Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Arundel - Triple A for Amazing.

Our Great British travelogue continues in earnest and today we encountered an absolute corker. Presenting Arundel.

A suitably historic market township with a little over 3000 populants, it is overlooked by two fine architectural behemoths: a Cathedral and the magnificent 1000 year old Arundel Castle as well as a complementary array of fine retail outlets.

The beauty and individuality of this town could encourage a real verbosity in my description, but from the opening meander along the duck filled miniature moat encircling the castle to an art and craft fayre in the local hall signalled good times were a'coming.

Quite honestly, it's one of the most picturesque and incredible towns we've come across. Our first stop was Gaskyns. A cracking eatery which in its past has been a brewery, car showroom and is now an awesome and tasty place.

With art a plenty, it was sun drenched in the afternoon sunshine and we had a little twin scoop of Movenpick ice cream (pistachio and caramelita being the favourites). The town was full of smiley people and shops we loved with gifts a plenty for our friends and family. The added bonus of personal conversations with shop keepers including the story of the old sweet shop man who has his chocolate bunnies made by a Belgian called Jann, who now lives in Finland and he also makes the rose cremes.

Alongside the Lido (two pools), Cathedral (in which we heard the organ being tuned), Victorian Arcades (complete with an amazing walk stick shop), Deli's and Antique shops we found the Queen of the retail world - Sparks Yard.

Stumbling into the smaller river sided gift shop first, where we promptly acquired lots of lovely print and stationary, the shop staff told us there's a bigger store over three floors just up the hill. We found it after wandering through a few tiny streets and was welcomed graciously and another set of purchases of kitchenware, iron signs and tasty food stuffs somehow came home with us. We were impressed by the customer service, attention to detail all around the shop and the exquisite selection of gifts and food stuffs on offer across both stores.

Long may this jewel reign in the heart of West Sussex. We shall indeed return for a more thorough exploration of the castle, lido and tell all and sundry of this most marvellous place.