Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Weekend in West Sussex

On the weekend we had a roadtrip to West Sussex, a lovely part of England that one of my sisters calls home.  I mentioned in my last post that we were enjoying staying with her in a rural countryside spot.  It's the best part of 4 hours drive from Wales, and the route we took veered off the M4 around Newbury and then cut across the South Downs.  It was a lovely drive and even though we did hit some congestion, it was nicer being in congestion on a pretty road than being in congestion on the concrete hell that is the M25. Once properly past all of the traffic hotspots, it was then a smooth run along country roads, with beautiful scenery, autumn colours, quaint villages, and the most amount of pheasants I've ever seen in my life.  All with a death wish incidentally - they have a tendency to take flight across the road in front of you when they hear your car coming, so that one nearly hit my windscreen.  It was sad to see so many dead at the side of the road, I was glad I didn't add to the roadkill numbers.

Midhurst was a pleasant town to stop in, all very picturesque looking, and with a few charity shops.  There was one shop, Revamps, that had a mixture of vintage and secondhand.  I had a nice chat with the owner and bought a houndstooth skirt.

West Sussex @porcelinasworld


We didn't get to my sister's house until it was getting dark, so it was time then to settle in for the evening with a nice curry and some wine whilst having a proper catch-up.  It was great to meet her two dogs as well, as I hadn't met them before.  The next day we went on a walk with my brother-in-law and the dogs around their land, it really is a wonderful countryside spot.  We even saw some deer, but they were too quick for my camera.

West Sussex @porcelinasworld

West Sussex @porcelinasworld

West Sussex @porcelinasworld

The walk seemed to clear the wine cobwebs away, and so my husband and I then left my sister in peace for a few hours, and headed down to the coast to Hove for a charity shopping session.  What really struck me was the amount of good quality stock.  High end and designer brands, hardly any Primark or George at Asda, which is the vast majority of stuff around us in Wales.  That's the difference of a posh area versus a deprived one I suppose!  I found lots of amazing pieces - alas not in my size - from Jean Varon dresses, Jimmy Choo shoes, Joseph trousers, Duo boots, L K Bennet shoes, and Diane Von Furstenburg frocks.  Not all of it was silly-prices either, the Choos were only £40.  I did find one pair of Louboutins in my size, but they were very high with a stripper-esque platform, not really my thing.  The only thing I did buy from the Hove charity shops was a vintage hat.  I was actually ordered to try it on by a very smartly dressed and immensely posh lady, who then insisted I buy it.  She was wearing a good hat herself, and a floor length cashmere coat draped over the shoulders of the smart trouser suit that she was wearing underneath.  I wonder who she was?  Probably Lady somebody!

That night we headed to a local pub with all the family to The White Hart, in Henfield, for a lovely dinner.  It's everything I like a pub to be - cosy, historic, nicely done out, with friendly staff and fantastic food.  Oh, and a superb gin selection.  I went for a local gin (St Paul?), which washed down my pheasant nicely (well, after all those pheasants flying in front of my car it seemed the only choice!).

The next day was a Sunday, and we were due to head home.  It was beautiful first thing in the morning when my husband and I went and walked the dogs and took some photos of my new hacking jacket.  The one thing about getting up early for work during the week is that it's then hard to have a lie in on the weekends, I still wake up fairly early.

West Sussex @porcelinasworld

Grayson trying to out-pose me...

Later, we went back into Henfield as we'd had a tip off that there was a Vintage Fair in the village hall.  My sister and two of her daughters came along, and the five of us had a good rummage around the 60 plus stalls.  Alas, most of it was shabby chic, Christmas related, or random (cashmere socks!), with very little 'true vintage'. I did buy a vintage slip though, and one of my nieces got a lovely ring that turned out to have a real sapphire in it for a fiver.

West Sussex @porcelinasworld


West Sussex @porcelinasworld

Those shoes were actually fabulous, heavy beaded 1950s ones by 'Williams', made in Hong Kong.  Not my size, I would have had them otherwise as they were only £20.  That boxed ring is the one my niece bought.

West Sussex @porcelinasworld


West Sussex @porcelinasworld

The four dresses on the left of this rail were pretty much the only '70s and older vintage dresses at the whole sale.

West Sussex @porcelinasworld


West Sussex @porcelinasworld
Apparently cashmere socks, empty bottles, and plants in pots are 'vintage'....

It was time for my husband and I to head off then, so we reluctantly said our goodbyes and hit the road.  We decided to stop in the National Trust run Petworth for a wander around before the bulk of the drive back to Wales.  I'd asked Melanie about visiting Petworth as she's been there a few times, blimey she wasn't wrong when she said we'd need a fair bit of time to fit it in - it's bloomin' huge!  I'll have some 'outfit photos' coming in another post from Petworth, but here are some general snaps in the meantime.  We visited the downstairs of the house, the servants quarters, and some of the grounds. We also had a nice lunch in the cafe, a tasty white bean and broccoli soup.  The sunshine made everything look especially beautiful.

