Adventures on the High Teas b y Stuart Maconie

I'm currently reading Adventures on the High Teas: In Search of Middle England by Stuart Maconie, which covers his wanders round er, the middle of England. It's a follow-up to Pies and Prejudice: in Search of the North which I enjoyed very much. This is more of the same really, but a bit further south and with more music anecdotes (it's Nick Drake and Pink Floyd territory). It takes a wee while to tune into his writing style (it's very like listening to him, so as long as you're okay with that, it's fine) but it's good - like a more garrulous Bill Bryson.

Strangely enough it starts in Meriden - the Centre of England - which is where we're going in a couple of weeks on the way to Camber Sands. Any recommendations for the south coast? We've been there before, almost 10 years to the day for the Bowlie Weekender and loved it. I can't wait to go to Dungeness again and am greatly looking forward to exploring the area a bit more. I'm hoping we can get right along the coast, from Bognor to Margate. Anything we shouldn't miss?

If you do get as far as the darkest depths of East Kent, try this cafe in Broadstairs:

Our most recent experience is of Bexhill for which the DeLaWarre Pavillion, Sailing Club and adjacent mini-Brighton are well worth a look.

On the train there we passed (but didn't have time to visit) Beachlands at Pevensea Bay which if this is anything to go by may be worth a look.

Saltdean just outside Brighton might be worth a stop. There's a nice Lido and the former Ocean Hotel is just emerging from its scaffolding.

On the other side of Brighton is Shoreham with a little airport and its little museum.
Shoreham Beach has an interesting history and a curious mix of housing. Odd bungalows, converted railway carriages, some glamourous 70s houses right on the beach and some unique houseboats such as this...

I'm a big Worthing fan, lots of cafes, charity shops, a pier and a newly renovated Edwardian cinema, The Dome.

That looks like a smashing cafe Furtho, and those houses are gorgeous Chris. Will add to the list.

Thanks both.

Ahh - lovely that you're heading to my neck of the woods again!

If you didn't visit last time, then go up the hill into Rye - especially if you've ever read the Mapp and Lucia books!

If you haven't been before, the Sound Mirrors are worth seeking out I'm not sure how close (unofficially) you can get to them as I ran out of time on my last daytrip, but fab from a distance anywhow.

Have you seen the print ads Maconie is doing for NW England? There's a website too:

And it ten years since the Bowlie?! Blimey. That was a wierd and wonderful weekend!

Mark - sorry, your comment was caught in the spam filter. Great tips, thanks. I've seen lots of good photos of Worthing, hope we make it there.

Ben - We went to Rye last time. It was lovely. Stereolab were buying fudge there at the time.

Jo - the sound mirrors are only open for guided tours now. I'm gutted!

Kristen - yes, meant to link to that Stuart Maconie site. but forgot - thanks for the reminder.

On your way to Worthing you could check out Goring by Sea, which has two very odd things: a Catholic church which is a prefab agribarn with a reproduction of the Sistine Chapel ceiling inside, and Castle Goring, an 18th cent country house that is Gothic on one side and Georgian on the other.
Really like the blog BTW - I've linked to it from

I highly recommend a visit to Dungeness - you're pretty close at Camber. Take a look at Derek Jarman's garden at Prospect Cottage - its on the right as you come into Dungeness. See

Thanks Chris - those sound like great places.

Tom - we'll definitely be going to Dungeness. We went before but didn't really know what to look for - will know how to spot Prospect Cottage this time!

Ten years since Bowlie? Dear me!

We went to the Shell Grotto in Margate today - defintely a must.

If you go to the lovely Broadstairs as suggested above (and you should), check out the beautiful Morelli's ice cream parlour on the sea front. Surely one of the first places to buy a cappuccino on the south coast, and home of lovely signs an several giant ice cream cones.

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