Dungeness Day Trip


The Yelo office spent last Thursday on a design trip to look at some very interesting houses in Dungeness including the North Vat house which has just made the RIBA longlist for the House of the Year awards. We all took a massive number of photographs so we’ve decided to have an office photography competition for which a separate post will be made for all the submissions and winners. For now, here’s an outline of what we got up to!

We started the day bright and early, staring at various weather websites on our office screens. The last few days had predicted everything between heavy showers and scattered thunderstorms – “everything between” just being rain and more rain. Not what we had in mind for a summer day out by the sea. Matt constantly updating us with live lightning strikes coming up the channel via his new favourite website did not inspire much hope for making it through the day dry either.

However, driving to Dungeness our fears were proved unfounded; the fickle nature of British weather had worked in our favour for once and the sun was solitary in the sky, without a cloud in sight! Off came the layers of waterproof clothing (of which surprisingly few had actually worn), down went the windows and out came the snacks.

After arriving at Dungeness just before midday it didn’t take long for everyone to scatter, everyone drawn in by different sights in the distance. Occasionally we would inevitably converge at the same points – the interesting houses of Dungeness that were dispersed around the landscape. The sight was reminiscent of a nature documentary – hunters on the savannah, tracking prey in the long grass, though thankfully our “prey” were extremely still. Luckily the weather was holding, although the creeping of grey on the horizon was worrisome.

An hour or so after of roaming and snapping away we were all drawn to the watering hole. The Brittania Inn is the only pub in Dungeness and was a very welcome stop after traversing the erratic terrain of the land. Pints and pool could have distracted us for a whole day but we were pulled away before too long for our next stop. Lunch!

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Back in the coach and off to Hastings, with the sun still shining away. Lunch at Ada, a Turkish restaurant was rapidly consumed and once again we were back on our travels down the coast, this time to Bexhill, location of the De La Warr pavilion, a 1935 modernist building, currently in use as an art gallery. The art on display was completely ignored in favour for scrutinising the architecture and taking more photos.

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The skies were beginning to darken and a few drops were pattering on the ground as we were once again on our way, but our spirits were not at all dampened for we were on our way to our friends at Cru in Eastbourne for wine tasting and dinner! We were treated to an English themed tasting, with delightful wines from Bolney Estate, and amazing food, by which time no one had any thoughts of taking more photos.

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With appetites sated and eyelids heavy we meandered to the station, bringing the long day to an end, ready for work in the morning.