4th of July

We woke up to a bright, clear, sunny Saturday morning with no plans other than to walk around the city and see what was around. We were told in advance that the main port had an outlet mall and several attractions to see, so we headed in that direction. Just down the street from our hotel was an old church from the 1200’s that was open to the public for the weekend so we swung in for a few minutes to check it out. It once served as a hospital as well was a chapel, and many parts of the original building were still there. A bomb from the war in 1941 had destroyed much of the front though, and the roof was still missing from there, whilst many of the walls had been rebuilt.

Walking along the coast, we came across the old barracks and towers that were once used to protect the city from sea invaders. The towers weren’t open, but the path along the coast took us through many of the barrack walkways and where they used to keep the cannons. We moseyed around the streets and came across a few restaurants, one of which we stopped at for lunch called The Spice Island Inn. It’s right on the water with a gorgeous view of Gunwharf Quays and the harbour. Not a bad menu either.

We made our way on to Gunwharf Quays where there are several restaurants and the outlet mall, much like many of the outdoor ‘lifestyle’ malls in the US. Being an outlet mall AND outside of London, the prices were significantly better. Thankfully we didn’t do much damage.

Dinner was an international celebration of the 4th of July at a restaurant called Shorties, which claims to be a British-American restaurant. Closest we were going to get to American style food in a small city outside of London and right next to the hotel, so we tried it out. The building looks like an old home, and the inside still features the dark wood and style from the 1800’s. Staff were friendly and warm, with one waitress excited that we were American and telling us all about how her sister lives in Boston and how she loves Chicago, but hates New York.

An after-dinner stroll around the neighbourhood let dinner settle before heading in for the night. A great British adventure to celebrate the independence of the United States. Sounds appropriate, don’t you think?