Our August/Sept house sit is a gorgeous house in the small village of Henley-On-Thames that is 45 min North of London. A boating community on the River Thames, close to Windsor Castle.
And the house sit comes with the great Westie, Bella’s new boyfriend to be. How fun is that, gorgeous house, super cute dog and all for free! that is why we love house sitting 🙂 And the owners seem super fun and nice so on top of all the above, you meet the most interesting people you wouldn’t have in a hotel.
In reality I haven’t Truly driven in the UK, Darren has but not me, I’m too damn scared!
Forget the steering wheel on the right hand side and driving on the left hand side! that I can probably get figured out and get over.
What scares me to Death is the scariest, tiniest roads on the planet earth! Literally, *(like all of Europe) these are One lane streets, that in reality were really one horse cart or one horse paths, now covered in asphalt and meant to drive cars and Lorries (that’s truck in British!) and wait, drum roll, side by side meaning one in each direction!!!!
Two lane roads, one going each direction, where it was Really meant for one horse buggy not a car with side mirrors! Then they say, hey why not, lets make it two ways! Not a one way road with just one car but two directions AND drum roll again……..And, the locals park on the street as there are no garages or driveways! Now its a 3 lane road!!!!
Buses and double decker ones at that, with large delivery trucks, ALL go thru at 50-60 miles an hour. Lord help me, its white knuckles Daily to get in a car and go somewhere.
Ok now that I’ve done another one of my rants, I will add this: the English and the Europeans are the best damn drivers and make Americans look like babies! They drive doing all of the above and rarely are there wrecks. The best of them? –the crazy tour bus drivers, they drive those HUGE Rock Star buses thru these streets, turning in hair pin turns that a pony would have trouble carrying a rider, and never nick the side of a building or their bumper. Even though they make me faint and or throw up with fear as they come at us in our car, they Always make it with not even a hair breath of space between us, never hitting anyone or anything! just amazing to watch.
I don’t know if I will EVER learn to drive here, I can drive all over California at 80+mph with crazy ”Zonie” drivers, but here, its insane.
No surprise, you’ve heard all the stereo type about English food: its bland, its fried, its well, Its English!
The UK really is trying to shake that stereo type and there are great chefs and gourmet restaurants and a food awakening in jolly old England, And in some parts, they are really getting it figured out.
We had some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had in my life in London. Oh wait, but that’s not English food, that’s because the Thai chefs were cooking! hmmm that’s true. The Indian food in the UK is Awesome and wow hot! nothing bland there. Oh but that is because the Indians are cooking not the British. And yet, the Brits LOVE their Indian food the way Californians love their Mexican food.
Ok, so for the most part, the stereo type English food is well, just “ok” and very bland with no Wow factor. So my question is? Brits love Indian food for all its spices and heat, then why don’t they cook like that in their food?
We did find some REALLY good new food coming out of areas around Windsor in the country, North of London -there are some great restaurants. In fact, this is becoming the foodie area and people come from London to eat at the new restaurants and 5* chefs are opening up and creating super creative dishes.
Manchester has a small chain of private owned restaurants called The Botanists that the food was Wonderful.
But overall, I don’t quite get why England does continue having just “ok” food still. And of course don’t get me started on any menus having ORGANIC food on the menu, it just doesn’t happen ever!
My quest continues to find consistent good food and we’ll let you know as we post areas we are traveling, where we find that good tasty food. The good news is, the best quaint pubs that are old old always serve a great Pint so the meal isn’t totally lost with gorgeous atmosphere and a steady pint to quench your hunger!
1. London of course! It really is a GREAT city, Love it! You need at least 5 days and that is going all day every day to take it all in: Big Ben, House of Parliament, London Bridge, the Tower, China Town, Buckingham Palace, British Museum and just simply walking around and pub crawling.
2. Bath. Gorgeous gorgeous town, great shopping and walking around
3. Stonehenge. Hint: there are only 4 nights a year you can actually go beyond the ropes and touch the stones so be sure to go then: Winter/Summer Solstice and the Spring/Autumn Equinox
4. Windsor and Ascot and the surrounding country side area
5. PUBS old old PUBS, gorgeous interiors, history and crazy old
Bella is surrounded by all kinds of wildlife, not just the ones coming for the Isle of wight Festival!
(think of a modern day Woodstock) Fleetwood Mac be darned she says.
She much prefers the company of pheasants and grouse and badgers and flocks of sheep and rabbits, oh the rabbits, heh heh. Even blind she knows they are here and loves to get excited and riled up!
She is doing really well and loves to roll down the grass hills. She loves to roll into pubs in her Royal Pram and join us for a pint!