Monday, May 23, 2011
England - 1990; entries 10-15
Monday – drizzly. Stephen off to school for 8:30 – Ian came over to say goodbye. John is going to the dentist in Ravenstall to put in a temporary filling before we head off to Edinboro. A long drive in fog so dense we couldn’t see the green fields along the road. The fog lifted about the time we entered Scotland, but night closes in early. You are in the dark by 4 pm. The hills are beautiful and we look forward to tomorrow when we have a full day to see it all. We are staying in Cringletie House in Peebles, 30 minutes south of Edinboro and this is our best accommodation so far – a gorgeous/40 year-old Victorian Estate that looks like a castle. We are in a turret room. Luxury – we were ready for this. We both had a good long bath before dinner. Only two other rooms are filled – one from Italy and one from Spain. Should be an interesting dinner. We are going to have a scotch in front of the fireplace just as John promised before we left home. My choice of scotch was “Lagavulin” – terrific Islay Type. Dinner was equal to any four-star Restaurant. What a fabulous meal – salmon, of course!
Tuesday, November 13
Warm – cloudy. A great breakfast served beautifully before we are off to Edinboro for the day. Easy 17 mile drive and we parked at the foot of the castle wall. We had a good tour of the castle before our CV walk in the lovely park near Princess Street. Then we had some scones before visiting all the stores. Found some wonderful kilt shops and bought kilts for Sarah and Carrie with matching sweaters. Dad bought a beautiful black lambs wool cable sweater so we broke the ice with a couple of purchases. I think they were good buys in spite of the exchange. Another fabulous dinner. The food at this Inn is worth the hotel bill by itself. They charge outsiders £18.95, which equates to $27.90 for one dinner. I had mushrooms Justin – corn and bacon soup. Mango-stuffed chicken – lemon & lime mousse.
Wednesday, November 14
Cloudy – mild. We’re going for our CV walk before breakfast this morning. Hope we don’t slip in the Scottish mud. It was a bit slippy but we returned to a fabulous breakfast and lovely good=byes from the guests, most of whom are here for three or four days. Sort of hate to leave – love this house and haven’t seen enough of Scotland. We walked in the gardens before our walk, and although it is November there is much to see. The kitchen garden covers at least ½ acre by itself. The greenhouse was full of flowers. It was a long drive to York and we’ve stopped at “The Dower House” in Knaresborough. It was written up in Karen Browns’ book, but has grown and become a beautiful hotel beside the façade of a lovely old home. It is quite modern – even to having a health club – swimming pool, etc. The Restaurant looks excellent so will try it. We’re getting a bit into luxury again, but it is a windy, rainy night and we feel lucky to have such a lovely stop over. Dinner was excellent and early to bed.
Thursday, November 15
Cloudy – mild. We had a fine breakfast and are off to York early. We had a walking tour of the city with a guide, which is a must so you can see the Roman, Norman and Viking ruins. The afternoon was spent in York Minster and a guide devoted himself to us alone and gave a very complete tour, which was quite wonderful. It is the largest gothic cathedral North of the Alps and was built over centuries. The present church is the 5th minster, previous ones having been destroyed by fire, etc… Minster is from the Latin Monastery or Missionary. The windows date back to 1300 – some earlier and are magnificent. We were taken down into the crypt where late Norman pillars are still visible and the tomb of St. William.
Friday, November 16
Off and on rain, drizzle, sun… The drive from York took most of the day. John is like a racecar driver on these roads and can keep up with the English now. It felt like 100, but he drove 70-75 and 80 mph to get us to London about 2 pm. The drive into London was memorable, but we are very proud as we didn’t make any mistakes or wrong turns. We are tired but called the Caldwells and set up a date for lunch and went to Marios in South Kensington for a very good, light dinner. Bed at Number 16 early after reading all the papers.