Lost in the Cotswolds
Since we've moved abroad, we have travelled to some pretty spectacular places - and I love them all. Of course, I enjoy the buzz and excitement of big cities, but there is something about the quiet, beautiful villages in the country that nourish my soul and reset my brain. I also love Nate on these trips, so relaxed and carefree - just reading his Economist like the nerd he is.
After a disorienting drive from the airport (those roundabouts - no thank you) we arrived at The Fish Hotel. The Fish is part of a larger estate that houses a few other hotels and estates. Overall, we agreed the grounds were beautiful, walkable and lush but there was nothing spectacular about the service or the rooms.
The best thing about the location was that we could walk to town through the fields behind the hotel. After our emotionally draining car ride that morning, a nice walk was just what we needed. The town was adorable, exactly what you would imagine a quaint British town to look like. Worn down brick houses with ivy growing along the side, thatched roofs, dark and cozy nooks next to stone fireplaces coated in ash. Pretty much perfect. The highlights in town were the Broadway Hotel , the Broadway Deli and The Lygon Arms.
The Broadway Deli really deserves its own paragraph. The deli was the perfect combination of bougie and charming, with homemade jams and bread mixed with fancy juices and chips (excuse me, crisps...). The deli was so nice we had to try it twice, once for a picnic and once to pick up sandwiches for the plane. #neverskipameal. The Deli was Nate's favorite stop of the weekend, mainly because he could get a delicious peanut butter blondie, a sandwich and an artisanal juice for 10 pounds.
Sunday we enjoyed a long walk through the countryside. After a small hike we ended up at the Broadway Tower with awesome views overlooking the surrounding villages. The tower was nice and all, but the walk into town was the real standout. There was something so simple and natural about the path and landscape. The animals were grazing right next to the walking path. Cows and sheep just doing their thing as you strolled by (although they were a bit sheepish (couldn't resist) to join in for a selfie). The grounds were beautiful, but not overly maintained or landscaped. It felt very untouched in the most civilized way.
Dinner was at the Ebrington Arms, one of my top stops on the trip. The Ebrington Arms was what I imagine my dad's heaven to look like. A small local pub, with its own beer on draft, where the locals get together every Sunday for a drink and gossip. The inside was cozy with a few fireplaces, wooden booths and a stocked bar. The best part was Spencer the Dog, a Golden Reteriver who lives up the road and, we're told, strolls down to the pub without his owner for a happy hour special of an ice cube and a treat. The food was fantastic, the company was lovely and it felt just right for a cozy Sunday night supper.
By Monday we (aka Nate) had recovered from the initial drive, so we decided to hop in the car and explore the nearby towns. I am so happy we got over our fears and drove, as I have really never seen roads as beautiful as these. Relatively flat, with rolling hills with bright yellow rapeseed flowers and white hawthorn trees, sheep, cows - it is pretty much the drive of my dreams. We ended up at Daylesford Farm (the farmshop of my dreams). Which looks like the farm shop that Gwyneth Paltrow created. I held my breath from room to room, just waiting for the next beautiful item or delicious food to appear in front of me. The farm makes their own candles, honey, cheese, yogurt, juice, meats, etc. We did a little bit of shopping (only two candles, so calling it a victory) and got some Elderflower Soda, green juice and local strawberries (of course). It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.
I cannot wait to go back, to take my family and friends and enjoy all the beautiful countryside has to offer.