I’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather here in Worthing. And as if to prove that I chose exactly the right days to come down, the forecast for tomorrow changes dramatically showing rain all day and strong winds. I’d thought I might hang around for the morning, have an early lunch and then head home, but it looks more likely I’ll drive home in the morning. I’m not a ‘walking in the rain’ person!
I’m not complaining though. British holidays in March/April are risky affairs if it’s good weather you’re hoping for, and I’ve enjoyed four days of sun and mostly blue skies, so am very happy. Today particularly was wonderful to wake to. The sky was a glorious clear blue, the sun was shining, and after some cereal and fruit in the flat, I set off for an early walk. It was quiet, hardly anyone was around except the occasional runner and people with their dogs. I’ve been walking along the wide promenade each day, which you can follow in either direction for miles, but decided to try to get closer to the sea, which is often a fair distance out. The beach is also stony. Not little pebbles, quite large stones, so not easy walking. But I carefully made my way down a steep incline of stones to the flatter sandy stretch. The tide was out and fortunately I was wearing waterproof shoes and could risk a slightly wet walk.
The sun was rising in the east, and the long stretch of beach to my right was bathed in a wonderful bright light.
I walked eastwards however and the light across the pier was darker but the scene before me beautiful.
I decided to go back up onto the promenade and then onto the pier. I found a bench in the sun and sat for a while enjoying the warmth on my face, sea air and a quiet stillness.
After I’d walked for an hour, I knew the cafes would be opening up, so headed to Malt Cafe, which has become my favourite. They even insisted I took a loyalty card this time, hoping I’d come back to Worthing. I’d bought a paper and sat with my flat white and pain au chocolat for a little while.
They are so kind and friendly in there, once I’d finished my drink and food they cleared the plate and cup away ‘so I had more room for my paper’. It was instantly apparent I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted. The young barista talked to me for a while, which was lovely. More people were coming in; all seemed regulars and known by name and even their regular orders. I didn’t stay much longer though and made my way back to the flat.
I went out again around midday. I’d booked a table at the award-winning Crabshack for lunch at 1pm but wanted to walk a while first. I walked past the restaurant and on past Bayside Social where I had such a great meal last night. I hadn’t walked this far before and came across a stretch of beach with quite a few fishing boats pulled up onto the pebbles. Some were selling their catches.
After a while I turned back so I wouldn’t be late for my lunch table. When I arrived at Crabshack people in a small queue were being turned away as they hadn’t booked.
I’d booked a table inside. As I’ve enjoyed everywhere here, I was welcomed warmly, shown to my table and quickly a menu and carafe of water came. I ordered Sicilian Fish Stew (£22), side salad and glass of Picpoul.
It looked great but unfortunately was disappointing. The sauce had a nice flavour but not the promised ‘chilli kick’ stated on the menu and that one expects in a Sicilian dish of this kind. The mussels were sweet and tender but other fish a bit overcooked. I’ve enjoyed such great food while I’ve been in Worthing that while this wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as I’ve had elsewhere.
I walked back along the promenade and it was the busiest I’ve seen it while here. Clearly lots of people were having a Sunday seaside outing. And what a glorious day for it. The shacks on the seafront I saw yesterday, including the shellfish one where I’d had a lovely crab sandwich for lunch, were open again. I stopped at the Worthing Gin one. I’m not a gin drinker but thought the gin marmalade would make nice little gifts. The woman serving me was chatty and friendly but suddenly noticed the top of the jars were slightly rusty. She wasn’t happy selling them to me. How long was I here? I’m going home tomorrow, I told her. Well her partner should be back soon and would have some more. It was decided I’d go back later. I really respected her honesty and not wanting to sell me something she wasn’t certain was okay.
An hour or so later, I went out again. They’re so close I can see the truck easily from the flat window.
This time they had jars of marmalade they were happy to sell. I ended up having a long chat with the couple, learning a bit more about Worthing and their own history here. It was so nice to chat for a while before carrying the jars back to the flat.
Then I decided I should have bought more and went back! The marmalade is a limited edition made from the byproducts of their ‘Orange Blush’ gin for which they teamed up with an independent marmalade maker. It seems like a wonderful way to take home a bit of Worthing!