My wife, Inna, wrote the following impressions of our trip to Cotswolds in England:
May 30, 2010
I’m writing this in Staddlestones B&B in Chipping Campden, Cotswolds. I can hardly put my thoughts, impressions and feelings into words as I write this as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this place so much. The Cotswolds is a quintessential English country side with beautiful rolling hills, splendid vistas and enchanting villages looking like they have just jumped from the post-card. Chipping Campden where we are staying is a quaint little town that is not too overrun by tourists and is a joy to explore.
Staddlestones B&B is a pleasant 10 minutes walk from the center of the town. It is a beautiful house built from the Cotswold’s stone with a Thatched roof and Ivy - covered walls.
We arrived to Staddlestones after a 2-hour drive from
Cambridge, which was a little stressful as this is our second day driving in Englandon the “wrong” side of the road. Roads are very different here with many roundabouts every few miles and it is hard to figure out which exit to take and which way to go! Thank God for the GPS. Without it we would be completely lost! But we finally made it and the drive was definitely worth it to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds.
The road to Cotswolds from
Cambridgeis really picturesque with many idyllic vistas to look at everywhere. Green rolling hills, fields of yellow flowers, fluffy white clouds in the blue sky, horses, cows and sheep munching on the grass. I had a chance to absorb all the beauty of the surroundings while my husband had to focus on driving the car.
We got a Mercedes Estate, which is fun to drive but Boris is still not used to the dimensions of the car and driving on the right side. He tends to veer a little to the left, which is a bit scary but I’m sure in a few days he will improve. We found our B&B without any serious problems and luckily the owners were there to greet us even though the check-in time is between 4 and 6pm and we arrived at 11pm.
We were greeted by Stephen and Pauline and their dog Phoebe (ask tomorrow what breed Phoebe is). Sasha was delighted to meet Phoebe and play with her as we were shown to our beautiful “Garden Room”. It has a detached entrance and is located at the end of the picturesque garden on the second floor with an adorable little balcony. There are a little table and two chairs on the balcony and it overlooks a vast expanse of the fields and some kind of fairy tale looking tower in Chipping Campden (do not know what it is yet). Our room is actually consists of 2 rooms – the first room has a huge sofa bed which is fully prepared for Sasha with beautiful linens and pillows (he actually called it a king’s bed because of fancy decorations on the pillows). There is a flat screen TV with built-in DVD player.
There is a big collection of movies to choose from in one of the drawers of the chest and there is plenty of space for Sasha’s clothes. There is a wide selection of biscuits, teas, coffees, creamers, electric kettle, teapot, sparkling glasses and cups for three people. There are little candies in the dish and beautiful red flowers (gvozdiki) in the vase. There is a comfortable chair to sit on. Room feels very cozy and cheerful. The first room is connected to the second by the hallway with two closets - plenty of space to hang our jackets and coats. On the other side is a sparkling clean modern bathroom with a nice shower, fluffy white towels and plenty of fancy soaps, shampoos, lotions and creams. Everything that I could possibly think of is there.
The second room has a beautiful king size bed with luxury linens, two night tables with lamps, modern desk, chest and two mirrors. The window overlooks the Chipping Campden and I can see other beautiful cottages from it. All furniture is made of light-colored wood like maple. It is nicely decorated with beautiful red drapes, matching bed cover, floor vase with a pretty Ikebana and a bright picture with various veggies and fruits on the wall. Small touches like a basket containing instant shoe shine pad, lint roller, sewing kit, nail file are everywhere. Fresh flowers, candy, bottled water in the room, soft, fluffy bathrobes for him and her (black and white) – the list goes on and on. Attention to details in this wonderful B&B is incredible! I realize that I’m describing it in too much details but I’ve never stayed in the B&B before, although I did stay in some pretty nice hotels like
Fairmont, Hilton, Pan Pacific this place is truly special in my opinion. Big thumbs up for the owners!
We spoke with Stephen (the owner) and he told us that he built the house from scratch himself 5 years ago. He is a builder and owns a construction company. So, even though the house looks like the rest of Cotswolds it is very new. I love warm yellow color of the Cotswolds stone and thatched roofs of the houses, adorable gardens and the light breezes. We are so lucky to be in Cotswolds on such a nice sunny spring day. Sasha and Phoebe the dog really took liking to each other. Phoebe follows Sasha around, she loves to catch little rocks that he throws and chews them before spitting and asking for more! Sasha loves playing with Phoebe.
We walked to Chipping Campden and had lunch at the King’s hotel – chicken Cesar salad for Boris, Eggs Benedict for me and cheesy tube pasta with magic green beans for Sasha. He loved green beans and ate them all! We had English breakfast tea and apple tart with vanilla ice cream for desert. After lunch we got into our car and decided to explore
which are located nearby. Hidcote Manore Gardens
The roads are really narrow here and still hard to navigate for Boris but we got there in 15 minutes and bought a family ticket for 23 pounds. We had 2 hours to explore the gardens and thought that gives us plenty of time. Not quite so! The gardens are simply amazing and I would love to linger and stay there all day long. They are designed as multiple outdoor spaces, almost like outdoor rooms – each has its own name and theme: Old garden, Red Borders, Kitchen Garden, Beech alley, Rose walk, etc. We took incredible number of photos – will see how they will come out.
Noel Arms Hotel (dinner)
May 31, 2010
Our second day in Cotswolds was just as amazing as the first one