Of course there’s really not, a more congenial spot, for happily-ever-aftering, than here in Camelot . . .
We have moved ourselves to the beautiful village of Bibury in the Cotswolds and are out on our walk . . . Just had to show you . . . Why don’t you stop now and go get yourself a cup of tea; we want to drag out the showing of Camelot!
Lambs! They’re everywhere here . . . aren’t they beautiful? You’re allowed right in the field with them in many places. A whole field of this!
Schmooshed into the grass, mom’s and babies . . . ♥
. . . curious eyes and little pink ears . . . the babies romp and cavort and play too!
This is where we are; we saw a sign, so we know this is called Court Farm; it’s out behind our hotel, over a bridge, through the stone fences; I believe that’s the Court back there! We walked down that path to get here . . .
See that tail? Look for it in this next video and know the true meaning of the wild and wonderful word, “wag!” It’s what the babies do every time they go to nurse!
Cutest things ever, I could watch them all day! I always wondered why Beatrix Potter didn’t paint lambs; she did geese, bunnies, squirrels, hedgehogs, but no lambs! And she even raised them at Hill Top! I would like to see them in a capped-sleeved, empire-waist apron with rick rack on the hem!
Notice how normal I look? But I’m not really normal at this moment, because, the secret is, despite the comfortable jeans, the wonderful walk, the lambs and the permanently attached camera, we have a secret!
That’s our silver careen-mobile parked in front of that gorgeous building; it’s the Bibury Court Hotel, and the secret is, we are STAYING HERE. When I told you in the car that this was our hotel, we had to sit there fifteen extra minutes before we could stop the screaming. (But I’m better now.) Now we need music! (Just click and come right back, let it play while you do!) Is that your tea kettle I hear whistling?
One walk through the little town that William Morris called “The prettiest village in England,” and you can see why we fell in love with Bibury. It’s centrally located, in the Cotswolds, near lots of wonderful houses and gardens to visit . . . the perfect place for US, right girlfriends? There’s a great pub in town called the Catherine Wheel too. I thought we should tour the town together. Ready? Shoelaces tied in double knots? We don’t want to get slowed down by loose shoelaces . . . OK, meandering time, girlfriends, here we go! Take all the time you want, breathe in the country fresh air, and enjoy!
Did you hear that water rushing behind you? That’s because, when you turned around, directly across the street from that garden in the last photo is this, the prettiest little river (The Coln) flows through the village, full of swans, ducklings, jumping fish, surrounded by wildflowers and swooped upon by terns. You can feed the ducks, walk up and down both sides, and cross all those bridges if you want.
About half a block up the street is this. I’m taking the photo from the Trout Farm on the corner . . . we stopped here at the Swan for tea and toasted crumpets, slathered with jam and buh-er; did you love it?
It occurred to me today that the reason we love England so much is because it’s almost entirely handmade! Most of the country buildings were built before the Industrial Revolution . . . so all the chimneys are different, the churches are different, the barns are all interesting shapes, the walls are hand cut, hand laid; the windows are arched and square, narrow and wide, leaded and unleaded with wavy handmade glass; gravestones are hand carved; it’s like the stitches in a quilt, no two quite the same! The roof tiles, each a tiny bit different because they’re handmade, put on one at a time, and centuries old. It makes for a very pretty picture when you put it all together.
We stopped for Pear Cider at the Catherine Wheel Pub, with the cute window sill; a little refreshment before we head back to the hotel . . .
You haven’t even seen our room yet! Nap time! Follow me! Take the high road!
That’s our room, on the second floor, that big window and the little one next to it on the left, with the leafy green all around it! It has a name, it’s called the King James I Room! I think they gave us an upgrade! We have stayed in some dodgy places in our time, but this is definitely not one of them!
We acted very grown up and nonchalant in front of these darling hotel staff people who showed us to our “room” and brought us our luggage, and never stopped smiling the whole time we were there, but our little hamster hearts were beating a mile a minute…
The minute they left, we ran from corner to corner, into the bathroom, into the dressing room, window to window, hissing look at this, past each other, jumped in the air, high fived, and ran on! Wait till you see the bathroom . . . wait til you see the view!!! The TV comes up, out of a cupboard, when you push a button! The bed looks little in the photo because I’m about half a mile from it! (Hey, settle down over there . . . no jumping on the bed!)
