La Vie – click any image for full size
It’s just two months since our last visit to La Vie, the homestead region designed by Krys Vita and Arol Lightfoot (see here for our winter visit write-up). Normally, I prefer not to re-visit regions after so short a space of time, but La Vie has always been somewhere special, so when I received word from Krys that the region had received a spring 2018 make-over, I knew we had to hop over a take a look.
The new design brings with it some motifs and elements those familiar with earlier iterations of the region will recognise – a broad sandy beach, rural paths and fields, a little gathering of buildings – while the region as a whole presents something wholly new in terms of look and feel.
A visit begins on the west side, where sits a little cobble square with a round-cornered road to nowhere set within it. Two sides of this square – north and east – are bounded by tall shops and town houses. To the west, the square overlooks the open sea, a wooden board walk extending out over the rocky shoreline.
On the east side sits a gym ready for those wishing to keep themselves in shape (try the boxing bag). Close to the gym, a set of wooden boards and steps provide passage over more rocks and cross a sliver of water to where a small warehouse store and wharf sit at the water’s edge. This finger of the region is almost – but not quite – cut off from the rest by the water’s narrow passage, allowing it to offer a little corner of solitude, its southern edge marked by a cinder beach, and a cosy gazebo sitting in the middle of its grassy top.
Finding other routes out of the little village square is somewhat harder. It sits on a flat table of rock, the rugged making passage to the beach to the north or the open lands to the east a matter of scrambling over rugged shoulders of rock; it would perhaps be nice to have another wooden walkway and steps to help guide visitors. However, once the rocks have been negotiated, visitors will likely find themselves in a broad dip in the land that forms something of a track to be followed, easing further exploration.
Take this path northwards, and it becomes increasingly sandy until it delivers you to the broad northern beach. Take it eastwards, and it will lead you through grass and by tree and bush, curling gently around the large plateau that forms the backbone of the land, steadily rising towards the top as it does so. A set of stone steps passing between old iron gates mark the top of the plateau, and give the impression you’re entering a wild garden. Crowned by trees, the plateau is home to an old folly where beribboned geese and winged mannequins gather around a wooden swing, all watched over by a passing unicorn. A second set of gates and steps present a way to a track running sharply down the slope of the plateau to meet with the beach below.
Throughout this setting are a number of places visitors can sit and enjoy the scenery, from the gazebo mentioned above, to bench seating and parasolled tables in the village square, to places like the folly and its swing and shady spots on the beach. There’s even an off-shore vantage point offering a bird’s-eye view of the region, although whether it is supposed to be used or not is questionable; it’s positioned so close to the region edge, anyone finding it and sitting on it is in for a dunking when they stand!
With March having arrived, and the promise of spring sitting on the horizon for those of us in the northern hemisphere – or the danker days of winter for those in southern climes – La Vie’s current make-over reminds us of the promise and delight of warmer, sunnier days and the opportunities for countryside walks or lazy afternoons on the beach.
Another beautiful setting by Krys and Arol, and a perfect destination for those seeking somewhere to go.
- La Vie (La Vie, rated: Moderate)