Wednesday, May 18, 2011

England - 1990

Edinburg, Scotland

Saturday, November 3, 1990

Arrived Heathrowe airport 9 am. The sun is bright and temperatures are 40 degrees. We are extremely tired – no sleep on plane. Had forgotten how tiring it is to miss a nights’ sleep. We drove – cautiously – to Castle Combe. It is a hard place to find, but worth the trip. Lunch at Manor House Hotel – lovely old town. It ended up as a T35 lunch, but fabulous as we were served in the Shakespeare room in front of a roaring fireplace. Peg and Bob Galton were home when we called to find out about another B&B and they insisted we stay with them. It was so lovely to renew acquaintances. The place is plain, but adequate – the people are fabulous. We fell into bed at 7 pm after tea and cake for dinner and slept soundly until 7 am.

Sunday, November 4, 1990

Clear, sunny, cool. Leisurely breakfast with Peg & Bob as we exchanged family news. Their son Mark was recently married so we looked at wedding pictures – his and our Susan’s. Off to 11 o’clock Matins at Bath Abbey – gorgeous cathedral-like church. Following services we had scones/cream & preserves in an outside cafĂ© in the square in front of the Abbey. The temp is about 40 degrees – cold. We took our CV walk in queen Victoria Park and did lots of window-shopping. Drove to Wells and visited the St. Andrews Cathedral. We’ve been there before. Back to Bath for dinner at the Canary – cute little tea room. We were lucky to find a place late on a Sunday for dinner. Early to bed at Fagleigh Lodge – still recovering our jet lag.

Monday, November 5, 1990

Clear, cold – frost this morning. Drove to Oxford via Bibury and Burford, two small Cotswold towns that ooze charm and antiquity. We stopped for coffee and scones at the Gateway Antique Centre, Burford Road. We visited Blackwells and lots of shops, but everything is too expensive to buy. We had dinner at the restaurant called the Poor Student and checked in at our B&B early with a picnic supper. Seems like a very nice B&B – all rehabbed, small but private bath and new.

Tuesday, November 6, 1990

Clear & cold – We left Barclays about 9 and meandered our way through the Cotswolds. Scones/cream and coffee in Stowe-on-the-Wald then on to Burton-on-the-water – Quaint in Capital Letters. Upper and Lower Slaughter are lovely with estates interspersed with cottages. Broadway is great for shopping but nothing has captured our attention enough for us to pay twice as much as home. Our CV walk was done in Bradbury since they have sidewalks. Tonight we are in a B&B. The house is 18th and 19th century. The owner is an antique dealer in town so the public rooms are beautifully furnished. Our room is adequate, but not luxurious – plan – bath down hall is ours exclusively and robes are provided. The town is picturesque, but all these towns are so lovely, you’d wonder if it was run by Disney. Nothing interferes with the look of antiquity. Nothing out of place! We went to a local wine bar for dinner – best food for best price so far. It was the Ligon Arms Wine Goblet. Met a young American couple Kate and Jim from Wilmington and they joined us for dinner. We had great fun laughing over the Brits and the driving. She was on business and he joined her for a week. Jim and Kate Schroeder.

Wednesday, November 7, 1990

Clear and cold. We drove to Chester, stopping in Llangollen Wales on the way. Wales is gorgeous country – steep hills and narrow road with sheep grazing so high on the hills they look like specks of white on the green hills. Driving was precarious at times – many one-track roads. Our car is little but it is 5 on the floor – no power steering. We came into Chester late and found a place at “The Pied Ball” a pub in Center City. It was written up in Karen Brown’s book and although the downstairs rooms were like a bar, the hotel was terrific. What a nice surprise as it was late. Nice linen and bathroom very clear.

Thursday, November 8, 1990

Cloudy and cold again. We had a good night’s sleep and started out at the visitor’s center and a walk tour of the city. It has a fascinating history and the Anglo-saxons, the Normans and the Romans have all left their mark. We did our CV walk on the City Wall, just 2 miles on 3 km. Did some shop looking and then drove to Knutsford. This is a darling town. We found a B&B through the Tourist Board and drove 3 miles to Mabeley to a wonderful house called “Laburman.” Our room is a tiny one with bath but bright and cheerful – nicely decorated. The owner suggested a pub for dinner – “Stags head,” which was one of our best meals yet. Grilled Plaice-like flounder. We met a wonderful English couple Brian and Janice Calloway who planed our day tomorrow.

Friday, November 9

Cloudy – cool. Left for Knutsford – wonderful, prosperous, little town. The people are obviously very prosperous – beautifully dressed. In little town there were 6 florists. We drove to Alderly Edge and then Presbury for lunch in a little pub “Admiral Rodney.” The most adorable tiny town with gorgeous homes and very affluent residents. The pub was jumping at 2 pm on a Friday. People in their 40s and 50s mostly – beautifully dressed. We checked at the hotel there but rates were about $160 so we passed. Found a place on the road “The Dixon Arms Hotel” for about $90 that suits us fine. The good B&B’s is with en suite (bath) seem about that price.

Saturday, November 10

Gray day – a little drizzle. Starting off for Knutsford for breakfast and to put more in the basket for our house gift to Rosemary and Bernard Pickeye. Arrived in Helmshore about 11 am. Bernard was waiting for us with Stephen and it was a happy reunion. We visited David, Ian, and met Samantha. She is just 4-years-old. We went to see Annie Jaggery who has aged a lot in the past 5 years. Then off to the Gold Club for a super lunch with Rosie, and a few beers. They invited us to stay tomorrow for a champagne breakfast and we decided to stay. It is Rosemary’s birthday and yesterday was their anniversary (22) so we all went to the Red Pump Inn for dinner. I didn’t feel too great but have never seen so much food.

Sunday, November 11

Drizzly/warm. Off to breakfast at 11:30. Starting off we had orange juice and champagne while we met everyone. Then off to the dining room for a first course of melon (Gallia from Israel) filled with Port. Next come “haddock pancakes.” It was an omelet-filled with smoked haddock – delicious with a white wine. Next was a whiskey syllabub to clear our palate (delicious). Then on to a giant English breakfast with a red wine. Eggs, bacon, sausage, hashed brown potatoes, mushrooms. Then they brought out brandy and coffee and tea cakes for dessert. We came home about 7:30, exhausted! What a group of fun people. There were lots of laughs and lots of kissing goodbye when we left. A great day! We visited David, Sherry, Sarah, Ian, and Bernard in the evening.

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