West Sussex @porcelinasworld


West Sussex @porcelinasworld


West Sussex @porcelinasworld


West Sussex @porcelinasworld


West Sussex @porcelinasworld
There were some volunteers dressed in costume as a nice touch to our visit, this lady was making Apple Fool from a Georgian recipe, with apples from the estate.  I had a taste, it was scrumptious!

West Sussex @porcelinasworld

We had such a fantastic weekend, what a difference with the weather compared to the weekend before in Storm Brian!  We'll be booking a visit to my sister's again in the Spring I think, so that we can explore a bit more of West Sussex.  Have you ever been to this part of the UK?  Suggestions of things to do next time would be most welcome.



11 comments:

  1. It looks like you had a lovely weekend! Shame about the "vintage fair". I'm finding this is the case with a lot of so-called vintage and antique fairs at the moment. You turn up and it's nothing but brand new shabby chic or just junk people want to get rid of. It drives me mad! Anyway, if you fancy a truly wonderful and nothing-but-vintage vintage fair, then I highly recommend The Vintage Bazaar at Frome (or Devizes - but that's further away for you). There's one at Frome in the spring, the jumble sale one (which is amazing!) in the summer and another one in the autumn. xx

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  2. We visit Sussex at least twice a year, I think Sussex and Sommerset are the most beautiful areas in the UK. Yes, I love Wales too!

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  3. Such a great way to spend a weekend! The weather looked fantastic.

    Suzanne

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  4. What a wonderful post! you look like a movie star posing with the equally elegant Grayson in the woodland.
    Revamps looks fab, I'm sure its been on the BBC's Antiques Roadtrip, one of those delightful emporiums that sell a bit of everything.
    Those "vintage" fairs! I think most of us traders started off at local ones like that but soon realised most the attendees just came for cake and a reminisce. I've seen Forever Living representatives, Poundland "shabby sh*t" signs and the dreaded candles in tea cups. Mind you, there's a couple of lovely looking 1970s frocks on that rail I'd have been tempted with.
    Petworth looks incredible, those murals make me giddy with excitement and the ducks are adorable. xxx

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  5. How lucky your sister is to call this home! And it seems you were lucky with the weather too. Shame about the non-vintage, vintage fair. I've been to my fair share of those. Good for your niece to have found that ring. I'm loving the photo of Grayson trying to out-pose you. And your photos confirm what I already suspected when seeing Melanie's: Petworth is well worth a visit, and will be on our list if we pass that way! xxx

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  6. Oh wow what a great trip Porcelina !!! I am in awe with all the vintage shopping possibilities.

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  7. You were in my neck of the woods! We're not in West Sussex, but right on the Hampshire/West Sussex border, and Midhurst is very close to us. I hate the roads around this way, particularly the road to Chichester, all those poor pheasants. Did you see the ruin at Midhurst? Cowdray Ruin to be precise. I did a post about it last year (https://follybird.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/architecture-tart-tuesday-halloween_4.html).

    Uppark is another NT property and close by, but to be honest, it's lacking somewhat. It never gets very favourable feedback, it's like the property that they forgot and is still wallowing in the aftermath of the fire they had there, which is sad. They have restored it, but to how it was just prior to the fire and that was a bit tired.

    xxx

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  8. Not a part of the world I've been too but it looks lovely. They had a similar fair here at the civic centre. I think I found one nice brooch and that was it.

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  9. You look like you should be in Horse & Hound magazine in that outfit! I do really have a fondness for that whole aesthetic, I love the idea of spending the weekend in the countryside wearing tweed - maybe because to me it's an incredibly exotic concept that is so far from reality. Last weekend I went to an antiques fair and it was 80% old bottles - I kid you not, I really don't get the appeal of collecting old bottles though...

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  10. Who are you to argue with a posh lady in a hat and cashmere coat ;) I can't wait to see the hat! :) It looks like you had a lovely trip- and what a beautiful bit of countryside too!
    The Artyologist

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  11. Revamps looks ace. Even the building seems lovely.

    I keep hoping shabby chic will have its day and disappear, taking painted furniture and teacup abuse with it, though it still seems to be lingering in some areas. I wouldn't mind it so much if it hadn't been mushed in with 'vintage' in people's minds. (Seeing Cate's comment, I really need to check when the Vintage Bazaar is in Devizes, as I go there most Saturdays anyhow for the butcher nowadays.)

    Petworth looks amazing. I really cannot imagine living anywhere that large.

    Pheasants really are silly birds - they're not bred for brains, for sure. Tasty, though...

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