Well, that's Stratford done for another year! Once again Stuart and I enjoyed a lovely weekend there and this year thankfully, it didn't rain.
Boats on the River Avon
A change of scenery is always a breath of fresh of air to flagging spirits and Stratford with its cultural hustle and bustle, great restaurants and generally 'interesting things to do', never fails to capture our interest.
Late afternoon sunshine on the Guild Hall
We love to mooch along the river Avon and potter around the town's medieval streets and of course, I always have my faithful camera close to hand ...
The Holy Trinity Church
The Bard himself is interred within Holy Trinity Church, but aside from that cultural claim to fame, I think the Church is an absolutely beautiful building and I love its tranquil churchyard, set back from the riverbank.
We strolled along the river for a while before heading back into town to our favourite eatery 'The Garrick Inn', which claims to be the oldest public house in town, dating back as far as the fourteenth century.
After imbibing several glasses of beer, a very tasty meal of sea bass cooked in a delicious dill and butter sauce and a large Irish coffee (yes Dad, made with Jamiesons Irish whisky, just as you taught me!) in the candlelit restaurant, it was still light outside, so feeling rather mellow (!) we decided to continue our walk, with the intention of finding Anne Hathaway's Cottage for the first time ...
Anne Hathaway's Cottage!
And after a long walk through several inter-connecting lanes, there it was, a signpost to Hathaway cottage! Other day trippers had long since retreated to their coaches and departed for evening meals, so we were delighted to be alone, peeking over the garden gate to see this picturesque thatched cottage where Shakespeare's wife once lived, with its quintessentially English flower gardens blooming with lupins and poppies ... it felt just like finding hidden treasure!
Thatched cottages off Tannery Lane
Failing light reminded us we had a long walk ahead, so happy with our lovely historical find, we headed back along Tannery Lane as dusk fell, for a well-earned brandy night cap back in the hotel bar.
The Clock Tower at twilight
Needless to say, waking in time to exhibit at a teddy bear show in the Civic Hall on Sunday morning after the Saturday night before, wasn't easy! However, one of the perks of staying away overnight is a full English breakfast and there was no way Stuart was going to miss ours! He chivvied me out of bed and down to the restaurant, before plying me with sausage, bacon, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes, setting me up for the bear-filled day ahead.
All set up, just in the nick of time!
After breakfast, we set up my stand, fluffed the bears and waited for the show to begin ...
A pre-show peek inside the Teddy Bear Artist Event show
Although it could have been busier, it was a lovely, well organised, very friendly show (with fabulous home made cake!) The day passed in a gentle hubbub and I was thrilled to see my little 'Pops' bear go home with a very happy raffle supporter. At four o'clock we packed everything back into the car and were safely home in Kent again, four hours later. Today I'm as tired as a tired thing can be ... but no matter, we've had a lovely weekend!