Monday, 16 March 2015

The nearby village of Broadway ...

Already March 2015 and an appointment this morning out of town  had led us in the direction of Broadway and most conveniently around lunchtime!

We presumed that due to a road closure on the main access into the village things were unusually quiet and it was almost too easy to find a parking space! - obviously this morning was "just meant to happen .."

It was a glorious sunny day and was it too risky to  believe Spring had arrived ?  ... Broadway is a beautiful village,  just a 10 minute drive from our cottages in Chipping Campden, - and walkable to others who wish to avoid the roads and follow the muddy trails up onto the Cotswold Hills, passing the wonderful scenic Broadway Tower and down into the village itself.

Today we chose to have lunch at The Swan, we've been here many times before and the food in the restaurant to the side is always good :-)  The place itself sits more or less opposite the village green, with a view of the road which leads to the nearby village of Snowshill.

On leaving The Swan the rest of the village beckoned us to take a saunter and as the High Street looked so inviting in the sunshine it was very easy to oblige. 

There is a lovely selection of independent shops and restaurants in Broadway, they stand side by side decorating the wide path & 'broad - way' of the High Street and today in particular the beautiful Cotswold Stone they were built from so long ago was literally glowing.

 As usual, when we visit the village we paused for a while in front of "Leamington Cottage" - although these days it is better known as   BROADWAY COOKSHOP
My mother was born here, and where my great-grandmother, grandmother & grandfather had a Tea Rooms cycle hire & tobacconists X amount of years ago!  ...  I remember my mum telling me how my grandmother used to scrub the tiles on the alley floor on her hands and knees every morning ..... and now here I was looking out from the alley way onto the Village Green thank goodness my boots weren't muddy ... so feeling no guilt :-) !

... and at the risk of becoming too sloppy and sentimental
this was my mum's  bedroom window !


There is a good selection of Tea Rooms and Restaurants to choose from
in Broadway.
The Lygon Arms Hotel
The Broadway Deli
Beautiful houses on the High Street
... from our cottages Broadway is walkable, depending on your ability - on weekdays & Saturdays you can also take the bus back to Chipping Campden if necessary. 
There is a Tourist Information in Broadway, Shops, Galleries, Tea Rooms, & Museums
By car,  the drive between Chipping Campden would usually take no more than 10 minutes.
 -and before leaving Broadway,  - I couldn't resist a trip down Memory Lane !.....
My Mum, (and my uncle!) outside their home

Leamington Cottage back in the days!


 My mum on her pony - Broadway High Street
(in front of what is now  The Broadway Deli )
 .... Happy Mothers Day 2015!
... will keep you posted :-)


Friday, 6 February 2015

Procrastinating in the Cotswolds!

This morning drawing back the curtains at home I revealed a crisp February morning, and after a  frosty start to the day bright sunshine was now streaming down on Chipping Campden.
I had so many plans for the day ahead  mostly involving a paintbrush, roller & masking tape accompanied  by my faithful friend Magnolia,  however the day outside looked so inviting  I decided to put that on the back boiler & head off down to:
I had been conscious of the fact that my last  blog had been Christmas themed and even that had been delayed and written in January!  ....  and with new temptations on the High Street alongside such beautiful weather I was suddenly inspired to bring my Blog up to date!
Campden was quiet this morning,  but that's surely an advantage when all you want to do is walk around the town.  The Cotswold stone walls of the cottages seem to glow in the sunshine and add  brightness to the back lanes and alley ways.

I crossed the road from Sheep Street, and headed towards the Market Hall.
..... through the arches and over cobbles!
... stopping briefly to take a look at the new Marker Stone for the beginning
(or is it the end?!) of the Cotswold Way Footpath

On the pavement above the Market Hall one of my favourite shops "Frankie Doodle" I usually find it very difficult to pass the door without having to go in for a "mooch" and today was no exception as unfortunately for me I also find it very difficult to have a mooch without buying anything! 
As hard as it was to drag myself away from Frankie Doodle I knew there was another treat in store nearby, as a new shop appeared on the High Street this week which I had yet to visit.
a great little Deli, with wonderful cheeses & wines
specialising in local produce.
Stepping through the door I could tell instantly this FAB little shop will be a popular addition to the many other great shops in Chipping Campden.
 The perfect place for guests at our cottages to pick up treats for that all important summer picnic or locally produced goodies to take back to the City!
 I was strangely drawn to the wine corner!  but resisted temptation this time - in favour of a bowl of assorted olives which .... as I am writing this can add an update *** were delicious :-)
Tokes also stock Cotswold Traiteur meals - delicious pre-made dishes which will no doubt be regular visitors to the ovens at Crafty Cottage & Number Six !
...  I particularly liked the sound of the Classic Chicken Chasseur, described as having diced free range chicken, white wine, mushrooms, tomatoes and tarragon .... in fact, it very definitely has to be said "yum yum pigs bum" !! 
I crossed the road from Tokes, out of the sunshine and into the shade on the opposite side of the High Street.  I called in to Stewart Antiques briefly to say "Hello"  ... this is the kind of place where you can never look at the person you're speaking to, - as there's so much adorning the walls, cabinets shelves & tables, you don't want to miss anything!  - a real treasure trove.
I do love this time of year,  we are just at the brink of seeing more colour in the gardens and Drinkwaters never fails to disappoint with some of the first signs of Spring!
bulbs, snowdrops, daffodils   ....
 Walking back towards Sheep Street I remembered how I was returning home to continue decorating ....  or on reflection ....  maybe I should take a quick walk up Dovers Hill !!
....  where it has to be said
was absolutely Freeeeeeezing !!!
 but worth it for the fabulous views ...

