Caitlin Moran came to stay.
We asked her to share her experience of Watergate Bay in our Another Place magazine.
She said, “Yes.” We said, “AMAZING!” And, this is what she wrote.
I’m not one for exaggeration or hyperbole – I never do them! I am THE WORLD’S LEAST HYPERBOLIC BEING! – but I genuinely can’t imagine someone going to Watergate Bay and not loving it.
It’s a place designed to soothe a soul-become-peevish: two days here will melt your hunched-up shoulders back to their normal place.
A week might just prevent you suddenly standing up in the office one day, screaming, “I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE!”, stealing the photocopier, and running down the fire-escape, forever.
The idea is simple: mankind becomes sane again when it goes and splashes around in the sea. It turns into a child again – collecting shells, swimming, running. Playing cricket at sunset, stumps in the sand, as the shadows grow longer. Mankind by the sea is the very best kind of mankind.
But as mankind gets older – hits perhaps, say, 38-ish – mankind might want to oscillate between the sometimes visceral effects of the sea, and – again, say – a hot-tub, in which mankind could drink a margarita. Or perhaps mankind might bang its head a bit on a surfboard, become a little sullen, and need to go for an hour-long massage that smells of rose-oil.
Or it could be that mankind might find a rainy day rather off-putting, since it’s hips started getting this odd ache on colder days – and prefer to sit in a massive squashy armchair, drinking brandy hot-chocolate and reading Riders by Jilly Cooper – occasionally looking up, through the huge windows, to observe the redoubtable Carl from Extreme Academy tiring its offspring out during an exhilarating, all-day long surf-lesson.
Yes. When mankind thinks about that, that’s really much what mankind would like. Followed by a gigantic dinner, overlooking the sea, with the children excitedly talking about how many “waves” they’ve “popped” while mankind beckons over the wine-waiter and whisper, “Something ballsy in a skull-sized glass, please. And keep it coming.”
As much sleep as you like, in a perfectly-made bed, before waking to find the beach empty and clean again – ready for you to do it all over again, but just slightly differently. Perhaps a cheese toastie for lunch today, and then floating in the pool, then a pedicure, then Monopoly. Oh God, that’s the best day ever.
Every time I’ve come to Watergate Bay, I haven’t left until I’ve booked in for the next time. And each time I book my next stay, I book it for longer than the previous one. And bring friends.
I have yet to tire of the endless, simple cycle of staying in the sea until I’m hungry or tired, returning to the hotel to be fed or soothed, and then going back into the sea until I’m hungry or tired again. So many places should be able to do this – keep a whole family suspended in a perfectly happy, lavish bubble, on the edge of the sea – but so very, very few do.
So that’s why, if you found it hard to book a room at Watergate Bay this year – “Sorry, that room’s taken” – it was probably my fault. I basically live here now. But now you’re here too, you’ll understand why.
Caitlin Moran was raised in the gutter by wolves and was a columnist for The Times aged 17, because she was desperate to leave Wolverhampton and not share a bedroom with seven siblings. She has won Columnist, Interviewer and Critic of the Year for The Times, and her book, How To Be A Woman, was 2011 Book Of The Year, and has now been published in 32 countries. When she stays at Watergate Bay, her favourite table is the big one by the balcony, which she bagsys no returns.