This is the shower, built for two, with drenching waterfalls, no doors; marble floor, and when you flip a switch, it gets warm, the whole floor!! I know. Shocking. You don’t have to say a thing.
The view from the bathroom window is of the river walk that goes by the hotel, up and around, past huge ancient trees, over a bridge and out to those lambs!
Your basic King James I bathtub. The towels are hanging from heated towel bars of course; now we are spoiled and wouldn’t have it any other way!
From the desk where I write you, this is the view! Of a handmade 17th century manor house with a bell-ringing church on the other side. Deliriously, I asked, half awake, each of the four mornings we woke up here, where am I?
Then there’s the leather, gold embossed mystery box . . . what could it be?
Of course, what else in this civilized country? Tea! There was an electric tea kettle too, and a refrigerator, and a separate dressing room with a closet and built-in drawers, with a window in there that has a window seat. Just in case you need a rest during the dressing period. (Through that door ↓.)
We are very happy here! And when you come downstairs, there is always the delicious fragrance of food cooking in the kitchen . . . bread baking and soup making . . .
There are many comfortable places to eat at the Bibury Court, and we tried them all; there’s room service of course; you could have candlelight in the formal dining room with hand-painted silk wallpaper and a saucy little Dover sole; the glass conservatory was wonderful for your toasted jam and cream breakfast; or lunch, spicy fresh tomato-basil soup with croutons outside, next to the river, on the flagstone porch under white umbrellas; but our favorite was the Drawing Room, where they brought us a delicious dinner of gigantic cheeseburgers and chips (French fries) in front of the fire.
It’s casual and comfy in here, you can order cocktails too and they play Frank Sinatra music; I could knit and write in my diary and Joe could read and take pictures. Brilliant! But, all good things must come to an end, after another day of lamb loving and garden admiring . . . the eyelids are getting heavy . . .
Good night, good night, we say to the charming staff, and up to bed we go… (see the floor? Old, handmade, handcut, stone. From the machine-free zone of yesteryear).
Up we go; come on stragglers, it’s bedtime, we have a big day tomorrow!
Uh-oh, no sleeping yet! Bridget Jones’s Diary is on TV! If by any chance any of you haven’t seen it yet, which does seem quite impossible, cuddle in, you’re going to love it! I’ve seen it a hundred times, and never miss another opportunity to watch these two kiss in the snow!
And look! They put lights in the Bibury trees! OK, sweet dreams girlfriends . . . until tomorrow!
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Yawn. Stretch. OK, sunrise! GOOD MORNING Girlfriends! Up and at’em, we have places to go and people to see!
Here we go again! William Morris’s house! You’re going to love it! There is so much to show you! We haven’t even had time to give you the gorgeous garden at Rosemary Verey’s house! Or the beautiful Churchyard next to the Bibury Court, or King Richard III’s castle, and so much more . . . James Herriot’s neighborhood in Yorkshire . . . But we will …. I can always post more England from Martha’s Vineyard! Because very soon . . .
. . . in about five more days (seems impossible), we’ll be doing this in reverse! Back on the Queen Mary 2, sailing out of Southampton, across the Atlantic Ocean, following in the footsteps of my English forbearers almost 400 years ago, but in a lot better accommodations, for HOME — we’ll be toasting the Statue of Liberty with orange juice since it will be about 6 am when we arrive in New York! We leave on the 24th of June, arrive home July 1. Not in any hurry, going to enjoy every moment of the time left here. ♥
Does everyone still have their links to the ship’s bridge (one of the Girlfriends wrote last night to say the Queen Mary had just left New York, on its way to pick us up!) and the Verrazano Bridge (I’m pretty sure this the right one) so you can watch us sail into the harbor? (Except most of you will probably be asleep!) Five more days of lambs to go, five more days of big English sky. XOXO