Holidays At Home: Pretending I’m Rich In Dorset

27 Oct

After a week in Christchurch, I always get home, semi-unpack and wonder where the hell the time went. Since my grandparents moved there over ten years ago, my family and I have always had one guaranteed ‘holiday at home’ each year.

Taking notes earlier with my other half, Dan (also my travelling partner, as usual), remembering what we did on which day was all too much of a blur. Thankfully, my Twitter account is like the word acquivalent of a memory album.

I’ll begin with my ‘Holiday Highlight’. And you mustn’t laugh, judge or skip this bit because the venue has the world’s dullest name. The best bit of the week, by far, was the Tank Museum.

I told you not to laugh!

Thursday morning, Dan and I got up at stupid o’clock in the morning to make the 60 mile round-trip to the British Army base at Bovington Camp. Naturally, the sat-nav promised a 60 minute journey each way and took us on the most congested route imaginable, so it’s probably worth judging your own route in advance (especially if you have young kids or a short-tempered woman in the passenger seat).

If you’re a huge dork, like me, the fun will start as soon as you are in within about 3/4 miles of the camp. Due to the fact that the camp is a serving British Army base and MOD training ground, we had to trail behind a huge, great tank with an L plate stuck on the back, to get to the car park.

And ended, poignantly, with an insight into the modern war conditions with a walk-through exhibition called ‘Battle Group Afghanistan’;

The majority of our remaining time in Christchurch revolved around spending money. The only thing to put one off such an affluent, upmarket area such as Christchurch is the cost.

Having woken up very late Friday morning, Dan and I found ourselves too late for breakfast and too early for lunch so headed to Kelly’s Kitchen on Christchurch high street for brunch. Warm and bustling it looked ideal for a quick bite to eat (as do most of the quaint little eateries in seaside towns)but, almost choking on my rather tasteless £5.30 panini and £1.95 cup of tea, I really wished I had looked at the menu first. Jacket potatoes averaged at £7 each and a standard English breakfast will set you back almost £5. My recommendation? Get used to these prices or practise making packed lunches to avoid cost quibbles.

Dinner can be done slightly cheaper with a river-side Harvester, local Toby Carvery and newly opened Pizza Express, which, I have been assured by locals, are always good and busy.

If a local man tells you a place is worth a go, it’s worth a go. If he says not to go, you do not go. Quick Dorset lesson for you.

Friday night would’ve been one to remember had I not drunk so much alcohol. ‘The Kings Arms’ on Castle Street is where we dined (my original choice of restaurant was booed by the locals so given a miss) in a dark and smoulderingly-lit dining room. The atmosphere had a whiff of affluence and I was the youngest there by at least 20 years. Prices from about £40 a head got us numerous beverages, a starter each, an exquisite main and dessert (although I went for the Tequila/Disaronno drenched Birds of Paradise dessert cocktail instead of the more traditional Lemon Posset). If this seems expenive to you, don’t worry I nearly had a fit until I realised the waitress serving our table was not only helpful but genuinely cared for our best interests. I wish I had gotten her name because she was the sort of waitress that knew what you wanted even if you didn’t know yourelf yet. The sort of waitress your Nan can’t get enough of, basically. Also, the food was by far some of the finest around and furthermore, it is all locally produced to within a 15 mile radius and the menu designed by top chef, Alex Aitken.

The night was rounded off with a set of live music at Christchurch bar, The Thomas Tripp. I’m not really into live cover bands so this was something new for me but I have to admit East Cliff Overdrive did a fine job and even managed to cover Adele without butchering it (Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse could probably be left off the set list in future though).

I always learn something about myself when I stay at my grandparents’ house for an annual Holiday at Home and this year was no exception. In fact I learnt a number of things this year:

1) Being drunk under the table by my Nan taught me I don’t drink enough at home

2) Mixing with people far better off than myself makes me believe I am richer than I am (resulting in a heartbreaking bank balance upon return)

3) I am already an old woman who enjoys luxury pedicures, dandy customer service and a decent, hilly hike

and 4) I missed Princess (my little Bichon Frise dog) far too much to be classed as ‘normal’

Always a pleasure!

xx Peace xx

All photos are my own.

Have you ever been to Christchurch/Burley/Bournemouth/Bovington Camp???

Where else can I go for a Holiday at Home???

Follow Me @sheldan2207 on Twitter or comment below



One Response to “Holidays At Home: Pretending I’m Rich In Dorset”

  1. Joseph February 23, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Excellent post. I enjoyed reading. Nice photo. I like the tittle of your post. It’s cool. I’ll start following you on Twitter. Thanks for sharing.

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