper than Brighton and it's ersatz neighbour Hove, rather than taking voluntary retirement from the modern world. To show off the south coast at it's best, on the Sunday we took a drive to Little Hampton where I don't think I've been since I was a teenager (something to do with a bottle of Blue Nun and the funfair, if memory serves....) and had lunch at the now famed East Beach Cafe. A favourite with the weekend magazines, this brilliant seaside cafe is housed in the extraordinary Heatherwick building, often reffered to as 'visionary' it looks like something out of The Flintstones. Now I know that living in London I am spoiled for choice when it comes to food, simply the best, better than all the rest, from the humblest bowl of creamy, homemade humus, drizzled with olive oil at a local Lebanese, or going nose-to-bowl with a Vietnames Pho, to macaroons at Sketch or pay-the-difference bubble & squeak at the esteemed Wolseley. And the thing that gets me about food elsewhere is that it tends to live on the dodgy corner of fine-dinning and tries-too-hard. Despite excellent, fresh ingredients and often very skilled chefs, there seems to be the 1990s need to daub everything with a raspberry coulis or, in a nod to the naughties, sprinkle the cod, steak or homemade sausage with blueberries. Simple food cooked well is not enough for the discerning northern diner of epicurean from Ipswich, it is not enough to just pan-fry the salmon fillet, it must be accompanied by a capaccio of carrot, a sushi of strawberry and a smear of jus........enjoy. However, the East Beach Cafe gets it right. We had between us crunch-crispy battered cod, plump-pink fishcakes, mushy peas, spinach and the best chips I've eaten this year.....don't get me started on the sticky toffee pudding and double-creamy vanilla ice cream. And the sun shone. Littlehampton? We could have been sipping our Rose at a cafe on the croisette at Cannes.........if you squinted in the direction of the sea.

However, despite this clement weather, I'm wearing a jumper but this is no ordinary jumper, this is a designer jumper and because it's April it was in the sale. So I managed to save myself a whopping £120 pounds by purchasing this woollen gem and because this is England I still get to wear it even when the sun is shinning.

Top tip: Check out the back of the boutique and clear out the sale rail of next year's winter woolies.


  1. Thanks for the comment on my blog: you had indeed wandered into the twilight zone.....

    Blue Nun....... sigh........... that took me back to my youth.........

  2. I remember once reading that the side effect of a volcano errupting anywhere in the world is that we all get fantastic sunsets. Ive never done Brighton and surrounding districts, but it is on my list of places to visit.

  3. The skies here are groaning under the usual air traffic now. Seems there is an all out effort to bring the stranded travellers home.

    Nothing better than being by the sea eating a really lovely meal........ sigh....

    With a designer jumper like that... I expect it will be worn for a long time. :-)

    Nuts in May

  4. l was att he RA hall in december also...and am booking tickets for the dec 2010 concert too...dont get to see much but hey

  5. I'm aching for another trip over to the mainland and now you've given me a few new places to check out when we do set foot over there.

    I like the idea of imagining you are in Cannes ...if you squint at the sea! Now I wonder if that would work here? :)

  6. Thank you for stopping by and leaving me a comment - looking forward to coming back here and catching up with what looks like some very interesting stuff! Best wishes and happy weekend x

  7. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you'll be back again soon. I definitely enjoyed what you had to say here. I took a peek about, and I will come back when I have more time to catch up! Have a great weekend!