Monday, August 3, 2015

Henley Street Tea Room - Stratford-Upon-Avon

This small tea room in Stratford-Upon-Avon is situated on Henley Street, a pedestrian walkway. It is directly across from the entrance to Shakespeare's birthplace. We stopped here and enjoyed a quick bite to eat while enjoying a fun day using the hop-on hop-off tourist bus in Stratford.

With a lovely day of touring, we took the opportunity to sit and enjoy some cakes and scones 'al fresco'. We selected a table outside to relax, sip tea, and people watch before we continued our touring.

The sweet little tea tray held cucumber sandwiches on buttered white bread and tomato and ham sandwiches on multigrain bread on the bottom tier. The top tier held a cream scone with strawberry jelly and clotted cream, and layered sponge cake cut diagonally. So pretty.
Susanna and I shared the Afternoon Tea tray and ordered an additional cream tea so there would be no fighting over the scones.

Angelica selected a chocolate cake to accompany hot chocolate.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway is the wife of William Shakespeare. This was her family home. Located about a mile outside of Stratford, it offers a wonderful look at the Tudor Cottage lifestyle.

The gardens here are particularly beautiful.  They feature rows of Sweet Peas strung up on natural trellis.

Lots and lots of Roses, a large variety of cottage flowers, a huge lavender maze, a butterfly garden  and many other little touches here and there.

Anne Hathaway was courted by William Shakespeare while living here, so this is the place where you learn the Tudor customs of Courtship and Marriage.

English Tea Room Signage

or, 'Too Many Tea Rooms, Too Little Time'. These are some of the tea rooms that we walked past... I know, right!
Covent Garden, London
Chipping Campden



Lytes Cary manor, near Somerton
National Trust Property


Pub alongside the roadway

It was difficult to walk past all these tea rooms! Although we did our best to patronize as many as we could, it just was not possible! Just all the more reason to return!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Long Boats, Then and Now

NOW: The long boats, or narrowboats, are a way of life for many that live along the Avon River. Considered 'slow travel', many spend their life living in the narrowboats others rent them to enjoy a unique vacation experience on the English waterways. Either way, the locks are a part of the deal necessary to maneuver passageway along the river.
We had a helpful young lad that was eager to learn the tricks of the locks and strong enough to lend a helping hand to many that were willing to let Cedar work the locks, giving them a short break.
These narrowboats are moored in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and this lock is also in the town.

Cedar worked the locks near Bradford-on-Avon where there appeared to be quite a backlog of narrowboats waiting to go through the locks. Slow travel is about 3 - 4 miles per hour. It's a leisurely cruise and offers a beautiful view of the English countryside from a different perspective.

Located near the town of Devizes is this 'staircase' of 29 locks encompassing a two mile stretch of the canal. This is the longest range of locks in England and lifts the canal a total of 231ft. We happened upon these locks later in the day when a canal boat had just moored at the base of the locks for the night. Their plan was to tackle the locks early in the morning, first thing. They estimated it would take them two hours to get through the staircase!

THEN: When we last visited England in 2000, we leased Narrowboats, 2 of them, and a group of extended family, 10 of us, spent three days and nights on the River Avon navigating the river and operating the locks. 

The narrowboats provided sleeping accommodations, a shower, and a small kitchenette. Pubs along the river offer moorings for meals and overnights. Although we slept on the boats, we ate at the pubs sampling our first of many mushy peas.
David steered our long boat (ask him about his lesson before getting the keys!).
Zachery who was five at the time loved it.
Angelica who was 11 months and Cedar, not yet born, have heard us talk about the long boats and the canals and of course the locks, so often, they were eager to see what this was about. We found a tearoom or two in 2000 as well.

Friday, July 31, 2015

It's Pimm's O'clock

Prior to traveling to England, Susanna was looking forward to a daily Pimm's Cup.  Pimm's #1 is a gin based liqueur that has been around since 1850's.   

Served mixed with lemonade or sometimes ginger beer, it is muddled together with trims such as orange or lemon pieces, mint sprigs, fresh strawberries or raspberries, cucumber and other fruits. No two alike!

Every pub owner offers a Pimms cup with their own special twist and it was fun to try them all!