It’s been a year since Caitlyn and I last visited Gnaaah Xeltentat’s Florence at Low Tide. As that time, the region offered an early spring setting with a lean towards the Mediterranean in some of its styling. As we’re heading back towards spring, and needing a break to compose thoughts on another blog post I’m working on, I hopped back for another look and see what early 2021 has brought to the region.
Most noticeably, it has brought the eyes of Iska (Sablina) to the work of landscaping the setting. Responsible for the likes of La Virevolte (see here for more), Ponto Cabana (read more here), and before them Field of Dreams / L’intangible (more here), Sablina has a proven track record of eye-catching region designs. Here, her work sits alongside interior designs by Tippah to present a new and attractive take on the region’s core elements as they were revealed a year ago.
As with its previous iteration, the current design has a distinct south-north orientation, complete with lowlands to the south and a truncated peak to the north-east. A fenced road still winds through the landscape, sitting above the southern waterfront to encircle the main part of the region, while the land remains split by the line of a narrow stream spanned by two bridges that between them carry the road over it.
However, within this, both Sablina and Tippah have added their own unique touches. For the former, this is seen in the gentle moving of the region’s architecture away from Tuscany and more into France – at last in terms of the names of the selected buildings. One of these is an eye-catching water mill by Silex (Silex Zapedzki) that has been converted into an almost ideal home. It sits above the southern estuary of the river, which retains its familiar scattering of rowing boats.
Across the river and more central to the island is an attractive cottage design by Hisa (Hisastore) that has become a popular choice among region holders and designers of late. It sits on the mid-level elevation of the land, bracketed on the one side by the river and on the other by the stream tumbling down from the north-east peak.
The peak and its uplands sit apart from the rest of the setting in that they give a reminder that winter has yet to fully pass: snow covers the land and frosts the trees. It’s not a solid cover – the warmth of the Sun is taking its toll the grass and rock is becoming visible under the greying blanket. An old windmill sits among the trees here, another new touch to the setting, I believe, although it has clearly seen better days.
As noted, the houses are all comfortably furnished, and as with the landscape as a whole offer numerous opportunities for photography. In terms of the latter, a Romany camp presents a further point of interest and sits as a new feature – at least since my last visit.
For those who want to get away from things, the cottage tucked into the north-west corner of the region could be just the place. While it appears to have once been the home of the local lighthouse keeper, the typewriter outside suggests it might now be a writer’s retreat. Or perhaps the lighthouse keeper has taken to writer their memoirs!
Retaining its richness of detail and familiar lines whilst offering new sights to appreciate courtesy of Sablina and Tippah, Florence at Low Tide remains a place in which to wander and spend time.
- Florence at Low Tide (Florence, rated Moderate)