Suddenly we have a new destination in our lives. Jeff is based on the south coast during the term time so down we go on visiting duties.
This visit coincided with the first warm weekend in March and suddenly the seafront which only three weeks ago was an icy wasteland, was thronging with visitors. Cars milling everywhere, bikers vying with pedestrians on the seafront walk and a few hardy kids building the first sandcastles of 2011.
Hardy surfers of Boscombe
With the water being little more than 7 or 8 degrees, you would assume it would be empty. But that's not the case. Boscome is a centre for surfing and even in March the sea was packed with wet suited surfers. Thy were out there making the most of the modest swells that rolled sluggishly over the man made Boscombe reef.
Jeff and Belle
During our stay we chanced upon two notable eateries:
Fish and chip shop of the year 2010. This is both a take out and eat in restaurant in Womborne where, for £15, you can sample the "full monty". Fantasic fish and chips, mushy peas, a glass of beer, pudding and tea / coffee. This is an eating experience which really lives up to its hard won reputation.
A beach front restaurant in Sandbourne. A competitively priced eatery which offers a full meal from a limited menu or a really tasty range of lite bites. The food is good, the restaurant clean and smart but perhaps the best thing is the view, straight out onto the beach with a sea view so long you can see the curve of the earth.
One final recommendation for Boscombe:
A friendly little community church which makes you feel very welcome. We wandered in with Jeff on the strength of a recommendation and by the time we left we felt very much at home. Not only that - Jeff made friends and was delighted with his free jammie doughnut!