Fox Cottage ~ Cotswolds

ABC Wednesday is on the letter F this week.

Thank you to Denise Nesbitt and the ABC team for keeping the meme alive.

Our first self-catering experience in England was at Fox Cottage so…

…F is for Fox Cottage

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 002First and foremost is a fair warning that this post is full of fotos of the Fox inside and out!

Day one in England 7-4 007We had our own mostly private area between the cottage and stables across from the cottage.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 092I believe our side of this U shaped space were stables in the past, too, which have been converted and upgraded to a living space.

2014-07-07 VisitorsFor those of you not familiar with the term self-catering it means you take care of yourself while you rent a property. Generally there is no daily maid service and no breakfast provided. We enjoyed making our own “Full English” and when the fragrance of those sausages hit the air we had several visitors arrive at our door begging!

Broadway Day 7 076

Broadway Day 7 002When we arrived we were greeted with fresh flowers and a sweet loaf that I didn’t get a foto (spelling in honor of F) of.

Day one in England 7-4 001Free wifi and lots of channels on the telly. Kinda funny that places advertise wifi as being free when you know you are paying for it anyway in the full price of the property. I did specifically choose properties while in England that advertised free wifi. Since we weren’t using our cell phones we wanted to feel connected to home and family whenever we could.

Day one in England 7-4 003We fully appreciated the fabulous exposed rough beams throughout the Fox.

Day one in England 7-4 004The old features that were worked into the space were enjoyed.

Day one in England 7-4 006The mix of old and new was just right. There were interesting things to try to figure out and some quirky frustrating things to deal with but our overall experience was very nice.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 099

Broadway Day 7 001

Visitors 006Our views were very peaceful. During our time at the cottage there was only one day in a downpour that we shut all the windows.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 087We had to go out to the pump room to get our ice from the deep freeze.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 098The peace and quiet of this spot was so lovely. We could hear water flow through the farm. The birds were our alarm clock in the morning. It would be so dark at night we had to use a night light to make it safely to the bathroom which was a step down from our bedroom. No city lights, no street lights and no porch lights. I really was hoping to maybe see an owl but that didn’t happen except for this one.

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Visitors 002The owners of the farm and cottage live in the house you see next to the owl and behind this view of the cottage.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 091

Visitors 004

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 093The outside view to our space.Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 090The view out to the land between us and the little lane at the entrance to the farm.

Day one in England 7-4 010Getting to and from the Fox is a whole other story for another day.

Things around our “cottage” here in the states are a little hectic right now with our kids from the East Coast staying with us as they move into their new apartment and life on the West Coast. I hope to get around to as many of the ABC “F” posts as possible between loading and unloading boxes…

Hope your festivities this week are full of fun and frolic with friends and family.

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…


Cheers From England ~ Day #8

Today is Friday and it was moving day for us. We moved from our quiet sprawling cottage in the Cotswolds to a small 2 story cottage near Ross on Wye. We are just off a B road so this little spot will be a little noisier during the day. On the way to our new location we stopped in Bourton on the Water and in Gloucester to visit the cathedral and The Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter shop close to the cathedral.

Bourton-Gloucester 004Bourton on the Water

gloucester cathedral 027Gloucester Cathedral

After we spent some time in the cathedral that was magnificent we found the Beatrix Potter shop and made a little purchase and then headed to our second lodging spot close to Ross on Wye. We got settled in and headed to Ross to find a bite to eat. We ate at a cafe and made at stop at the butcher for sausages and the supermarket for eggs, bread, tomatoes, and mushrooms as we’ve missed our traditional breakfasts the last few mornings. We are now relaxing in the wee cottage.

gloucester cathedral 072The view from our upstairs bedroom window looking east. Not too shabby!

And here are the stairs I will have to navigate if I need to use the facilities in the middle of the night…oh my…

gloucester cathedral 078I’ll let you know how it goes. We have two areas we want to explore while we are in this part of England and time will tell which towns we will visit first.

We are in touch with family and friends via the internet and so thankful that we have that luxury being across the world from them. So much happens when we are apart and it’s good to be able to communicate daily if we need to. I specifically chose places that offered free wifi and am very glad I did since I do not use my cell internationally. We’ve heard that Heathrow security is confiscating cell phones if the batteries are dead so I will need to turn my cell phone on airplane mode before we hit security to make sure they can see that my battery is just fine.

We also hear the the temps in at our old house in Washington State are hitting the 90’s this weekend. Maybe it will stunt my grass and weeds from growing too much while we are gone. How are things going in your neck of the woods. Speaking of woods we are close to the Forest of Dean.


Cheers From England ~ #1

Day one in England 7-4 007We arrived safely in Jolly old England on Friday the 4th of July at noon. After going through customs and retrieving our luggage we headed to the car rental agency and took the time we needed to become familiar with the car and set the SAT/NAV (GPS) for our first stop on our trip. It’s not easy navigating roads, especially the narrow lanes with tired eyes and little sleep but Dear managed to get us to our destination just before four in the afternoon safely. This is the wonderful cottage we will be staying in for seven nights. It is (what the U.K. calls) a self-catering cottage which means we pay to stay in a fully equipped space but we do our own pampering. No one cooks us breakfast or makes our bed each night. I will journal our days as much as I can while it’s fresh to me so I can remember our days when we return home.

When we unpacked the car and met the owner of the cottage we set off to get a refreshment at a Pub in a village close by that he highly recommended. Nothing is really that close to our quiet cottage so we will be navigating the narrow lanes of the Cotswolds a lot. After we return home I will post photos of the inside of our hand hewn, oak beamed, open vaulted ceilings and other very cool architectural features of the cottage and the setting it is in.

For today (Saturday) we will regain our balance and do some grocery shopping so we can make our own breakfasts at the cottage.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

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.