Our Charming Town on the Seaside

High Street near the harbor

We are loving Whitstable. This town is the perfect size — large enough to have varied and interesting shops, restaurants, services, and activities, but small enough to feel friendly and relaxed. The high street is fabulous. Whitstable is known in England for having very few chain stores and a very high percentage of independently and locally owned shops and restaurants. This contributes to the great feel of the town. When walking down the high street, there is so much beauty, art, creativity, and flair in the shop windows. And the signs above the shops are often old, with lots of character. We like it.

So much of the town is just quiet, residential neighborhood. Pleasant to walk though. And there is a lot of character, pretty much everywhere you look. Here’s a favorite:
Squeezegut Cottage

Today we spent our morning on the beach (after a meander down our lovely high street), and the kids had a picnic lunch while playing in the shells, pebbles, and beachiness. It was fab. Then we meandered our way home, spent lots of time reading books (including a great one we just discovered by Roald Dahl), and had a quiet day.

Supper was British pork shoulder steaks with local apples sautéed in butter, boiled potatoes (hey — they’re cheap, locally grown, and really good!), and salad. We eat well in England.

Here are some photos from our day:

Fabric shop (come visit!)
Even a sewing machine shop

We watched the cockles being piled up in the yard after being washed and shelled inside. Notice that the tractor is a racing Lamborghini!
Processing shellfish at fish market
Discard pile
Dumper is full of unopened shells
Mysterious processing machinery
Lamborghini tractor
Another shot of discarded shells

Our beach walk began with the collecting of shells. We got coffee and a snack from a really great coffee shop on our way to the beach, and the nice person behind the counter offered cute paper sacks for the kids to collect shells and rocks. So we did.
Looking for shells
Sorting his beauties
More shell picking
HEY!  I FOUND ONE!

And then we found some boats on the beach
Flora claims it as her own

This one had clearly been abandoned for some time, so the kids played in it, on it, and around it for ages. It’s the perfect beach playground!
Beached boat gave endless entertainment
If not for the courage of the fearless crew...
Abandoning ship

This girl can find extreme joy anywhere. Love it.
Whoo hoo!

Yep, havin’ a sandwich on the beach. Ain’t no big deal.
The ocean is that-a-way
Working on sandwiches
Done with lunch

Flora told us many times how much she loves her collection of shells
Flora admires her bag of shells

These kids were amazing. I think we’ve found a way to make money while we’re here! We’ll force the kids to busk in the harbor!

And a good day was had by all.

Here are a couple of photos of our very quiet day yesterday. We mostly spent the day at home, trying to relax and avoid stimulation after our big weekend at the Oyster Festival.  We cleaned up around the house:
A little light housekeeping
Flora sweeps the lawn

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