Holiday time is here again and it is time to pick up the bucket and spade, pack up the suitcases with clothes that won’t be worn, and load up the car to the gills… a stressful time at best, compounded by a typical summer of downpours, sea mist and cool winds.
But, this summer so far has shown that there is a glimmer of hope and temperatures have been warmer and sunnier than the last few years at least. My family and I have just returned from the delightful Devon coastal town of ‘Chelsea on Sea’ aka Salcombe, and it struck us that a word on the etiquette of English travel might be topical.
The Englishman Abroad is easily spotted – very pale skin with patches caught by the sun after months of cashmere cover-ups – a battered straw panama hat and trousers somewhere just below the knee which can make the wearer look like a sack of potatoes. As one would expect in Salcombe, there were degrees of Jack Wills (its original home town) preppy chic; Abercombie & Fitch copy-cat versions and a degree of the White Stuff surf brigade, though on the wrong coast. Not just for the teens, there were plenty of parents sporting the same looks, with additional gravitas added by Henry Lloyd and the occasional spotting of some Ralph Lauren here and there. All this added up to a glorious technicolour of fairly smart and expensive gear, entirely in keeping with the now astronomical prices being charged for a sandwich and a latte (£8.50 for a cheese sandwich in one popular water-view pub!).
What was apparent, thankfully, was a complete lack of the popular recent look of men of certain post-teenage years wearing a singlet vest with knee length shorts – not a good look, even in the Caribbean. We were pleased to note that not only was the trend absent, but the unthinking, rude and uncaring behaviour which seems to accompany this fashion was also absent. People queued politely and in line for the ferries to and from East Portlemouth and South Sands; there was no pushing in the ice cream melee and guests chatted jovially at the bars. What a marked contrast to Oxford Street yesterday in the sweltering heat, when so many tourists (more than 70% of which appeared to be European) jostled, shoved and on occasion just barged through the throng. Doors shut in faces, hot sweaty bodies dressed more for the beach at Blackpool than one of central London’s premier shopping areas, and a great deal of what our friends in the USA term ‘jaywalking’.
Not everyone has the ability, financial or otherwise to make it to Salcombe, Rock or Cap Ferrat this year, but wherever one’s holiday and business travels take you to, do remember some common courtesy and basic good manners. Be polite, be friendly, be patient and dress for the occasion. And take an umbrella!
Founder, The English Manner
The English Manner has some wonderful English made umbrellas and will shortly have a range of travel products available for our travellers. Do get in touch for details, and in the meantime we are pleased to recommend some ‘must haves’ for travel this year.
Some of our best loved travel essentials include ‘Travel Pak’; a comprehensive set of anti-bacterial gel, wipes, tissues, body wash and tissues, with a fantastic added bonus of disposable loo seat covers. Available from Amazon at around £16 rrp, and some good chemists. We also recommend a failsafe pashmina in a neutral colour, our favourites are from Pure Cashmere and come in a range of colours with some glorious pastels and hotter shades for cooler nights. Check out a good eye mask and ear plugs for air travel, and arm yourself with an indulgent set of bath time essentials from Jo Malone – we love the lime and basil shampoo and the grapefruit fragrance. For cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing, look no further than the mini La Prairie set, which comes complete with a hanging wash-bag and make up pouch, perfect for any location.
For those heading to South Devon, check out supper at Dick & Wills, a new waterside brasserie in Salcombe with a fabulous view. Not cheap, but the best food we ate during our recent stay; and a latte at the Wardroom with or after breakfast is a treat – cheerful fast service, nicely presented home cooked food and a full frontal view. Further afield, try the Oyster Shack at Bigbury-on-Sea and the Sloop Inn at Bantham, just beside a brilliant beach.