What are you looking for?
22 September 2014

adventures in the cotswolds + bath

well this post feels like it's well overdue. laaast weekend, rebekah and i took a wee jaunt out of town for a couple of days. after getting back from austria a few weeks back, we were both bluesing pretty hard about the return to normality that we immediately booked three more holidays in. one of those was a weekend in the country, staying with her aunt helen and two cousins boo and g (some of the nicest teenage girls you'll ever know. ever).

we met at paddington after work on friday, and headed off on the first train out to cotswolds. with half an hour to prep, we did what anyone would do, and bought train supplies. read: pink wine and crisps. by the time we arrived almost two hours later, we were... much gigglier than when we left. apologies to all who had to bear witness to those two assholes on the train that day.

we arrived to an empty house as both girls were otherwise occupied, and so we set about to catching up. over more wine. and bubbly. and then some gin. i'm pretty sure we ate dinner in there at some point too, but... i don't recall what. there's a good chance it was delicious and incredible, because... aren't all homemade meals? yes. the answer is yes. after the excellent dinner and more excellent wine and most excellent chat, we retired to our giant cloudy bed in the sky (for real; giant cloudy bed in the attic) for probably what was the best sleep i've ever had.

on saturday we woke to grey but not damp skies, which is always a bonus in the country; blue skies are ideal, but in lieu, you're happy with the non-damp ones. whenever we stay with helen, she always makes sure to take us somewhere new and exciting for the day. this time, our destination was bath. i've been to bath only once before, but we didn't spend a lot of time there, so i was excited to head back and see some more of the things!

we jumped in the car, expecting a quick trip into the village... but no. we were in bristol in about an hour, and then bath was maybe another half an hour from there. we were stuck in so much traffic on the way in that helen assures us was not regular weekend traffic, and once we got into bath we soon figured out why... not only were bath playing a home game of rugby at their local stadium, but also, it was the jane austen festival and fourteenzillion people were in town just to... dress up as in costumes from the georgian era and... read stories aloud to each other? i guess? what else does one do at a jane austen festival? honestly. if you know the answer, please let me know.

once we were able to find a spare park in the city, we headed off and wandered the cobbled streets until the hunger pangs hit, then we stopped for afternoon tea. with a multitude of tea houses on offer, we opted to try one that looked typically twee, and that served plain scones for the picky eater (me). unfortunately, it turned out we kinda picked the worst tea house in the whole of bath, and it felt more like we'd basically succumb to a tourist trap tea. typical. the scones were dry, the tea was terrible, and the service was basically non existent. which was a shame. we're all afternoon tea superfans. lame!

the next day, we had a lazy start. we slept late, had a slow breakfast, and watched a lot of  catch up tv. with no solid plans, we just decided to take it easy before heading back into london. around lunch time helen mentioned that the normally very private lord vestey was opening up his land and gardens - stowell park estate, to the public for one day only... that day. with no other plans at hand, we headed off to see the elusive gardens with our own eyes.

with a donation made to a local charity paid, we had free range of the land and gardens. we spoke quickly with the resident gardener, who gave us a few tips on how to make ourselves at home and make the most of our time there, and then we headed off to explore... man alive, those vesteys have some incredible views out there! we wandered through the back gardens, stopped in the great hall for a coffee and some cake, before making our way onto the perfectly manicured lawn to sun bathe and enjoy the scenery while we finished our drinks.

i can understand the want to not have people traipsing around your home all the time, but the land and gardens are truly something wonderful to behold. we were very lucky to have been in the right place at the right time that weekend! after that we jumped back in the car and headed off for the last afternoon tea of the weekend (so much better - definitely go to huffkins if you're ever in the cotswolds!), before saying our goodbyes at the train station.

it's always suuuuuch a great idea to get out of london every now and then, just to collect some perspective. this year has been very stuffy and busy in london, and so it was really bloody lovely to just... escape to the country for a little while. helen and her girls are always so welcoming and hospitable, and make a country retreat very homely for us. it's super peaceful and serene out there too, and makes you really wonder about the quality of life outside of london, but...

could i live anywhere other than london?...i'm really not sure i could.
i love the hustle and bustle, me!

Add your comment

  1. I love the look of Stowell Park Estate! I'd love to get a chance to see it, but i wouldn't want people traipsing around my beautiful home (if I had one) really either. x

  2. I love Bath, it's such a beautiful city so hope you had a good time there. Devon next time, yes? x

  3. YES! had I known they were so close, I would have suggested Devon instead - I so want to come! x

  4. it's actually a pet cemetery in there! but the sign is AWESOME :)

  5. it's so lovely - if you get a chance, you should! x

  6. You're welcome any time, I have plenty of room. x

  7. oh, yays!! thank you! x

  8. I am heartbroken that Bath let you down on the afternoon tea front. I lived there for a bit, and love the place. If you go back, you can't go wrong with an afternoon tea at Bea's Vintage Tearooms. I've had several in there, and there are always beautiful, with cake slices the size of your head.

  9. Gutted you had a disappointing afternoon tea :( Really hate when that happens!
    I LOVE Bath, we had my sister's hen do there a few years ago and it was gorgeous.
    Chloe x


thank you for your comment, you lovely thing you.