Weekend Escape…to the cotswalds
Two weeks ago I mentioned we were escaping to the country. We went, we saw, we had a breath of fresh air (followed by a week that erased it all!) and now I’m finally catching up to share. I really wish it could have been longer, but the Cotswalds really are so close we can always go back – and I think we will. We got into the old gingerbread/victorian train station in the middle of nowhere (otherwise known as Kemble) and I asked someone about a bus. It immediately sunk home that we were out of “town” as he said ‘oh yah, he’s out front right now, better catch him because he won’t be back for two and half hours’! A £1.40 charge later for a six mile journey (which is absolutely amazing) we were on our way…by ourselves….on a large bus. But we weren’t alone long as the bus driver pulled over on the side of the country road to pick up a guy and offered to drop him off at the end of the lane. Ahh…a whole different world.
We ended up in Tetbury, home of antiques. It was still chucking it down so it kind of hampered the lazy perusing…but we cozied up in a pub for lunch and had a bit of a wander until we decided to call a cab to take us to our bed and breakfast, regardless of the fact that we couldn’t check in for a few more hours. We arrived and were pleasantly greeted at the Rectory Hotel set in a quaint little village of Crudwell, which for all intensive purposes seemed to be a main road with two, possibly three side roads off of it. The hotel/bed and breakfast was beautiful just the right blend of quirkiness and homeliness but without it feeling like you turned up in someone’s house (something I always feel a bit uncomfortable with). They set us up with a pot of coffee and cakes so we could sit and read books and newspapers until our room was ready, which was very kind of them.
We spent the afternoon utilizing the row of complimentary wellingtons standing by the door…we headed out with a brolly and slickers and made our way into the fields across the road, just ambling through, chatting and breathing in all the fresh air we could. It was soooo beautiful out in the fields, which were a fantastic golden colour…my finger was twitching to take pictures, but it didn’t seem the brightest idea to take the camera out into the downpour, it’s only protection being a 4 pound umbrella. We capped off the night with a stroll across the road to the Potting Shed Pub, which was every bit as charming as the pictures suggested ( I found out right before we left that Prince William and Kate Middletown had been ‘papped’ snogging in the carpark the Saturday prior to our visit).
Sunday morning we had our breakfast in the hotel, which was the exact kind of set up that I always envision myself doing if I was ever in the situation…there wasn’t a horrible package in sight…everything was presented as if it plucked from the farmers market…either in old glass jars, baskets etc. Homemade jams and the like. We were sitting in front of a door that overlooked the old victorian pool ( basically a rectangular reflecting pond) that was surrouned by wild countryside landscaping. The door leading out from the breakfast room was propped open by an old steel watering can. Bless. We had a bit of a tour around the grounds before packing up…and started making mental notes about what we would like to do in our imaginary garden that we’ll hopefully have in the future. It is a fantastic bit of space as it has formal seating areas, more wild gardens (that are obviously cultivated but without being too patchworky) and a semi permanent croquet course. We eventually wound around to the gate that leads to the church, as this was the old rectory for the rector who had 14 children! Church was about to start so we decided to join them. It was a slightly odd, yet completely fulfilling experience. The church was very old and gorgeous and so empty! There were probably ten people including us there… and it seems 8 of those people leapt in front of our path before we could leave at the end of the service, so excited to get visitors they were were twitching to pump us full of coffee and find out our life stories. We had nowhere to be so we decided to stay and chat to the ‘grandmas and grandpas’. I left feeling like I had just done ten bits of good service as they were so excited to see young people. Their faces lit up even more when they found out we were already married. The rules in English churches are that if you want to get married somewhere you have to be an active member in the church for three months prior to the wedding. They assumed that since we were young and visiting that we were merely checking out the church for our own purposes. It made my day I think.
The rest of the day was spent hanging out in the garden, reading and taking a walk around the village and just getting some cobwebs cleared in the head. I’ll definitely go back…