A beautiful place to visit

Dovers Hill is just above Chipping Campden & where we host
The Cotswold Olimpicks later on in the year!

Cotswold Olimpicks
easily walkable from the centre of town,
(about 45 mins walk from our cottages)

No sign of any sheep up there today,
but plenty of evidence that they've been there lately!


I did catch a glimps of one on the way home though - they're never too far away !!

So that was how I spent this cold but sunny morning in the Cotswolds.
I still have to finish off my decorating at home
 but I wouldn't have missed this morning for anything :-)
.....  and as usual, I will of course be keeping you posted!


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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Belated Christmas Blog ... and the New Year ahead!

Can't believe we are so far into January already!  .... apologies for this belated Christmas Blog which was started way before Christmas with all good intentions .....   maybe it will help to inspire someone somewhere to book one of the cottages for Christmas 2015 !!

.......... For me one of the first things I love about this time of year is when Christmas decorations slowly start creeping into the shops, - and this year has been no exception:   ..... come off it?  ... everyone loves this time of year don't they? ... it has been far too early to say "Happy Christmas" to anyone - and way too early for most to put the tree up at home, but it's absolutely great to wander around the local shops & antique centres browsing through all the Chrimbo Decks!

Barn Antiques, and the Stratford Antiques Centre (Dodwell) are easily reachable from Chipping Campden, - and both worth the occasional mooch throughout the year  -  neither proved to disappoint and their Christmas displays were lovely!  ...
We were infact looking for antique pine, - perhaps a chest, table, cabinet for Number Six.  ..... we left with a yoke pail !  .... not the first time we have been distracted and nice to have found something quirky which we have since filled with old copies of the Cotswold Journal and kindling for the wood burner at Number Six 
 The Yoke Pail with papers/kindling
ready for the next guests

Drinkwaters decorated for Christmas

I wouldn't be the first person to say one of my favourite local shops is Drinkwaters on the High Street in Chipping Campden. 
Full of lovely local fruit & veg, flowers & preserves - (great lemon curd & honey!)
it was great to see their Christmas Wreaths hanging outside with bunches of mistletoe
... not to mention the stems of sprouts - essential for the Christmas table!
December 5th,  at the Campden Christmas Market

Lots of goodies on offer,  - Judith from Shakespeares Sisters Soap - Stratford upon Avon displaying her wonderful soaps and balms, - sprigs of holly amongst the home made biscuits, jams and pickles.
On Tuesday we decided on a quick trip to choose Christmas Trees,  we were looking for a large tree for the Crafty Cottage garden, - and 2 smaller trees to decorate the interiors of each cottage.

 and after some trepidation "Hey Presto" !  Paul and I added a little Christmas cheer to Sheep Street!
Wednesday morning, and a quick trip to the Fosseway Garden Centre Moreton in Marsh,

A wonderful display of Christmas decorations, and outside Christmas Roses & berries!
... but it was soooooo cold, - even the Sheep at the garden centre were wearing boots & woolly hats!

Back at Crafty Cottage and Number Six, the smaller Christmas trees have been placed into each cottage to re-adjust to the warmer atmosphere,  - with guests due to arrive at the weekend at Crafty Cottage - I was eager to decorate the trees  .... which I hope you agree look lovely !?


The resident sheep were duly attired with Christmas Hats, and the cottages were decorated for guests due to spend Christmas in the Cotswolds!
And in the same fashion as previous years - the New Year followed very quickly!
With guests due to arrive in both cottages to celebrate the new year, we had a quick changeover - and then could return home to our sofa, falling asleep in front of the Christmas telly with one hand in the Quality Streets! ...  Chipping Campden appeared to be ticking over nicely as we bumped into familiar faces & locals in the pubs over Christmas, - and it was nice to welcome visitors to the town too!  ...  things are generally quiet as you can imagine at this time of year - but as the weather was so mild with a good quantity of winter sunshine which seemed to encourage more people to get out and about!
.....  and so, the guests left and the decorations have been taken down, - We have had great feedback from everyone thankfully, and have already taken many bookings for the year ahead including one for New Years eve 2015-16! which is great.  Our new website was launched just prior to Christmas which now includes both our cottages Crafty Cottages  and we continue to be excited to see what the future brings :-)
... whatever happens I will be sure to keep you posted!