It’s All About Books…

Hay on Wye 013You know you are in Wales when you start seeing signs in English and Welsh and of course the Welsh is listed first. We traveled from Ross-on-Wye to Hay-on Wye which is situated in the southern part of Wales.

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye1Hay-on-Wye is the town of books. We have always enjoyed spending time in used book stores so visiting this town was a no-brainer.

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye3Murder and Mayhem was the only bookstore that we bought a book in. We found a paperback by Dorothy Sayers who is a famous British author and a friend of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye2The town was easy to see in a day and we enjoyed our time there but it’s not one of the towns we’d want to take the time to re-visit.

Hay on Wye 039

2014-07-12 Hay on WyeWe enjoyed a wonderful cup of coffee and a scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam at Oscar’s. Delicious!

Hay on Wye 060

Hay on Wye 051The day we visited Hay we ended up enjoying a local flea market and also visiting thrift stores, besides enjoying the used book stores.

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye4

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye5

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye6The drive to and from Hay-on-Wye was filled with lovely views. We stopped at a grocery store on the way home to buy some take-away complete meals to warm up at Eastview.

2014-07-12 take away dinne1Next up on our time in this part of England would be a trip to Hereford to see the Cathedral.

How was your last weekend of Summer? We were busy at this old house. Dear is almost done with the “fixes” in our bathroom and soon I’ll be sharing the finished project with you and thankfully no Murder or Mayhem was involved except reading a fine murder mystery to escape it all.

Need a Tea Break?

Since we are all friends I have a confession to make…

Stow on the Wold 028…although we passed quite a few tea rooms while we were in England I only had tea once and it wasn’t in a tea room. Oye. I will show you all the lovely tea rooms that you can choose from if you travel to England.

Broadway Day 7 023

This one was in Broadway in the Cotswolds.

Our daily timing was way off for stopping to enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon. By then we were usually a bit warm and needed something cooler to drink.

Broadway Day 7 072Love the name of this one, Mrs. T. Potts…pretty clever. It was real close to Martha’s coffee house on the main street running through Moreton in Marsh.

Broadway Day 7 070

Sunday-Banbury 010On our way to Banbury we saw Mrs. Brown’s Tea room.

Bourton-Gloucester 020In Bourton on the Water there were a few tea rooms to choose from.

Bourton-Gloucester 021

This restaurant/tearoom was less appealing than the Small Talk Tearoom above.

hereford 104

If we didn’t manage to walk right past a tearoom we enjoyed seeing signs for tearooms.

Hay on Wye 062

2014-07-12 Hay on WyeWe got a little closer to a proper tea experience with these delicious scones and clotted cream but the drink of choice on this morning was coffee.

To Windsor 158On one of our last days in England I decided it was high time to have some tea so as not to totally disappoint my tea drinking readers.

To Windsor 162It wasn’t the finest of tea services in the bar of our hotel. The scones were no where near as nice as the ones we had in Hay on Wye.

To Windsor 159This was my tea and tea experience. One hot and the other one cold. The cold one may or may not have had some alcohol in it. Most of our afternoon tea experiences looked more like this…

Broadway Day 7 052Not too light, not too dark, and it had to be ice cold.

Katie and Andrew are moving into their new apartment today. I’ve been cleaning off some furniture we had in the garage for them to use. As soon as I get the call that they are close to the apartment with the pod of their stuff I’m heading over to do what I can to help. I have 2 fans in the car because it’s warm today and their 4th floor apartment is not air conditioned. On most days here in the Western Washington area you can live comfortably without A/C.  I don’t think we’ll be drinking tea this afternoon…

Happy Monday to you all!

Cheers from England/Wales ~ Day #9

Our sunrise view from the upstairs bedroom in what we have decided to call the Spiral Cottage. We were up with the birds this morning as they serenaded daybreak for us. We have a large push out sky window above our heads while we sleep and we decided to keep it open and enjoy the breeze. We were hoping that no bats would decide to fly in and our hopes were realized! I’m also happy to report that there have been no mishaps on the spiral staircase!Hay on Wye 002Today, Saturday, our sight seeing took us on a drive to Southern Wales, Hay on Wye. Hay on Wye is known for their second hand book shops. Hay hosts an annual literary festival that thousands flock to.

