A while back Chris and I started a habit of making sure we went on weekly dates. Each week we had to base the date on a letter of the alphabet. You can see our alphabet dates here. Unfortunately, we only got to D before we gave up. It turns out that theming dates on letters is actually quite tricky! We did continue our weekly dates for a while without the letters to hold us back, but then life got in the way for a while.
But for the past month or so, we have been making a conscious effort to go out on weekly dates again. This time we have just decided to go and explore a town or village each time. So far we have been to Winchester, Southsea, Bournemouth and The New Forest. I thought it might be nice to document the things we do and the places we see to unearth any hidden treasures, and give you some ideas if you want to visit. Or, if you have been before and have any suggestions of places to go you can add to the conversation in the comments section!
So, on Wednesday we visited Arundel in West Sussex. Despite driving past Arundel Castle on my way to and from Sussex Uni many moons ago, I had never actually visited, so this was our first stop!
Arundel Castle has a variety of ticket choices, and so you can pick from paying £9 each for a bronze ticket, which only really includes the castle grounds and gardens, all the way up to gold for £18 which lets you get inside the whole castle including the bedrooms.
We went for the silver ticket which meant we payed £12.10 each and could see the grounds, gardens and also inside the Castle Keep. They also offer a Gift Aid scheme wherein if you pay a voluntary 10% gift aid then you get double that donation to spend each in the coffee shop. We thought this was a great idea and it was nice to get an ice lolly and drink inside!
Since it was such a sunny day and we wanted to spend most of it outside, we probably could have just gone for a bronze ticket, and spent all our time looking at the beautiful gardens, and the castle from outside. But it was nice to get a glimpse inside the castle too.
My favourite bit was definitely the walled garden! It was really pretty spectacular! It included loads of beautiful colourful flowers, and also had lots of wooden sculptures, fountains, and GOLD!
I think this fountain was the prettiest!
After we had finished wandering the grounds we popped into Arundel for a spot of lunch. We found a nice little place called Pappardelle Ristorante and Osteria (I think they must have had an update because the pictures on the website do not look like the same place inside). The decor was rustic and modern and I particularly liked their copper tables. I ordered a WooWoo!
The menu looked pretty delicious too, and in the end Chris and I both ordered the Duck Salad. It. Was. Yum.
After eating we went for a look around the village. I really liked the look of their local Butchers!
We found some fantastic Antique shops. The one pictured below had some really unusual (and expensive) pieces inside. Can you see the Hippo in the window?
There were also more antique shops hidden behind this one, all selling pretty cool stuff. I liked this room pictured below in particular, it seemed to have an industrial chic theme mixed in with a bit of vintage school ware.
We also ventured in to another shop called Arundel Bridge Antiques Centre, again which had stalls from many different sellers. My favourite was Arundel Photographica, which sold the biggest collection of vintage cameras I have ever seen!
Have you been to Arundel before? What was your favourite part?
I'm not sure where we are off to next week. Any suggestions for nice places along the South Coast?