Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Day in The Cotswolds

We treated ourselves to a day out recently - we live on the very edge of the Cotswolds and at this time of year the landscape is beautiful. One of our Antipodean customers was in England with her family and whilst they were here to enjoy the sights and sounds of London, we offered to show them the beauty of the English countryside.

After collecting the travellers from Oxford station and getting acquainted in person (we'd shared many emails over the months so it was lovely to meet them in person!) we set off for Chipping Norton, the gateway to the Cotswolds. This historic market town is known for its famous landmark, Bliss Mill - shown above - a 19th century Tweed Mill - now converted into apartments.

Our first stop was the Station Mill Antique Centre - of course!! We enjoyed a browse and a few purchases were made, all destined for down under! We had hoped to enjoy a coffee and cake in their cafe but time had flown and we were booked in for lunch at The Falkland Arms in Great Tew.

This beautiful 16th century inn has everything you could want in a traditional English pub; an inglenook fireplace, flagstone floors and beams - and great food!

Great Tew is often referred to as 'the most beautiful village in England' hopefully these photos will give you an indication of why this is. Despite the rather overcast weather that day, the sun did show its face a few times!
We nicknamed this cottage 'the gingerbread house' - the roof is such a lovely shape!

Many of the houses in the village are thatched.

Most of the hedges are shaped and manicured!

This sign amused us!

This house drew our attention - if you enlarge the photo you will see that housemartins have been nesting under the eaves of the thatch - and have a handy ledge for their toilet!!

After a wholesome and filling lunch at the pub, and a stroll around the village, it was back in the car and off to the eerily named Lower Slaughter. The name actually refers to the old English name 'slothre' for a wet or muddy place! The village is set beside the Eye stream and has a 19th century mill as its attraction.

Plus of course, some very pretty houses!

We then set off for Burford, one of my favourite Cotswold towns. We are regular visitors and enjoy the variety of shops that it has. Our first port of call was a cosy traditional tea shop - but when our friends spied the nearby antique centre we decided refreshments could wait! We rounded the day off with tea, coffee and cake, before squeezing into the car alongside their many vintage purchases (how did they get everything in their suitcases?!!) and then setting off for the station!

It was a fantastic day and a real treat to see England through the eyes of visitors - it is easy to take things for granted when you live right in the midst of the English countryside! We really enjoyed our time with them and were totally enchanted by their lovely little girl!

After such a wonderful day out we are now back at work and busy adding lots of vintage stock to the website - the latest treasures have been added today and more will follow in the coming days..!

Until next time!