Saturday, 19 November 2011

It's Chi-Chi-Chichester!

Our inter-nation travelogue continues and this time we landed at the West Sussex gem - Chichester! A swift 70 minutes transit from our BH HQ, we parked up and look what faced us; only a cotton picking, cowboy themed, eatery of the highest order, aka Smith and Western.

Genuine country music spilling out the speakers, Cowgirl Charlie serving our every need, cactus and boot wall paper, ribs, loaded skins, wings, corn and ranch beans - check, check, check! We were a happy pair of yahoo's foot tappin and a'stomping all day after this brilliant culinary experience.

Steeped in history and dripping with fine architecture, including the Cathedral (complete with a Knight's tomb) and the 16th Century Chichester Cross. Every place of note must have a Butter Market and Corn Exchange and Chichester does not disappoint. History alert - like many places in England, the name derived from "caester" meaning Roman settlement. In this case the Saxons who arrived following the Roman withdrawal were led by a man called Cissa, hence Cissa's Caester which became become Chichester.

Not only does it fulfil our culinary and architectural desires, Cissa's Caester also helps us empty our pockets with a selection of wonderful shops. Alongside some of the regular high street players like Clarks (incredible customer service - so friendly and managed to persuade us, somehow, to purchase a Christmas present - and made us feel lovely about it as well) and Moss Bros there's a wealth of charming and fine pieces of independent shoppery including:

The upcycling Number 43 and the best vintage shop in the country, One Legged Jockey. Tracey got an original Ladybird, part cape/part extra long body warmer in green and it is a large piece of awesome.

With our guides to Northampton, Southport and now Chichester, we're highlighting some alternative places on our fair isle which deserve a little time and exploration outside of the classic visitor-laden places. Up the Chichester!

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