Thursday, 21 February 2008

All in a day..

On Sunday we escaped.. ran away... far from the madding crowd to the hills beyond.. far beyond my home town of Bath.
That is not to say we don't have our own fine set of hills.. Bath is famous for it's inclines and you can easily tell a true Bathonian by the size of their calf muscles, mine are no exception.. not for me the slim line elegant footware... more of the welly couture.

I digress as usual...

We headed off with a song in our hearts and the sun in our eyes to one of our favourite bolt holes.. just an hour from Bath but far enough to feel as though it were a real holiday destination.
The mellow stone of the village houses, glows like honey in the sun and the whole essence of this pretty little hamlet is of a chocolate box lid... picture postcard perfect!

We arrived in time to take full advantage of the fabulous food on offer at our chosen hostel. The inn itself is very popular and has won this year's award for Gastro Pub... so not the usual ploughman's or ham egg and chips here...
More of a goat's cheese tart with balsamic dressing ... oh so scrummy washed down with a half pint of Guinness.
Before the snoozy 'Sunday afternoon' feeling could take hold we jumped back into the car and headed for Forde Abbey which was a mere 20 minute drive... or so 'Charmiane' our garrulous guide told us... Beloved was given a sat nav gadget for Christmas which he promptly pushed to one side exclaiming that he did not need such a device due to his co-pilot (me) being the one to tell him where to go!!!
He succumbed to the lure of this clever little device and so we had a very interesting conversation with our sat nav host.. questioning her choice of roads and route.. all good fun!

We had never been to Forde Abbey before and this was somewhere I had earmarked as 'my kind of place'.... we were not disappointed. The long tree-lined entrance drive was awash with snowdrops and led up to the Abbey itself which can only be described as stunning. Mellow stone against the deep blue sky and a backdrop of trees makes this place very special indeed and a real treat.

The gardens are delightful and varied with rockery, bog garden, lakes, topiary and walled kitchen garden ...providing lots of little rooms within rooms and full of Spring bulbs and a wonderful variety of trees and shrubs.
I hope that my photos go some way to doing justice to this beautiful place...

It was mighty cold and the lakes were partly frozen much to the disgust of the swan and ducks.. Oh their poor cold feet!

I loved this iron work frame over a small palladian pond .. pinks and yellows.. my favourite.
Spot the bunny!

After a brisk but thoroughly enjoyable stroll around the gardens we headed back to the Inn and I indulged in a lovely long snooze in our pretty room..
Now this is what I call an ensuite bathroom...
Supper was another gastro delight in a romantic candlit room..

We had a wonderful stay and headed back home the following morning through the most magical frosty landscape...Charmiane our Sat nav host... telling us how to find our way home..

It is amazing how much one can cram into a day... and this mini escape felt like a proper break and fully re-charged out batteries.

P.S Don't forget the giveaway tomorrow Friday eve..8.p.m Draw.. I will put all the names in a hat and pull out the winner..
I have so enjoyed your shared childhood toys.. chewed bald teddies, dollshouses, dolls... such sweet nostalgia.



I just knew you were up to no good Michele, and visiting old Lord Poulett no less! I have just checked out the website for the inn, it looks really nice, and the rates are so reasonable, I shall definitely be mentioning this one to J, as a stop when we next go down that way, did you see the room with gingham curtains, that has my name stamped on it for a stay. I may have seen Forde Abbey on the TV but haven't ever visited, will make a note. So glad old Charmiane got you there, even if she did take you all around the houses, J and I always have so much fun with our sat nav, we just love to answer her back and take the mickey out of her posh voice, maybe I ought to get J to change it to the sexy man voice! Great post Michele, keep 'em coming. x

amy said...

looks like you had a great time. the inn looks wonderful!

Tracy said...

Dreamy place...*sigh*...and I love the humour of the bunny! Happy Day basking in the memories ((HUGS))

Garden girl said...

Hi Michele, your time away looks fantastic- such lovely photos- I love that ironwork, how beautiful! As for that en-suite

bj said...

What an absolutely storybook place! I am sooo glad you had such fun.
hugs, bj

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...

lUCKY GIRL!!annie x

Anonymous said...

Hi Michele,
What a gorgeous place to visit and to stay in such luxury...dreamy weekend.
Your pictures of the abbey are great,what a fantastic place
Love Kristina XxX

ChelleBez said...

Wow! What an incredible trip. The Abbey is absoultely gorgeous. I love the pictures of the hotel too. Its all so "England"; I love it! I looked at your pictures and just soaked in their soothing comfort and relaxation....

I'm glad you were able to take a little break from life and recharge. :)

Artsy-Craftsy Merchant said...


Vintage to Victorian said...

I think we shall have to visit Lord Poulett - as he's only about 16 miles from us! We've never been to Forde Abbey either. Time permitting it might just have to go on the list of places to visit.

Sue x

The Vintage Magpie said...

Hi Michele, this trip looks wonderful.. great photos. Glad to see you are out enjoying yourself x P.S. Love 'Charmaine' !!

Ragged Roses said...

Hello Michele, now that's what I call a sleepover! Gorgeous photos too. I love visiting new places and have made a note of this one. Fforde Abbey looks beautiful. Love the en suite, not sure about Charmiane! Take care

LiLi M. said...

Mmm I'm enjoying your trip too! What great pictures! Everything we want to have at home and more!
We will have a winterbreak next week and will be staying in Germany. I hope we have this much fun too. Have a nice weekend! L.

Curlew Country said...

Oh Michelle what a treat! Looks like you had a fab time together. Glad you enjoyed yourselves so much. Have a lovely weekend.

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

You little retreat is breathtaking - love the story, your descriptions of things and the room is gorgeous. I would have had a long soak in the tub just to thaw out.

LOL about Charmaine. Don't you just laugh at her dry wit? ha.

Happy that you and your hub had a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing your pics (and yes, I did spy the bunny). Such a charming place England is! The honey colored stone housed and dark lids are devine.


Nonnie said...

Sounds like you had a really lovely time. I've just had a look at the Pubs website and it looks so gorgeous. It's making me want a little romantic getaway mayself! Hmmm, you never know!