Late Indian Summer

2 November 2014
Ben Pentreath

It’s been a hectic week. It was bliss to get to Dorset and to finish a long day of meetings on Thursday, and collect Charlie on the late afternoon train, and get home to the Parsonage.

We’d made a plan on Friday to pop down to Lyme Regis for lunch. Regular readers of the blog will know that I love Lyme – and it’s the best thing at the moment seeing places that I love through new eyes. We had a delicious lunch in the tiny glazed room perched high over the town that is Hix’s Oyster and Fish House. The afternoon was incredibly warm and we went for a walk down to the Cobb and the beach.


It was appropriate, given all the commentary on last week’s blog about beaches, which I am sure was intended to be purely tongue-in-cheek and suddenly started to get serious for some reason… to see lots and lots of happy bathers swimming in the sea on October 31st. Insane. P1060252 P1060256

The waves on the Cobb were stormy, but the warm air was balmy. P1060265 P1060272 P1060273

In the harbour people were fishing for crabs:
P1060274 P1060277

And on the beach were intrepid swimmers who seemed perfectly happy to be frolicking about in the waves:P1060290 P1060292

It was time to get buried in the sand, P1060294

or to sit and watch the world go by,P1060296

or build extraordinary sandcastles…P1060299

(incidentally I could devote a whole blog to how much I adore sandcastles)…P1060305

…or to dig an enormous hole.P1060306 P1060307

I haven’t seen such a happy beach scene for years. I think everyone was completely amazed by the day… a gift from heaven.P1060311 P1060312 P1060316 P1060319

And sitting having your glass of wine with your collies outside the most beautiful little Regency cottages on the seafront would be about as close to heaven as I imagine it was possible to get on Friday afternoon.P1060324

I love Lyme’s perfect combination of Georgian streets and seaside charm; like a softer, smaller version of Weymouth, which I wrote about this summer.P1060329

Some of the great delights of Lyme are to be found in the quiet back streets. It’s the perfect town.P1060337

We got home just in time. Friday night was committee night of the village social club, which started at 6.30, as planned, in our kitchen, but I think ended at about midnight. It has been known, from time to time, that the committee meetings are even more riotous than the social club nights, and this was no exception.

On Saturday, after a beautiful morning, the weather began to turn. We went for a fine walk across the hills that afternoon. Autumn is here.

This morning, we went down to the Goodwin’s. If you followed the link to the little blog about Weymouth this summer, you’ll have seen their house the weekend that they moved in this summer. I’m sure they won’t mind if I show you a few sneaky views snapped on my phone.

photo 3 photo 2 photo 1

The Goodwins take my breath away. I’m not sure I’ve ever known anyone who can create a more settled, timeless feeling in a house in so short a time. It’s a fine line between chaos and heaven. Their interiors are amazing; like an extraordinary fantastic creation that you can’t quite believe. Everything has been here for just a matter of weeks. Do you see what I mean?

The Valley was startlingly beautiful in the grey autumn light.P1060360 P1060364 P1060365 P1060366

We walked back and I noticed, for the first time, that trees are suddenly completely bare. Isn’t strange how just when you are ready for a change of season, it is here? The sea, sand and sunshine in Lyme was magical, but I will admit I’ve been missing autumn a little bit. I’m sitting writing by the fire, with just the noise of the flickering flames, and it feels as if the year is spinning to its end soon, and I haven’t been happier for ages.

17 comments on this post

Es arriesgado decir que es el mejor…, el más bello post de todos los publicados en tu blog?… permíteme decir que transmite mucho más de lo que muestra si esto es posible.
Próximamente estaré en Londres, será una visita rápida, un punto de encuentro, en mi agenda visita ineludible a la calle Rugby, con toda seguridad un sábado.
Gracias Ben por los momentos que me haces vivir-reflexionar.
Esther-D. Abad


Hi Ben,
I don’t suppose you know the name of the wonderful paint colour your friend’s used in their living room? ( that gorgeous yellow)


Ben, wonderful as usual.. It is lovely to hear that you are so happy.


