Late Friday afternoon saw us popping off to Dorset for a micro-break. Micro, because we were only there for 1 night, returning late on Saturday. Short though it was, we had a lovely time and I only wish that it could have been longer.
We stayed at the 'Little Court Hotel' in Charminster on the outskirts of Dorchester. It was a lot posher than our usual holiday accommodation and I was worried about lowering the tone. We tend towards the sartorially casual and travelling in Bridget adds a certain windswept air into the mix! I needn't have been anxious, however, the welcome couldn't have been warmer and the house and gardens were beautiful. We weren't there long enough to take advantage of the pool and tennis court, but the stunning views and quiet location made me want to sell our house in a little market town and head for the countryside.
We had visited Dorchester once before when the girls were small. Its fictional equivalent is Thomas Hardy's Casterbridge:
It's a fantastic place for a short break with museums galore and some lovely places to eat. Friday night saw us tucking into Thai food at one of the local restaurants. We didn't feel the need to do the museums again, so contented ourselves with a little wander round the centre before heading back to the hotel to enjoy the gardens some more.
Breakfast on Saturday morning was the vegan equivalent of the 'full English'. They even managed to cook the mushrooms properly - on many an occasion in the past, we have been faced with a portion of unseasoned, pallid, poached in their own juices shrooms. As Julia Child was wont to say: 'Don't crowd the mushrooms'!
We checked out and headed to Maiden Castle, an Iron Age fort first laid out in 600BC.
Bridget at Maiden Castle in the early morning mist.
I was very glad of my walking boots as it was all a little damp first thing in the morning.
Next on the list was Abbotsbury Swannery. This is the world's only managed colony of nesting mute swans, set on the site of an 11th century monastery. Again, we had visited here before, but it was well worth a second visit. There was a one way system in place to comply with Covid regulations but the cygnets and chick pea bhaji pasty at the cafe made the visit memorable!
Nearby is Chesil Beach where Barnes Wallis' prototype bouncing bomb was tested.
After lunch, we headed to the nearby subtropical gardens - buying tickets to both this and the swannery allows you a 25% discount. We hadn't been here before and were delighted by the variety of plants and the statues dotted around the place.
We popped back into Dorchester briefly to visit an antiques market there. I bought a small oak stool as a souvenir. We have a lot of house plants and I'm always on the lookout for things to lift them above Hamish's reach!
Last on the list before heading home was a trip to Cerne Abbas, a quaint village best known for its .........
At this point Bridget let us down badly. Her clutch started playing up, making changing gears a bit of an event. R was very stressed and wanted to get home as quickly as possible via the route with the fewest roundabouts/traffic lights. The A303 (nice view of Stonehenge) and the A34 were the best, if not the most scenic roads. The football match between England and the Ukraine ensured little traffic, so we eventually arrived home intact and very relieved. Bridget is now in the garage with her engine removed (only way to access the relevant bit), having a little think!
Other happies this month:
Finishing my Granny Chic dress. Actually, I finished it a while ago, but it is now warm enough to wear it. I'm not the best seamstress, but it will do for in the garden.
Winding up yarn for a pair of Kate Selene's 'Spiral Socks' . They have no heel, so I'm curious as to how they will turn out:
Finishing my Lockdown Scrappy Boxy Sweater:
An outdoor production of Noel Coward's 'Blithe Spirit'. Made more amusing when a male cyclist came into the park and stopped behind the stage to see what was going on, just as we were expecting Madam Arcati to cycle up. We weren't sure if it was going to be a gender fluid performance! He then got a taste for the attention and made various appearances throughout the play, despite furious looks from the organisers!
Finally, a trip with my friend, S, to Bristol Zoo. We hadn't seen each other for ages owing to the pandemic, so it was lovely to catch up. I nipped in to see E on my way home.
Well, that's it for this month. If you haven't been, I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Dorchester. A word of advice though: try and make the journey in a car with a fully functioning clutch!
Toodle pip for now. x