Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 8 December 2008

All sparkly

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.


  1. I know Southport a little. Son got his degree at Ormskirk. Mind you, we never went to the posh sparkly bits!

  2. Oh gosh... I now know what you meant when you said you saw lots of ladies looking like my Christmas Fairies! Poor you! Sounds like you had a good time anyway!

  3. I've just looked at the photo and thought, "hey I recongise that bridge" then realised it's Southport. I'm originally from just down the road and was at my parents house weekend! I love shopping in Southport in the run up to Christmas for the reason you say. It's all sparkly.

  4. I enjoyed this post so much.I grew up in Lancashire and a trip to Southport was a great treat. Lord Street always reminds me of Paris but this hotel is new to me, how exciting!

  5. I expect you looked very smart anyway. Really great to see you yesterday and have a chinwag - the small pebbles enjoyed seeing you too. Thankyou so much for the lovely decorations - stunning! Thanks for not minding the house looking somewhat 'other' than those in the pages of Country Living!

  6. You missed out if you didn't make it to The Swan for fish and chips. I come from just outside Ormskirk. We used to avoid Southport in the summer as it was so busy and full of tourists, but the arcades on Lord Street were great for shopping in the winter as they were always warm. Southport was always much more genteel than Liverpool and never as tiring. Liverpool has a way of producing sore feet which, at the age of 7, was just excruciating (even if there was the prospect of bouncing on water beds and the toy department in George Henry Lee's)!

  7. I loved how this revealed the Lancashire lasses!

    Veg' Heaven - you missed out!

    Gina - I don't think I've ever dressed up that sparkly!!!!

    Jules - Southport did look very festive!

    Acornmoon - I think you need to revisit Southport!

    Silverpebble - great to see you and Misses P1 and P2 - thank you for the yummy mince pies and clotted cream :)

    Pamela - we were on a tight schedule of relative visiting! I'll make a note and make sure we get fish and chips next time!



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