On Friday one of my oldest friends, Charlotte, is coming to stay for the weekend from her home in the big smoke (a.k.a London). We are both such busy little bees that it’s the first time she’s been able to stay since we moved in last March, and so I’m trying to put together an itinerary of my favourite things to do in the Christchurch and Bournemouth area.
In a way I’m glad that we’ve waited a while before she’s come to stay, as over the last 18 months Tom and I have really spent a lot of time exploring local places to eat and visit. When we moved here we didn’t know anyone who lived in the local area and so it was important to me that we lay roots here by finding new favourite places, making new traditions and becoming a part of the community. One of my favourite parts of going on holiday or for a short break is exploring a new city – I love that feeling when you’re coming to the end of a trip and you feel less like a tourist and more… embedded into the city, like you know your way around.
We live in Christchurch, about ten minutes from Bournemouth. We chose Christchurch as neither of us wanted to live in a city but we wanted the convenience of living near shops and restaurants. Christchurch is worthy of a visit in its own right however – with its beautiful Priory, markets and harbour it’s such a lovely place to spend a day. My favourite place to eat in Christchurch is Cheese and Alfie’s, which do incredible breakfasts and brunches (eggs every way you can imagine!).
As we live so close we were able to explore Christchurch on our feet, having a nose around at a slow pace. But I had to do a bit more research when it came to trying to find places to visit in Bournemouth. It’s the largest ‘settlement’ in Dorset, with wide reaching suburbs and lots of quirky little restaurants and cafes as well as larger clubs and bars. With so many options I wanted to hunt down the little gems, which I mainly did through chatting to people on Twitter as well as our neighbours and friends we made locally, and looking at review sites on the internet. In the end I came up with a list of 16 places that I was desperate to go and eat at, and we’ve been ticking them off ever since. My favourites have been The Kitchen Club, Crepes Farm and another one more our neck of the woods, the Harbour Restaurant at Christchurch Harbour Hotel.
|original img credit: the kitchen club|
|original img credit: crepes farm|
Have you ever had to move to a new town? How did you explore? Or, if you live near me, where are the places I must visit?