Sunday, 1 September 2013

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside

"It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot" said Queen Victoria in her letter to Lord Melbourne, 3rd April 1845 about her home at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, and a statement I whole heartedly agree with.

The private beach on the estate was opened to the public last summer for the first time. It really is an idyllic spot and I can see how the Queen and Prince Albert fell in love with Osborne and, why they chose the Isle of Wight as their retreat from the stresses of court life. 

The estate, gardens, woodlands and beach are beautifully kept and when we have more time we will go back and visit the gardens and the house itself.  Below is a quick snapshot of the entrance to the house itself which we passed on the way to the beach.

Here are some of the residences on duty...

A rather gentile way to travel around the Estate

With tummys rumbling we chose a shady spot for our picnic and took in the dreamy scenery,

Deckchairs are dotted around the lawns next to the beach where you can in comfort while away the afternoon gazing at the waves lapping and, the boats bobbing in the distance.

With bellies full we stumbled along the beach to watch the Punch & Judy show.  It kept the children riveted and adults re-lived their youth by joining in with the time honoured tradition of shouting out 'He's behind you...!'

Time to hit the beach and for those that are self conscious about changing into their beach could always use Her Royal Highness' 'Personal Bathing Machine'....
Midway through the afternoon whilst the children were busily playing on the beach the ice creams at the Beach CafĂ© were calling.  How could anyone resist any of the award winning Minghella ice creams that are lovingly made here on the Island (the late film director Anthony Minghella's family ice cream business). 

Definitely worth checking out as they have a huge assortment of flavours to please all ice cream aficionados & according to my taste buds the best tasting ice cream. The beach cafe had a small selection but even so it was hard to choose from mouth watering flavours such as 'Peaches n Cream', 'Sticky Toffee' , Oriental Ginger & Honey'....or there are delicious sorbets for those watching their waistline.  Naturally the latter wasn't chosen...

We thoroughly enjoyed our quintessentially 'British' day out at the seaside (a spot of culture, some sand, some sea, lashings of gourmet ice cream & Punch & Judy thrown in for good measure), on days like these who needs to go abroad? days out like this are what childhood memories are made from. 

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