Where I go, Jamie Oliver follows.
But 2 months ago, I was at Whistable on a day trip from a weekend in Canterbury. A seaside town on the east coast of England, although never heard of and no tourist literature ever speaks of, it’s a place where Jamie Oliver might go on holiday this summer.
I don’t think anything screams more Britishness than this little town.
Green huts by the beach? A British flat tailing a mommy/daddy and kiddie bicycle?
And more families by more colourful beach huts underneath a very typical blue-grey sky?
Impossibly pebbly beaches?
Love these signs. What would a British holiday be without a BAR? Perhaps they should change it to PUB.
I apologise for the abundance of beach hut photos, but seriously, in the many beaches I’ve been too, I’ve never before seen beach huts like these.
But then again, I suppose only the fair British weather would drive people to take shelter in a hut when on a beach…
Handsome British man strikes a pose with his very British strawberries.
And this my comrades, is the only other reason, other than to experience the quaint British charm of the town, to visit Whitstable.
After we gorged on oysters from this stall, we stumbled onto the next one to find that we were “ripped-off” here. The next stall sold them for only 50 pence each!
I say “ripped-off” in quotation marks because in London, they cost an extortionate £1.50 each.
The crisp icy coldness of the juicy flesh…it will make you revolt if you hate the stuff, or like me, the thought of it still makes my mouth water. Mmmm…
Coming here made me realise why the British doesn’t indulge in seafood as much as other seaside populations: They’re too expensive.
I haven’t had proper Cantonese-style steamed fish since I got here, so we bought a whole sea bass to cook at home. It cost us £10. Might as well eat out!
As pebbly as the beach was, I wasn’t sure it was worthwhile to venture beyond the rows of beach huts onto Whistable’s high street, expecting that, like any other high street here, it would be lined with the same big name chain stores and ugly corner shops that have taken over the rest of this country.
Instead, to my delight, High Street was full of colourful, personable independently-run shops. Be them hair-dressers, cafes, book-stores, clothing shops, souvenirs and trinklets. There wasn’t even a charity shop in sight!
This old-style store-front of a sweets shop says it all.
Oysters and fishmongers, a seaside market place, and a boat called Danny Boy II – it’s like stepping back into a time when Britain was just a sleepy fishing village, and when city bankers haven’t yet been born.
I highly recommend a visit just to be charmed by all its Britishness. Socks in sandals and the small country lisp of the early Jamie Oliver and all. It must be one of the, to use a British term, loveliest, and most relaxing day-outs I’ve had here. :)