The Mill, Lemon Beach – click any image for full size
Lemon Beach has seen many designs from various region holders over the years, some of which have been documented in this blog (see here, and here, and here and here, for example). The region is currently under the care of Sylvana Dench, who follows the tradition in offering it for the enjoyment of visitors as The Mill.
This is a wonderfully provincial setting that has hints of France about it, although to me it could perhaps easily be anywhere along the coasts of Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark or Germany. Low-lying, the region, whilst a island, had an almost headland feel to it; a finger of land tickling the sea, a place where farmlands give way to sands and salt water.
The landing point sit off to the north-east, close to the edge of the region. A sign bids a warm welcome, framed by a small lighthouse sitting just off the coast. A further welcome is offered by a little café sitting close by, sitting under a thatched roof – although as we walked by, I couldn’t help but wonder if the smell from the fishmonger across the narrow track of a road might not be a little off-putting to patrons should the breeze be in the wrong direction!
A small cottage sits alongside the fishmonger’s barn, perhaps his home, while a larger house sits on a bend in the road, while the titular mill rises from a small rise in the land just behind the café and its little farm shop. Taken together, and with both sheep grazing on the coastal grass not too far away and the large meadow behind the house where horses frolic, this little grouping of mill, café and house all have the feel of being perhaps owned by the one family.
They, and the fishmonger’s house and barn, are not the only buildings here, however. Scattered across the landscape is a walled farmhouse, an old Tuscan-style villa converted to a place of business and another little cottage daintily fronted by walled flowerbeds, all awaiting discovery.
They are all easily reached by following the track that leads southwards away from the landing point. Meanwhile, and further westward, sit a couple of properties that might be holiday homes for those fortunate enough to be able to have a getaway sitting on the coast. One of these sits just off-shore to the south-west, and given it is within its own parcel, it might be intended for private ownership in the future – although at the time of our visit it was open to the public.
The second house sits above the western beach and is clearly set for private occupancy, as demonstrated by the ban lines that become visible should you stray too close. However, it shares a stretch of beach with plenty of room for wandering or sitting, and which also features a bar and what might be a cosy surfer’s shack. Surf boards (traditional and wind) sit on the shore, but aren’t open for public use.
With it sheep and cows grazing peacefully, horses enjoying the freedom of their meadow and with a delightful sound scape, The Mill offers an inviting visit with enough to see and appreciate without it feeling overcrowded or putting undue load on the viewer. Yes, there are a few details that could be tidied a little, notably some of the floating bric-a-brac around the antiques store (or perhaps that’s the influence of the slightly creepy doll sitting on one of the benches outside! 🙂 ), but these are small enough so as not to unduly spoil things.
And while the surf boards might not be available for use by visitors, this is an excellent place to for horse riding, if you have a wearable Animesh horse; while those who might be disappointed he surf boards can’t be used might want to keep an eye out for the little boat with an outboard motor, as it can be used for pootling around the coast; just keep an eye out for the odd Orca and bather!
Our thanks to Shawn Shakespeare for the LM!
- The Mill (Lemon Beach, rated: Moderate)