This was the view from our bedroom window on Sunday morning . . .
. . . you've probably already realized we weren't at home, this is the view from the top floor of the swanky new hotel which opened a few weeks ago on the seafront in Southport. This was a fleeting visit and sadly I didn't get time to explore Liverpool, but just north of the city, the resort of Southport is continuing it's reputation for style into the 21st century and it was sparkling with Christmas lights and glittering with a -7C frosting!
I knew that 'dressing up smart' can be interpreted in different ways and had memories of feeling very under-dressed when eating out at an Italian restaurant near Wakefield last year, so I made a big effort and wore my new boots (which actually have heels!) and my posh silk top I'd been persuaded to buy in Ladytron in Saffron Walden (dammit, that guy always recommends clothes I'd never take off the rail and they always look spectacular when I put them on). I'd even chopped 25cm off the bottom of a skirt so I could show off the buckles on the sides of my new boots.
So we stepped out of the lift intending to saunter into the bar and peruse the hotel restaurant menu, to be faced with a crowd of glittering gowns accompanied by blokes in DJs! We were the only people in the hotel NOT wearing black tie and full evening sparkle and there wasn't even an 'event' on in the hotel. We stepped back into the lift and pressed the button for pavement level, even there we felt dowdy as couples swept past on their way to parties. We found an Indian Restaurant in a road just off the renowned Lord Street (this street is sign-posted miles away in Ormskirk!) with it's Edwardian covered pavements, vast stone obelisk and grandiose architecture – rumour has it Napoleon III was dead impressed too, so much that he decided Paris needed a 'Lord Street Southport' too; Paris got one, it's called the Avenue des Champs Élysées. So if it's 'sparkly' you crave, go to Southport.