May 1, 2012
Cake! This is what greeted me when I arrived an Helen’s original 1960′s holiday chalet in Ventnor. I was tickled pink, and oddly, despite not really being a big fan of chocolate or cake (I have been accused of not being a real woman over this fact) I cut myself a large slice and enjoyed it with a smug cuppa. For those of you that haven’t heard of Vintage Vacations I urge you to have a look around their site. You can stay in an airstream, a converted mission or as I chose, the cutest little bungalow on the top of a cliff. At this point I should really say that this is not a sponsored post. Shortly after my book launch I had a bit of urge to run away, so I did just that. I paid on Thursday and was on the ferry the next day. I also turned my phone off…..
I love to walk, am quite happy with my own company, and was in dire need of some me time. My over active imagination was also thinking about pirates and coves. I grew up mainly in Paris so I am also a big fan of the Staycation, even if it means only going a few miles from my house.
As you can see from the below the whole bungalow was kitted out in keeping with its age. I wish I had taken a picture of the kitchen. Helen has spent ages collecting original 50′s/60′s holiday bits and pieces and the whole effect was very cosy, and very relaxing. There were also plenty of books and guides to read and a very helpful folder full of her top tips for exploring. Which is how I found Suzes Room, one of the best vintage shops I have frequented in a long time. Good for clothes and home wear and run by two lovely ladies. Despite tramping around in jeans and a headscarf the lure of an Ossie Clark with Celia Birtwell print proved too much and I spent more than I ever have done on anything. My pension-in-waiting will be getting its own blog post soon.
I’m not going to go through all the pics (my dad is making me boiled eggs and I hate it when they go hard) but there are a few notable mentions:
I believe the Crab and Lobster may be owned by Charly Surry’s aunt? Am I correct Charly?
The Gaiety was a WW1 aircraft hanger.
The botanical gardens are all of what left of the Royal National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest. I’m quite sad that the building is no longer there. The grainy picture of a picture (they are all a bit grainy) is of a 50′s Christmas show put on by patients and staff. I found it wonderfully eerie. Very interestingly I discovered when I got home that my paternal grandmother spent time in the hospital as part of her nurses training around the same time.
The beach huts are orginal victorian ones in a small secluded area called the Steephill Cove which features many seafacing properties to rent.