Europe

The Great Sunday Lunch off – The Conclusion

The Great Sunday Lunch off – The Conclusion

Nov 12, 2018

Well, we thought it was going to be easy to decide. But no, our Great Sunday lunch-off in Yardley Hastings was a tough one. Our first Sunday lunch was the thatched beauty of The Red Lion and the next contender was the village charm of The Rose and Crown. Both of their Sunday lunches in

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A night in Eastbourne

A night in Eastbourne

Nov 11, 2018

Eastbourne is all about Victorian seafront hotels, pebbly beaches, piers and soaring white cliffs. On our way to our housesit in Brighton, we decided to treat ourselves to a night in a hotel. The idea of a sea view and a little Victoriana was met with a fair degree of enthusiasm from Suzannah. The Best

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A trip down memory lane.

A trip down memory lane.

Nov 8, 2018

Chipping Norton is a very special little market town in the English Cotswolds. But for us it is special for a different reason. For us it is “a trip down memory lane”. It was here, 21 years ago that we went on our first date. A lot of this town was built on the wealth

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The frost has arrived

The frost has arrived

Oct 31, 2018

Suzannah has been saying all year how much she is looking forward to a cold winter. The idea of a cold, English  Christmas is how we both feel Christmas should be. This week we got one step closer. The frost has arrived. We have been waking up to sparkly white grass and putting extra layers

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The English Aga

The English Aga

Oct 30, 2018

An Aga is as quintessentially English as a cream tea or a thatched country pub. But until this trip I had never really been on first name terms with one. I had boiled the odd kettle on my sister-in-law’s Aga but never actually cooked on one. Until now. Our first housesit in Devon had a

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Sunday Lunch Off round two

Sunday Lunch Off round two

Oct 29, 2018

Time for  our Sunday Lunch Off round two. Last week, when we decided to walk to Yardley Hastings for Sunday lunch, we had a problem. There are two pubs in Yardley Hastings. The only decent thing to do was to have a Sunday Lunch Off. Last Sunday it was the turn of the Red Lion

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Lyveden New Bield

Lyveden New Bield

Oct 27, 2018

This is a story of religious intolerance. It is from a time when religious beliefs were seen as absolute truths and those beliefs affected every part of your life. This is the story of Lyveden New Bield. Sir Thomas Tresham was a Roman Catholic at a time in English history when that was considered almost

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Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

Oct 27, 2018

If, like me, you went to an English boarding school, singing hymns like “Amazing Grace” at top volume was one of the highlights of church services. It did not matter if you could sing or not.  Because everyone else was making such a racket, no-one could hear you anyway. It was not a particularly spiritual

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Round One of our Sunday Lunch Off.

Round One of our Sunday Lunch Off.

Oct 22, 2018

There is something special about Sunday Lunch. Ever since I was a little boy, it was the most important meal of the week. It was the time that we got together as a family. The theatre of the carving and the lining up for your share of “Red Gravy” (the juices at the bottom of

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Castle Ashby Gardens

Castle Ashby Gardens

Oct 20, 2018

As we are staying on the Castle Ashby Estate in Northamptonshire we thought we should go and visit the gardens. So this morning as it dawned fine and sunny we put the leads on the hounds and headed out. The route looked delightfully straight forward on the map, so we left the map behind. Big

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A Very English Birthday

A Very English Birthday

Oct 19, 2018

There are many ways to celebrate a birthday. This time last year we were on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrating Suzannah’s birthday. This year she is having a very English birthday. The first questions that needed to be answered this morning was; “How old do you have to be before you can have

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Legging it!

Legging it!

Oct 18, 2018

It turns out that “legging it” has a rather different meaning around these parts. Today we visited Stoke Bruerne, in Northamptonshire. This pretty little village is right on the Grand Union Canal. It is at the southern end of the Blisworth Tunnel. There is a nice pub called The Navigation and a whole series of

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