In England: Day the First

Waterside Hotel, Grasmere, Cumbria

Katie W. and I are happily ensconced in our cozy little room, though it wasn't quite so cozy when we arrived. The heat was off and in our sleep-deprived state, we had some difficulty determining how it should be turned on. That's all right now, and I'm having tea thanks to the provision of this establishment. There was a tea tray, ready and awaiting us, complete with Bronte biscuits.

We were met at the Manchester airport by our Casterbridge tour guide, Mr. John Browne, a congenial gentleman who bade us "a warm welcome to a cold England." It is cold here and very damp. As we climbed north into Yorkshire, the mist and fog thickened to a drizzle. We tramped about the narrow cobbled streets of Haworth, trying to avoid the cars that came whizzing around the corners of the shops, making visits to the Bronte Parsonage museum and St. Michael's Church where Patrick Bronte preached. We lunched at the White Lion Pub, then took a walk up onto the heathered moor where sheep were grazing until we disturbed their peaceful repast.

Taking Tea at the White Lion

Lace and Slate

Haworth Street

The Moor

Heather in the Mist

House in Haworth

Our driver Steve brought the coach to meet us at the top of the hill, and we drove to Grasmere, a trip of about two hours, where we are staying for two nights at the lovely Waterside.
It felt so good to good to freshen up before dinner and then enjoy an elegant three-course meal served in the dining room! The meal began with bread and butter, then for starters, I chose cream of vegetable soup; following it, chicken with a most exquisite cream sauce, broccoli, carrots, and potatoes. Audra shared her creme brulee. Dessert in England is followed by tea or coffee. We spent nearly two hours over dinner. What luxury, what pleasure! How will we ever concede to the privations of student life again? I confess my expectations for this trip were far less grand than the reality entails.

Being in England feels like coming home to me. I've so long dreamed of being here, traveling country roads, walking village streets, and here I am at last! It is just as I imagined it would be, down to the quirky nooks and crannies of this hotel that was built long ago, and I love it! Grant says it is one thing to appreciate another culture, but its quite unecessary to get all googey about it, indicating that I am too far gone on England for all sensible purposes.

It is time to get some sleep, so in closing, I shall leave you with the words of Sir Grant, who just came by our door to say "Good night, people in that room!"


llane said…
you look adorable, i am in love with your red hat!!! your pictures are exquisite, as are your descriptions. oh, i remember the formal dinners in the dining room at our hotels in London & Stratford and the luxury of just sitting there, enjoying good food and excellent company. we never take the TIME here in the usa to really enjoy life. the brits really have it down though, especially the teatime bit! that's actually one of my favorite memories of being with you- at your little cottage, at your gramzie's house and then at your other home in bville... we always had such delightful meal/teatimes. the best.

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