West Sussex Weekend

Monday was our wedding anniversary. We usually go away for a weekend at this time of year...usually to Salzburg for Mozart Week. But we decided (given the way the weather disrupted our Christmas travel plans!) to play it safe and hire a cottage in the UK, where we could relax and take long walks with Alice. So Friday found us driving down to beautiful West Wittering on the Sussex coast. We'd been before and always loved the amazing, wide, clean sandy beach...and it was just as we remembered it. Can you just make out the moon in the photo above? That was taken early on Sunday morning when we walked to see the sunrise on the sand...

the tide was almost fully out (low tide was 6am) and so it was a long way down to the sea...the pictures don't really capture the beauty of the colours in the streaked sky...

that's Paul above...

and you know who that is! I swear that Alice smiled every minute she was on that beach - whether she was racing across the sand, sniffing the seaweed clumps or splashing through the shore. Such different and exciting smells and landscape for her...and us! We went for several walks a day. There is an estuary packed with wading birds around the spit off East Head and also National Trust protected dunes...a nature sanctuary, really...
eventually we tired Alice out...

and went out to play and explore the nearby towns and cities. We chose to eat in the cottage in the evenings, reading, watching DVD's (and snoozing!) but we had two lovely lunches out...

on Saturday at Fat Olives restaurant, which is a converted 17th century fisherman's cottage...now a superb little brasserie... in the small and picturesque town of Emsworth. After lunch, we toured the town - ending as we usually do in a second hand bookshop and leaving with armloads of new bargains!
On Sunday we drove the short distance to the gorgeous Georgian city of Chichester

and had a good lunch at Brasserie Blanc, which is one of famous chef Raymond Blanc's ventures...
this was quite recently opened, light, bright and felt very French...

On Monday, we took a last long early morning walk on that fabulous beach...trying to breathe in as much of the iodine rich, salty air as we could before heading home (we live near the furthest point from the sea in the whole UK!) We didn't hurry back, stopping at Arundel and at the Cowdray Park Estate on our way. In the evening, as it was also my darling Dad's birthday, we picked up my parents and had a lovely double celebration meal at our friend Dave's wonderful restaurant Annie Bailey's . It was great to catch up with Mum & Dad, sitting by a log fire and ending our long weekend in style!

I'll leave you with a picture of Alice as I love to think of her...happy, perfectly happy

I hope that you're having a wonderful week so far...xo


  1. Oh, Rachel, that just looks amazing!! You know, you and your hubby spend your time away just like Daniel and I like to. We love lots of nature walks, finding the good restaurants and, of course, all the bookstores there are... Thank you for letting me travel along with you!! Love, Silke

  2. Ohh that was a wonderful vacation--for you--and vicariously for me! I swear that if ever I can hoodwink a guy into marrying me, we will honeymoon in England and visit all the places you've described so poetically. Consider this my personal ad!

  3. Your pictures are great, isn't it hard to catch that certain light that you remember but which doesn't quite match when you look at your own photos. Your writing really makes me want to be on that beach, and of course in the restuaunts. Pleased you had such a good weekend

  4. Oh Rachel, what a wonderful anniversary weekend! Sometimes it is nice to travel far to see new things, but I also find it just as thrilling to discover things in our own backyard, that we never knew were there! I can't believe how gorgeous that beach is! I esp. love the first 2 pictures. What a fabulous place you chose to celebrate your anniversary! Thank you for sharing with us. Soon we will be going away on a little road trip too, for Valentine's. Can't wait!! Enjoy the rest of the week sweetie! xxoo

  5. What a serene and beautiful beach for you to take long walks on and celebrate your love with Paul! I so enjoy your wonderful photos and blog and do get in some vicarious travel!
    Wishing you both many, many happy years together!! Love and hugs, Sherry xx (give sweet Alice a hug from me!)

  6. I love the cottage by the sea weekend- how romantic!! I always love a little fireplace and there is something about the sea that is extraordinary! We will be going away for an anniversary weekend toward mid-February-it is a surprise for him- it's not England, however, so visiting there through your pictures and commentary is certainly a joy!! xx

  7. Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful trip you had :) I would love to rent a little cottage in the UK someday ♥

  8. Hi dear Rachel,

    Happy anniversary and HAPPY BIRTHDAY WOLFGANG!

    LOVE the photos and adored Chichester when we visited it years ago. Good to see the restaurants you choose because I know how you and Paul are, you're our filters of good food!

    Those photos of Alice are adorable. She had the right place in front of the fireplace.

    The beaches look like glorious walking adventures.

    Sending a big hug to you across the miles. Is that the photo I took of you at Market? You were wearing Sue's (especially made for you) Blue Angel apron? I love that photo. Happy memories.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  9. Happy Wedding Anniversary to you and Paul, Rachel, and Happy Birthday to your dad! Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip. It's the closest I've been to the beach in a while. Enjoyed it!

  10. Happy Wedding Anniversary to you both. What beautiful pictures, it's so lovely to see the beautiful architecture. I'm glad you had a wonderful time. xxxxxx


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