Last week we were on holiday in Swanage, Dorset. A bit late in the year for a holiday perhaps, but we couldn’t take a holiday in the first half of the year so September it was. And actually, since we got married most of our UK holidays have been taken in October or November. It’s out of season so it’s cheaper and it’s not so bad if you go prepared to get wet.
So I went out and bought some long-sleeved t-shirts and a winter coat for our son, expecting at least some cold weather whilst we were away. But we were blessed with amazing weather! I even swam in the sea twice because it was warm enough. And properly swam. In October. Crazy. The first time I went I couldn’t help thinking, ‘what if I drown? Hubby can’t get me because he’s watching our son, there’s no lifeguard, I’m not a strong swimmer…’ It turned out I can swim just fine. The second time I went it was wavy and at one point I was stuck in one place swimming but not getting anywhere!
Anyway, Swanage is a really beautiful place and there is a lot to do. We went to Brownsea Island and saw red squirrels, watched many steam trains (our son loves trains), spent time on the beach, went for walks, slept, and pottered around. We went on a steam train to Corfe Castle where they have a model village which I definitely recommend for children. Our son loved knocking on the little doors and saying, ‘knock, knock, knock. No one there.’
Another place I’d recommend is Chococo. It’s a hand made chocolate shop with a cafe in Swanage. The chocolates are really nice and they have fun designs like fish and chips made out of chocolate with green jelly beans for mushy peas.
We shared a ‘make your own’ sundae whilst there of vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, malt chocolate balls and extra chocolate, with hot chocolate sauce. YUM! Chocolate ice cream has been a relatively recent revelation to me. I never used to like it because I didn’t think it tasted sufficiently chocolatey, until I tried some more expensive chocolate ice cream about a year ago which converted me. But it does mean I have to buy fancy chocolate ice cream if I want chocolate ice cream. Once in a while as a treat is ok!
We found three bakeries in Swanage plus a small Greggs. We weren’t sure how there could be a Greggs with so many other bakeries and yet we don’t have a local bakery where we live! Anyway, at one of the local bakeries I had a doughnut that was filled with gooey chocolate, the bottom half had been dipped in chocolate, and it had chocolate icing drizzled on top. There is no photographic evidence of this doughnut because it was so delicious I devoured it too quickly.
You may have noticed a chocolatey theme. I love chocolate almost as much as our son loves trains. But I didn’t just eat chocolate. There were fish and chips (the real kind), I made turkey & bacon pie which fed us for two nights (and was amazing to eat after a swim in the sea and a hot shower), we used Nectar points to go to Pizza Express… I definitely ate too much.