Hay on Wye 039“Hay” is a small town with narrow streets and lots of options for eating and shopping. There is a castle that was destroyed during the 15th century but parts of it remain to this day.

We shopped about and only bought one book, a Dorothy Sayers paperback. Our other purchases were mostly from the town flea market and some antique stores. We enjoyed a very good cup of coffee along with a scone served with clotted cream and strawberry jam while we were in town.

2014-07-12 Hay on WyeThe views were lovely wherever we looked. Thankfully the lanes driving to Hay-on-Wye were manageable and I only felt like screaming once or maybe twice.

Hay on Wye 018We stopped at the supermarket after our day of sight seeing and shopping and bought some take away food to prepare at the cottage. I so enjoy the descriptions of the ready to warm up food.

“Succulent British lamb on the bone, smothered in a rich italian red wine and redcurrrant gravy, served on a bed of sweet red onions, tender carrots and parsnips.  Minted green brocolli, savoy cabbage, sweet leeks, and tender green beans with a melting fragrant mint butter glaze to cook up in the oven and microwave. Here’s the description of the potatoes…silky smooth mashed British Maris Piper potato blended with double cream and plenty of butter for a creamy melt in the mouth texture.

2014-07-12 take away dinne Filling and delicious!

I’m hearing from back home that things are sizzling. We had some humidity today in the Welsh Marshes and it is suppose to rain some tonight but they are promising barbecuing weather for tomorrow. Hope all is well with you…

 

All Booked!

Fox CottageAfter very little discussion Dear and I decided that the best place to go to celebrate 40 years of marriage would have to be England. The discussion was easy, hitting the purchase button for the flights was a little more difficult but after we did it was full speed ahead to book places to stay. The first spot we chose is a self-catering cottage in a very small village in the Cotswolds. The photo above is the exterior of Fox Cottage. We will spend a leisurely 7 nights here and explore several towns and villages in the area. We’ll venture off as far as Oxford from this spot. “Self-Catering accommodation simply refers to an efficiency in which guests take care of their own meals, laundry and other needs. The accommodation provided has facilities that allows guest to cater for their own day to day needs. Self-Catering accommodation includes a suite with a fully equipped kitchen mainly for guest to prepare their own meals.”

EastviewThe second spot we are going to stay for 3 nights in in Ross on Wye in Herefordshire. We chose this spot because we really want to visit Hay on Wye which is well known for Used Book Stores. Here’s what wiki says about this town “Hay-on-Wye, is a small market town and community in Powys, Wales, situated on the English border. Often described as “the town of books”, it is the National Book Town of Wales.”

red_lion_postcardOn our way back to a closer proximity to London Heathrow we will re-visit the town of Henley on Thames. Dear and I stayed here in 1973 or 1974 with our Christian Rock Band. We will be staying for one night at the Red Lion that you see here on this old postcard. We hope to visit some of the villages around this area where Midsomer Murders was filmed. We will definitely visit the Argyle in town for a meal.

OakleyCourtExteriorNEW1700Our grand finale for two nights will be the Oakley Court in Windsor. Isn’t it grand? We will spend some time in the town of Windsor and if the Queen is not in residence at Windsor Castle we hope to have a tour. From Windsor we’ll make the short drive to London Heathrow and fly home.

Our actual anniversary isn’t until December but we are choosing to celebrate in England in July.  The first 2 times Dear and I traveled to England together was in July of 1973 and July 0f 1974. During our trip in 1974 we were already engaged to be married with our wedding planned for December of that year. If anyone has any suggestions for places to visit in the areas of the Cotswolds, Oxford, and Southern Wales please let me know.

Hope you had a nice weekend. I know our Canadian Hockey Fans across the line enjoyed their Sunday. Congrats to Canada on winning the gold.