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.
I woke up at 5:50 after a good night’s sleep and snoozed before Dave woke up at 6:40. I then went to make us coffee and Dave had a shower. By the time he went downstairs Anne and Stuart were awake and I joined them after my shower. Stuart made use bacon and eggs for breakfast with fried mushrooms and toast. Another cup of coffee and then it was time to say goodbye sadly.
We left Abingdon (the oldest continuously inhabited place in England) and drove past an adult establishment named the Spread Eagle! We went over a 5p toll bridgebefore driving through the Cotswalds. We stopped at the Kings Head Inn in Birdwood for espresso and past a road called Solomons Tump. After Ross on Wye we started seeing Welsh names and crossed the ‘border’ at 11h52. We drove past Raglan (Rhaglan) Castle before arriving in Swansea (Abertawe) where we went to the Swansea Market for lunch of sausage rolls. We also bought leeks, scallops on the shell, mackerel, lamb chops and sausages from the various food stalls. We topped up our new sim card with international airtime and then headed for Haverfordwest (Hwlffordd). There is a HUGE Tesco’s here and we did the rest of our shopping before driving to Little Haven.
After unpacking I called my dad for his birthday and then we took a walk into the village to the Swan Inn. We watched the wild waves while having a drink. A half pint of ale and then bitter for Dave and a half pint of cider for me. The sand bags are still lined up along the footpath! For starters we had the scallops and our main course was mackerel with leeks and samphire. This is one vegetable I dont’t need to try again. Dessert was strawberries and cream and after cheese and biscuits I decided an early night was in order.
Breakfast was no better, with my poached egg now 2 days old! Thankfully Claudia, one of the air stewards was most helpful and made Dave and I coffee! That was a great way to wake up. Our luggage was delayed coming off the plane but once we had that we could go and sort out a new sim card as our Vodafone one is sitting at home! We collected a 4 door diesel Kia from Europcar and headed from Heathrow Maidenhead on the M4. We then changed direction to Cookham and drove through Cookham looking for a specific house. We then went on our way to Marlow on stunning narrow country roads. We crossed an amazing bridge into Marlow. We then headed to Henley on Thames and after driving through we then stopped in Nettlebed at the White Hart Hotel for coffee. We crossed the Wallingford bridge into the old town before arriving at Anne in Abingdon.
After having coffee with Anne and Evie, and a shower Dave, Anne and I went to Millets farm stall where we bought asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke and rhubarb for dinner. We then went to a quaint pub called Rose Revived for lunch. Anne and I had cider and Dave had Abbot Ale. For lunch Anne and I chose pulled pork wraps and soup which I think was chicken. Dave had a BLT on multigrain which came with tomato soup. After lunch we went into Abingdon and walked past St. Helen’s church and the alms houses. Sadly it was raining and there are no photographs. We then went to the museum which was really interesting and includes the last MG to ever be made in Abingdon.
We came back to Anne and relaxed with coffee and yummy biscuits Dave found at Millets. We took a look at the river behind the house and I found one of the 5 Easter eggs still missing from the hunt last weekend. Evie took me to see her house which is perfect! Then it was time to prepare dinner. We had roast chicken with honey roasted parsnips. A potato and houlimi bake I am going to try at home as well as artichoke puree which was divine. I love the vegetable and will look for some seeds. I pan fried the asparagus and made a rich gravy. We had Vergenoegd wine with dinner and an apple and rhubarb crumble for dessert served with clotted cream and custard!
Dave showed Anne, Stuart and Evie some photos from home and after more wine it was time for bed. We had a truly brilliant evening!