Archive for the ‘Cotswolds’ Category

There is something about a thatched roof cottage that stirs the cockles of my heart. Perhaps I’ve lived in one in some former life. I don’t know. But what I do know is that the sight of such a cottage in a guide book read about six months before this trip got me and Ruth to Chipping Camden, a village in the Cotswolds in central England. We arrived by bus from Stratford upon Avon, of Shakespeare fame, in a weather of on again, off again rain and sun, cold and crisp as a snowball, with a light that kept cascading as the sun dipped and dove behind giant rain clouds. As for thatched roofs, we were not disappointed. For those not in the know, a thatched roof was popular about 300 years ago as a way to ┬áreuse farm material as an insulator against the cold, heat, and rain. It worked well, lasting about five years. Only thing is during that time, rats, squirrels, birds, snakes and several other critters of farmland picked and gnawed and chewed through the thatching material for their own nesting supplies and made a bloody mess of the roof. This of course led to using other kinds of roofs until wire screening was invented in more modern times to protect the organic material from the same critters as before. Anyway, they are works of art, and very soothing to see a house that is nearly half straw. Chipping Camden had at least six such houses that I discovered and other towns we passed through like Broadway and Moreton on Marsh had a number of others. That which drew me to England was magnificently manifest to my eyes.We climbed Sheep Street (the Cotswolds thrived on sheep farming for wool and meat for many years until cotton became king) past the late author Graeme Green’s thatched roof cottage to lovely views of the town and surrounding fields bathed in a gorgeous after rain light where we met a lady from Toronto being shown around by her English friend. Then it was back down to town to visit the local silversmith who tapped out masterpieces as they did in William Morris’s day.
Our fill filled, we hopped the bus to Stratford and returned to Shakespeare’s origins, a town of Tudor antiquity and the Garrick Pub, serving drink and grub since 1406, one of the oldest in old England. We chatted with a few jolly locals, a fellow from Holland who was biking through Ireland and the UK, and Dave, a rock concert promoter whose accent labeled him a Scotsman from Glasgow, a great guy whose humor and insights and generosity took Ruth and I well into the night

Food: The King’s Hotel. Fantastic. Michelin star.

Silver: The Guild


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