A gift indead. Loved this evocative post.


I was one of those happy people on Monmouth Beach on Friday afternoon, barbecuing sausages in the sun, watching my mini stone balancers lugging rocks and thanking my lucky stars that I have a home there even if it means lodging in London during the week. Lyme is very special.

Steven Zicksays:

Lyme Regis for me always evokes “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,”–that breakwater, especially. Interesting movie, with the ubiquitous Meryl Streep, but the book is a delight, with practically a travelogue devoted to that lush part of the coast. Thanks, as always, for the post!


Dear Ben, Totally agree about Lyme, especially Sherborne Lane. Do not attempt when hot, tipsy, and overfull! Glad you’re back in the groove re seasonalities, friends’ houses, and general interestingness. Nicola


Beautiful week end…except for the darling little boy digging the sand pit. Please see these articles:

Sand collapse kills 9-year-old girl at Oregon beach

Sand Pit Collapses, Kills Boy

Parents warned after toddler dies in sand pit tragedy

This is soooo incredibly dangerous. Please anyone that ever sees this happening try to stop it immediately!! Sorry to be a “downer” your post truly was lovely but if one child is saved it is worth it.

Thanks so much.

Hello Ben,

I’ve so enjoyed reading this post– your friends’ home is a treasure! I’m an artist/bookbinder who’s only recently discovered P&H and, have found great inspiration in everything you and Bridie do. I feel as though I’ve discovered a couple of aesthetic kindred spirits across the pond, which may sound a bit creepy from a complete stranger, but is all your fault, of course, as you present your work and ideas in such a warm and friendly way. Your shop, architectural work, blog posts and books are like candy– thank you!

Warm regards,

Ben, I think I missed the chapter about Charlie’s entrance in your life, but it is a joy to read your references to him and know of your togetherness. As always, your photos and narrative are sublime–lyrical, authentic and wonderfully transporting. Thank you.

ps I love the ‘Dead Slow’ (?) sign, on the end of the pier.


Love Lyme, our favourite place to stay is the Alex … afternoon tea and croquet on the lawn, strolls down through the wonderful gardens to the beach. Alex slightly batty. A movie at the old cinema and fish and chips on the beach, or something more glam up at Hix. Strolls though pretty back streets and fossil hunting after storms. Yes, Lyme is indeed a wonderful town. Thank you and have a great week. Not quite season of mists yet here in Edinburgh, my geraniums still abundant, which is most unusual, and no coats yet…

Nothing I like better than a beach, golden late afternoon end-of-summer sun and a glass of wine. Bliss.

The seasons abrupt change is welcome here though! I love Autumn and the sense of slowing down and turning inside after a long summer. Crackling log fires and long, leisurely Sunday lunches after a brisk walk are this seasons delights to be savoured!

Happy Monday to you!


ben – would you tell us which camera you use to snap your lovely pictures, please?


I think I must have been too long in Australia – when I read about drinking wine outside with one’s collies (and before I scrolled down and saw the picture), my head filled with hoards of office workers, all in their shirt sleeves…

Beaches schmeaches, to a large extent, but those hills and those trees and the thought of sitting by a crackling open fire… oh how you do stir up the yearnings.

And yes, absolutely, the Goodwins and their wonderful home. I think I’ll go and live with them.

We were slightly ahead of you weather-wise in Scotland about two weeks ago – with the leaves turning rapidly, and the mercury dropping to a point at which we felt just a tad too chilled. So with our mission completed, we returned to the sunnier climes of Bangkok, and to the nicest time of the year here.

wow – I admire that!!! To make that cozy mess in just so short time! I love cozy mess, unfortunately IT is not so popular in Norway right now


Thank you for this stunning post (photos and essay); just the thing for a dark, wet day on Canada’s west coast.

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