November 08, 2017

Coastal Life | Pastel Beach Huts, Cheese Soufflé & Dawson’s Creek

coastal life

The Coastal Life Series

One of the things I love most about where we live is the fact that the beach is no more than a five minute drive from home.

I think the only way that Mr OS and I would move later on in life is if an apartment close to the beach ever came up. Its good to have a golden years dream right?

But for now, the five minute drive to my own slice of coastal life will more than suffice and by the sea is where you’ll find me. As often as possible.

Living on the Hampshire/Dorset border means that we’re lucky to have a few seaside shores to choose from when coastal meandering is the order of the day.

The beach of choice
depends on mood & mindset…

The destination very much depends on whether I’m dog walking, in search of coffee or a seaside snack, paddling with H in tow or just wanting time and space to contemplate the world,

And I’ve come to realise the beach of choice very much depends on my mood and mindset.

So I thought it would be be fun to introduce you to a few of my favourite waterside hang outs that I gravitate to depending on the vibe I’m after.

Online Stylist in navy cashmere coat by the water

dog walking on Friars Cliff Beach Dorset

The nearest to home and probably the one where I end up most often is what I refer to as my Dawson’s Creek-esque retreat.

It’s the stretch of beach that starts at Steamer Point Nature Reserve and ends up at Mudeford Quay.

It was the place where Mr OS and I used to partake of our daily early morning beach runs in the months leading up to our wedding.

It’s where we stood before we got married and said that if we had one child and one dog then we’d be happy.

If memory serves, it was the first bit of sand we attempted to pitch a baby shade tent on with a very young H. With the melting temperature rising as we sat inside what was effectively a large canvas, navy blue egg, I seem to remember we lasted about half an hour before packing up and going home again!

walks along a deserted beach in winter

It’s the first bit of beach that Biscuit ever encountered and the scene of many a blog photo shoot including one about being drawn to the water, a Mother’s Day post and one about summer… shot in freezing early March!

Most of the pastel coloured beach huts you see regularly popping up on my Insta feed reside here.

So… if ever you’re in my neck of the woods,
feel free to give my Dawson’s Creek beach a try…

terrace views from the jetty restaurant

online stylist sitting on the jetty in Christchurch

Sunglasses – CÉLINE | Earrings – Lines & Current | Cashmere Boyfriend Jumper – hush : similar colours this season | Watch – Michael Kors | Bangles – COS & Lines & Current | Trousers – (old) H&M : similar here | Trainers – Nike Roshe Run : similar here

Park at Steamer Point, cross the road and wander down to the beach huts. Turn left… and you’re onto a stretch of beach I’ll be covering in a post later on in the series!

Turn right and walk along the promenade next to candy hued beach huts. The beach here is a mixture of pebbles and sandy spots and The Beach Hut Cafe serves decent coffee, breakfasts and lunches… and good Mr Whippy ice cream, as voted by H. And she should know!

Walk further down to Avon Beach where you’ll find The Noisy Lobster restaurant – great for family meals to be eaten inside or out – and there’s a take out coffee cabin that opens when the weather is good.

Keep going along the coast and you’ll reach Mudeford Quay.

I love to stand at the end of quay and watch the fishermen coming back with their daily catch – some of which ends up just across the car park in the fresh fish stall. All the while the ravenous seagulls and sea birds dip and soar on the breeze, hoping to snaffle any discarded sea life.

taking time out by the water

In summer locals and tourists laden with buckets, spades and picnic baskets catch the ferry across to Hengistbury Head sand spit to make beach camp for the day and usually stay until the sun sets.

And when I’m there by myself with time to think and my headphones in, I drift off into my very own version of Dawson’s Creek.

Ah Joey Potter… you’ll always be my girl crush!

coffee and waterside views

outside at the jetty restaurant Christchurch

Just along the road from the quay, near the Christchurch Harbour Hotel, is one of my favourite local eating haunts, The Jetty.

As you’d expect, the sea food is really good – anything with scallops works for me.

If you go, I would recommend one of chef Alex Aitken’s signature dishes, the Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé – it’s pure melty cheese heaven!

A few years ago I posted the recipe here if you can’t get to the restaurant anytime soon.

sunny day lunch with a waterside view

Online Stylist wearing hush cashmere boyfriend jumper

fresh scallops at the jetty restaurant

The last time I was at The Jetty for an evening meal, they were doing a great line in dessert cocktails – the perfect way to finish a meal if you ask me!

On a sunny day, go and sit on the terrace with a post lunch coffee and just watch waterside life drift on by.

It’s truly a balm for the soul.


I hope you enjoyed the first instalment of the Coastal Life series and that you get to visit some of my favourite spots soon if you’re in the vicinity.

If you see a women instagramming the bejeepers out of the beach huts or lining up her coffee cup for a shot on the sand, don’t forget to say Hi!

And keep an eye out for Pacey Witter…

shop the post


Photography: SarahLou Francis.

14 comments on “Coastal Life | Pastel Beach Huts, Cheese Soufflé & Dawson’s Creek”

  1. What a beautiful post Amanda, and how generous to share one of your favourite places – I definitely hope to visit one day. Looking forward to the rest of the series. Amanda xx

  2. Love this part of the world, my in -laws have a holiday home in Mudeford with direct access to the quay and my kids grew up on crabbing and both learnt to ride a bike in the park by stanpit ! It’s a place untouched by arcade games , with just enough extras to still keep its charm!

    1. Hi Sue,
      How wonderful that your in laws have a place you can come and visit!
      And you’re so right – I hope it never goes the “arcade games” seaside town route – it would completely spoil it.
      Amanda xx

  3. Thank you for this well-timed post. I’ll definitely be visiting some of your recommendations when I have a few days’ break in Dorset with Wilson the dog in January. Once again – your blog exactly hits the spot Amanda!

  4. What a lovely post – and great recommendations for when we visit my mother-in-law and sister-in-law who live in Bournemouth and Mudeford respectively. My s-i-l has completely fallen in love with the area since moving there a couple of years ago with its beaches that are perfect for walking her two giant poodles.

    1. Thank you Angie – so glad to be able to provide you with some recommendations for when you visit – its such a beautiful part of the world! I bet the poodles love the beaches – definitely my preferred location in winter as there’s no mud!
      Amanda xx

  5. Random question from an American reader-we are retiring to England within the next six months-my husband is English, my daughters attended university in England and Scotland, and frankly. my America seems to sadly be a country of the past. My husband is from London, I’m from California and we are looking for coastal areas in the south west to scout around in for a home. What do we want? A village, rail links to London (we’ll drive up to 20 miles to the station), a home with light, walls for the art and room for visitors, a small garden and great farmer’s market, and places for walks and horse riding.
    This is a bit off topic, I realize, but your photos are so inviting, and when I look at the map of England, I’m at a loss to know where to start. Any suggestions would be most welcome!

    Thanks, and best regards, Deborah

    1. Hi Deborah!
      I love a random question from American readers and am really excited to hear you’re moving over to the UK!
      Gosh – in terms of your specifics i.e. rail links, village etc, I think it would be best to research each place on an individual basis but I would certainly recommend searing in the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall areas… I guess it depends on how far west you want to go. We’re on the Hampshire/Dorset border here which is perfect for both rail, lots of villages, the New Forest, some rugged coastline and a few major towns nearby too. All along the coast of Dorset you’ll find beautiful towns and villages that would fulfil your wishes. What a wonderful search to conduct and I wish you lots of luck in finding your dream place to retire to!
      Amanda xx

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