23 September 2013

Cheerful in Chester

Dear Coco
We were welcomed to Chester by this cheerful Roman that looked like he had stepped out from an Asterix book, and hoards of little kids marching behind a Roman legionary all shouting and chanting up and down the streets. 
The streets were rather pretty - with lots of old timbered houses and this clock archway that we walked across to get to the cathedral
which we were keen to visit.
and which welcomed us in many different languages including Afrikaans before a very persuasive lady came up to us and managed to get a "voluntary" donation out of us very easily, if reluctantly on our part.
But it was lovely inside and we had a happy time looking for dragons and green men in the quire stall carvings 
and on the misericords.
There are wonderful stained glass windows all around the cloisters like this one is of Aidan, one of Mom's favourite saints, and who your friend Aidan is named after. He is reputed to have been kind to animals, and is usually depicted with a stag which he apparently made invisible to save it from the hounds.
and the inevitable dragon or two.
In the cloister is a modern sculpture entitled The water of life which is at odds with all the antiquity about.
We had tea and scones in the Cathedral Refetory tea room which is by far and away the largest  tea room I have had tea in.
Each table had fresh roses on it.
Back in Chester, we came across this little elephant who used to live in the Chester Zoo,
and we did a bit of window shopping in the elegant - if rather tatty - shops of Chester.
I really wanted these Radley scotty bags
and this purse, but they would have cost me half my holiday budget to buy so we said goodbye to Chester,
and struck out for our next - and last - B&B in the Derbyshire Dales, arriving just in time for tea and cake in the farmhouse lounge overlooking the beautiful - if rather wet and rainy - Derbyshire landscape around Earl Sterndale.
 The next morning we went to the Royal Crown Derby factory and museum and spent the entire morning browsing around the displays like this one on the Downton Abbey TV series
 that used their china for the series.
 There were lots of plates and objects with dogs on them,
 including a very fine Scottish Terrier paperweight.
We had tea and scones in their tearoom on some fine bone china too - although the rather harassed lady at the counter was far from fine!
 We then went to Haddon Hall, although the Sat Nav led us to a road closed and we nearly missed the cut off time of 4 pm last entry while we weaved around the narrow little roads of Derbyshire.
 Haddon Hall was beautiful - and Mom was happy to see it again after visiting it when she was 18 - just after the Second World War when she visited it with a relative who had actually been to a few balls held in this long hall.
 The gardens were lovely - in the misty rainy weather,
and there were interesting displays about the working dogs, like these turnspike dogs where they think the phrase "its a dog's life" came from.
 And these ancient spooky skeletons on the walls of the chapel ...
 There is also a wonderful Elizabethan knot garden - very difficult to tear ourselves away, but eventually we were kicked out,
and made our way home to our Braemar Farmhouse B&B where we had cup a soups and watched "Have I got more news for?" you on tv before collapsing into our comfy beds.
So Coco, I will continue with our travels later as just now as I have to go and say goodbye to Marie-Anne and Vincent who are off to school on this bright and sunny Monday morning.
We are nearly at the end of the holiday now - one more night here and one more on the plane and I will be home.
love to you all
from the Food Lady

No comments:

Post a Comment