Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A soft landing

brilliant sun, warm, temps 20

Exquisite - the only way to describe the you might be able to tell, we aren't in Canada any more. Flew overnight Monday on BA - after some pleading, and a little bit of money (but not much) they upgraded Michael and me to Business class. Which meant we could wait in the first class lounge (flight delayed an hour, so left at 10pm) and had lovely meal on plane then, luxury of luxuries, a lie flat bed! Both of us actually slept on the flight. Arrived at 10am London time were met by a driver and brought to the Burford House Hotel, in (yes) Burford.

It's been such a busy time - and all the angst over the CanLit Hunger Games! - it felt a little like being shot out of a cannon and landing in the Cotswolds. Our first time to this part of Britain. My secret dream since I was in my 20s is to have a small cottage in one of the cotswold villages, and a flat in London.

But - to be honest - we love our home in Quebec so much, we'd never really do it....but it feels a little as though another childhood dream has come true (the first and cardinal dream was to be a writer) we are in a beautiful little Inn in a village - then on Friday we head to London for a month.

You can see photos we've taken just in the day we've been here...funny, askew homes and businesses made of stone, with slate roofs. for breakfast today Michael had the Full English (two eggs, bacon, sausage, grilled mushrooms and tomato. I had my favorite english breakfast of all time - which is increasingly difficult to find...finnan haddie - poached smoked haddock. Had cotswold honey with our toast...made from late flowering edlerflower, lime, blackberry, clover. Yum! Then we walked the old streets - went into the oldest pharmacy in England and bought some lotion created by the family more than 100 years ago and still made on site. We had tea in the little tea room across the street and now we're off to explore the local church. Indeed, I think one of the comments on the Facebook page said her ancestors helped build part of the church.

So great to have you with us.

dinner tonight is in the pub just up the road. Early dinner, since jetlag is still an issue.

The photo is of Burford High Street, looking out across the hills - and the afternoon tea Michael and I had yesterday in the suddenly reminded me a little of olivier's bistro....there was a small stone fireplace on one wall, and the mullion windows.

Tomorrow we're traveling to the nearby village of Abingdon, to visit an old friend. Dick. He's become our friend, but certainly started out as Michael's, from his days in Cambridge, almost 60 years ago. They've remained good friends ever since. Remarkable. Dick's showing us around his new place then coming back for dinner at the Inn tomorrow night.
then, London on Friday.

Hope you packed light - we now have cotswold honey and vials of handmade lotion! But so far, haven't bought a cottage. Who knows what this afternoon will bring!

Will keep you posted. Oh, the village has a bookstore! Went in and introduced myself and did the 'author' thing. always fun.


Barbara said...

So far, except for the jet lag, your trip sounds heavenly. I do hope you'll both enjoy every minute of it.

barbara said...

I'm living this trip vicariously through your words and pictures!

Thanks so much for sharing - such fun - bookstore, sunny courtyards, lovely tea - and then historical sites - wow, something for all of the senses!

Cheers - from "another" Barbara!

danielle-momo said...

Je reviens de vacances et j'ai manqué toute l'effervescence de la semaine dernière mais, au moins, je peux voter toute cette semaine pour le meilleur "mystery".

Vos photos me rappellent un de mes plus beaux jours en UK: une journée avec Mad Max Tours à visiter Stonehenge and Avery Stone Circles, Lacock National Trust Village et Castle Combe en Costwold.

Profitez bien de votre voyage et merci de nous en faire profiter.

Anonymous said...

There is a charming Enlish writer Miss Read you might like to check out. Her stories take place in the Cotswolds which is why it is on my bucket list. They are very funny and the characters are typical village ones. They are my go to books when I am stressed to be reread to put the boat up straight again! Enjoy your trip. RW, St. John's

Pam said...

Ohhhh, Finnan haddie, It's been a long time. Must get to the fish store and buy some. I'll be travelling with you Louise and look forward to your adventures.
Jamie Tremain

Jeanine Cronin said...

I always enjoy going along on your trips. This time a whole month of vicarious travelling. I have been to London but not the Cotswolds ... always wanted to go. Reading about your time there will be the next best thing.

Marni said...

Beautiful and thanks for sharing with us. Did the bookstore have you sign books for future droves that will flock in once they know you've crossed their threshold? Is Oxford on your agenda? Have a ball~

lil Gluckstern said...

I'm loving the trip so far. Just delightful, and tasty!

ainelivia said...

Winchombe is on the outskirts of the Cotswolds, lovely village with a two fabulous restaurant/hotels.. have a great time.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures. My Cotswold trip got rained out in 2000, but I adored spending that time in Salisbury with driving on the wrong side of the rode to Old Sarum and Stonehenge. I really hope you can get there too on this trip, not all that far I think.

Ann in Rochester, the one with Armand inspired carpel tunnel.

Anonymous said...

we were in London and the Cotswolds exactly 25 years ago. At the moment in Les Cantons de l'Est it is -2.7º C, snowing a bit and forecasting sleet! Enjoy your trip.

Rick Monaghan said...

What's the "'author' thing"?

genagirl said...

Wow, what a beautiful place. I, too, have always dreamed of a little cottage full of books, cats and sunshine. Sounds like you will be having an awesome time!

Donna K Wisconsin said...


I am overwhelmed with envy and joy at where you are right now, in the Cotswolds! It's been about 10 yrs. since i have been there.
I was so overwhelmed with everything that i actually took copious pages of notes on how to thatch a know....i was in the moment. i'm sure you can understand?
Michael looks happy. Will he be trying his luck at tea in the correct attire this year????
Enjoy every single moment.