After a shower and breakfast we drove to Broxbourne Riverside for a boat cruise. While we waited for a boat to become available we took a walk on the banks of the canal. We had a one hour cruise and Dave taught Maya and Josh how to steer a boat. We then had lunch at The Crown which is part of the Vintage Inns group. Dave, Tali and I each had one pie off the Vintage Pies menu, which are specially created by James Martin. Sadly the kitchen service was appalling and we waited an hour for our meal – not good with 2 kids! I had the fish pie which was meant to be Scottish salmon, smoked haddock and king prawns but which was more potato than fish! It was very tasty though, as were Talya’s British beef and merlot pie and Dave’s chicken, ham and leek pie. After lunch we did a bit of shopping and then came back to Talya and Jon. We finished packing, got the tube to the airport and spent some time walking around duty free. This included buying a bottle of Laphroaig and a Glencairn Glass. We snacked on some sushi and then made our way to the gate. We got there just as boarding started! The flight back home was uneventful – another amazing holiday!
Slept in a bit and after a cup of coffee and a shower I went with Talya to take the kids to Cheida. We then came back to the house and I had breakfast and we did a load of laundry as Dave needed a t shirt for the flight home. After that we went to fetch the kids, and then went to Ye Olde Cherry Tree for lunch. I had a spinach, ricotto and tomato tart with baby potatoes which I smothered in horseradish sauce. For dessert I had the raspberry creme brulee. We came back to the house and relaxed for the afternoon, baked a banana loaf and I helped Talya spring clean the kitchen. Jon braaid some chicken pieces that Talya had marinaded in an amazing bbq sauce all day. I turned the left over roast potatoes into a salad and we had a green salad to go with that as well as some corn on the cob. We finished the rhubarb crumble, ate some banana loaf and had stilton on crackers. Dave checked in for our flight and not long after that we went to sleep.
Woke up very early and got up just after 7 to make coffee. After a shower and breakfast I went with Talya to watch Maya and Joshua have their swimming lessons. We collected Dave and Jon for our long walk around London. We caught the tube to Knightsbridge and our first stop was Harrods food hall. We then went to Harvey Nichols and we got a few items from there. We bought lunch from Pret and had a picnic in Green Park. All of their food is made fresh each day and what is not sold is offered to charity! Dave and I sbared 2 sandwiches and both were very good. We then went to Fortnum and Mason where I bought one item and spoke to the person in charge of the wines about their South African selection. After that we walked through Burlington Arcade and on to the Lotus store. We then went to Hamley’s which was a mad house and from there to Liberty. The building is amazing with wood carved bannisters and railings. By then the kids had walked enough (at least 5 hours) and so we got the underground back to Arnos Grove. Dave, Tali and I went shopping and Dave cooked pasta with a chicken and vegetable sauce. That was followed by a rhubarb crumble that was in the oven a bit too long. We had some Stilton and after all that fresh air went to bed quite sleepy!
Dave and I had an early start to the day with breakfast at The Tilted Wig and then a very interesting business meeting in Coventry. After that we drove through Stratford Upon Avon, Banbury before stopping in Buckingham which is an historic market town. We walked around a bit, saw the River Ouze and went for lunch at the pub at the White Hart Hotel. I had a half pint of Strongbow citrus edge which I really like and Dave had half a pint of Timothy Taylor ale. I had the roasted cauliflower tart for lunch and Dave had the beef and ale pie (two main courses for £12). After that we drove back to Heathrow and dropped the car off at then got on the underground to head for Talya and Jon. A couple got on at Terminal 1 (one stop after us) and the smell of fish was unbelievable. I covered my nose with my scarf it was that bad. Some people moved even. She got off half way into our journey. Eventually we arrived at Arnos Grove and Talya collected us. We sorted out suitcases and relaxed and had an amazing family dinner.
We left Little Haven just after 8am and drove up the northwards up the west coast towards Aberystwyth (aber meaning river mouth). We stopped at Aberaeron for coffee and met a lovely couple who had visited SA and regaled us with wonderful stories. They had the cutest Scottish terriers – one who sat on the window ledge. We turned inland at Aberystwyth and drove over Devil’s Bridge (Pontarfybach) but did not see the waterfalls. We then drove through Newtown – a new town since 1279! (y Drenewydd). We passed a sign that said ‘salt seller’ for a place that sells salt! Too quaint.
At 12:12 we crossed the ‘border’ to England and stopped in Shrewsbury – the birth place of Charles Darwin – for lunch. We ate The Shrewsbury Coffee House, which has th best wifi (topsecret) password! I had a pear, walnut and Shropshire blue cheese sandwich on rye which was delicious and served with a side salad and lightly pickled cucumbers (£5) and Dave had Cooper’s sausage roll served with a side salad and chutney (£4) which was very spicy. Leaving Shrewsbury we crossed the English Bridge and drove past a Nando’s and went over the River Severn. We then entered Warwickshire – Shakespeare’s County.
Dave had a business meeting in Coventry so we went to that first. The gentleman we were meant to see was not available so we were taken around by the person who deals with the sales to Dave’s supplier. After that we walked around the Motor Museum which shows some of the city’s devastation during the blitz. We then drove to Warwick and found the Tilted Wig quite easily as this is where the Garmin decided the city centre is. After parking the car and checking in we took a short walk around Market Square and then headed back to the room to check emails etc. Thankfully we did this as Dave’s meeting for tomorrow is an hour earlier than what we confirmed twice yesterday!
We had dinner at the Tilted Wig as part of our stay and I will blog about that on Lavender and Lime :). Dinner was good and the bed comfortable.