On Our Doorstep

Not a day goes by without my thinking what a beautiful place we live in and how lucky I have been to bring up my children here. Forgive me if I sound smug or braggy – I assure you I have experienced plenty of misfortune, but bringing up my family in East Lothian, on Scotland’s Golf Coast, is not one of them.Doug and I are approaching a real crossroads: our children are growing up fast and leaving home. This is commonly a difficult moment for many, but compounded by our country falling apart – potentially crashing out of the EU, abandoning our friends and allies, I am feeling particularly fragile at the moment. With children planning to travel afar, we do wonder whether we should have a change as well – terrified – moi?Neither of us are ones for change, or travel really, except in the height of comfort, we have been looking around a bit and realising that the kernel of fabulousness about where we live, apart from all our friends and family of course, is the fact that not only do we live in a beautiful place, with an amazing coastline and countryside, but we also have the gorgeous seaside town of North Berwick 10 minutes away and Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful cities on earth, a half hour train ride away.

It is festival time, everyone is going mad trying to entertain us, delicious food is available in seconds practically anywhere, all I need to do is get on a bus (contactless now you know, no longer house bound or forced to join alcoholics anonymous cos I don’t have the right change – my life is complete) and I am at Fringe by the Sea in 10 minutes. Eating a Spice Pots curry, a Big Blu pizza, drinking NB Gin or Fidra Gin! Looking at fabulous art by the North Berwick Art Collective, listening to Jojo Fraser, Janey Godley , Kylie Reid – all these gifts are a 10 minute bus ride away – maybe there is a God??

Anyone who lives a bit further a field, probably needs to rent a house? No problem: my friends Alison and Lorna, two sisters, brought up in North Berwick, both with a bit of an eye for design, own a few and you can  book them through their website Gone to the Beach. All insanely gorgeous, but will highlight here, today, the Quartermasters House. I cannot quite believe this is available for rent – but again, typical in a way of what our amazing area has to offer. Historic, fun and a stone’s throw from the beach, plus, all the amenities in North Berwick – hurry – you might just be able to nab it for next year if you try now!Alison and Lorna, do not just renovate houses, they create a period tableau, where you can lose yourself. Think post war with a retro kitsch twist ( they do not need my interior design game, that is for sure, they really do know what they are doing!)They shop tirelessly for antiques that can be wittily up cycled – Jelly Mould lampshade from RE – yes, you saw them here first!How is it possible to be ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to antiques?? Puzzling I know, but they are just so passionate about getting it rightThere are four bedrooms, three overlooking the sea… All furnished in Alison and Lorna’s up to the minute, but as I keep trying to explain, lost in the past, style! I will get my head round this – I promise. The kitchen is small, but with every modern convenience. Who cares anyway, you can get away from your family by offering to cook one night, when you don’t fancy fish and chips on the beach; a fresh, crispy take away pizza or a fabulous feast with a couple of cocktails from the Herringbone of course. A bowl of soup and a delicious vegetable muffin from Steampunk, famous for it’s coffee actually, for lunch anyone? No, you are not ‘seeing things’… this is a bathroom of dreams.

Act quickly and all this could be yours next summer!

Gone to the Beach


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