Weekend: South Coast of England
The south coast of England is too frequently overlooked by international travellers. It seems likely that the prospect of a beach holiday in the notorious grey weather, that is so quintessentially English, deters people from venturing away from the familiarity of London during their travels.
If you happen to be lucky enough to find yourself on the south coast on one of the not so grey days, what you will find is something rather spectacular. Among the English it is not so much of a secret: property prices in Salcombe and Sandbanks are among the highest in the UK, with Sandbanks hosting the 4th most expensive property in the world.
However there is a reason for this, the outstanding natural beauty of the south coast has attracted some of the worlds most renowned architects, artists, designers and restaurateurs to transform these once sleepy coastal towns into luxury destinations appealing to an elite international crowd.
There remains among visitors and residents a juxtaposition between the desire for a return to simplicity and tradition and the creation of these new decadent havens. Travelling west to east, Gloobbi picks out a few places well worth visiting for those seeking the best of Britain, for a hectic-free weekend break:
1. Rick Stein’s Padstow Seafood School– in the small fishing town of Padstow, Rick Stein’s cookery school offers courses lasting 1 to 4 days providing, fresh local ingredients with instruction from the best sources in the region.
2. The South Sands Hotel Salcombe– Relax with cocktails on the beach front terrace in the hotel’s beautiful bar, a calm and clear space with beautiful views out to sea you would be hard pressed to find a more relaxing place to spend the early evening.
3. The Salcombe Harbour Hotel– Post cocktails, book a room in this hotel named by The Times as one of the coolest places to stay in 2013. In August 2013, the Harbour Hotel will reopen its doors after a multi million pound refurbishment. Beautiful views across the estuary and simple, stunning design will act as an inspiration for a refreshed mind as you prepare for the coming week.
4. Mudeford Sandspit– Moving further along the coast is the ultimate beach hang out, the beach huts here provide a lot more privacy and are a little slice of comfort heaven. It is rare that anyone ever decides to sell, but the huts are regularly available to rent. Roll out of bed for breakfast on the beach, and later enjoy spectacular sunsets.
5. The Gingerman Brighton– The first of four restaurants from English chef Ben McKellar, The Gingerman remains among the most popular place to eat in town. This is an unassuming, intimate yet trendy eatery where quality ingredients and well-executed recipes take precedence.
by Jessica Saxby