Tuesday, 17 August 2010

I gotta get outta here...!!

"...Lines form on my face and my hands, lines form from the ups and the downs, I'm in the middle, without any plans..."
'I'm Eighteen' - Alice Cooper.

I guess a good few of you know how it feels, trapped, staring at the same four walls every day, the same conveyor belt of work, the same colleagues' faces staring back at you, the same problems, the same ignorance and you just feel utterly fed up about it all. It has been like that for a good while now, just at the old day-jobs mind you, away from work, life is fantastic! So it was a great time for an out-of-the-blue weekend getaway.

Phil had hit the nail on the head booking us into The Dormy House Hotel in Broadway, the Cotswolds, it is set in some of the most beautiful countryside of the British Isles.

The Dormy House is an old farm building that has been converted into a hotel, set well back from any main roads, it's a really lovely little haven and highly recommended. The staff are all superb and will take full care of you all weekend, so if you're looking for a break why not pay them a visit yourself?

Saturday was spent just getting the bearings, we drove down to the villagey town of Bourton-on-the-Water which turned out to be a complete (and unfortunate) tourist trap. It reminded me of Barney in the summer. I'm from an old market town up north that gets very touristy in the summer months so had plenty of (unwanted) flashbacks. We had a stroll around, it was an OK place I suppose, the houses and lanes were lovely just completely spoilt with masses of tourists and tourist tat shops. It was Round Table weekend with a duck-race going on, didn't bother to take many photo's here but here's the glancing duck-race shot:

Exciting eh?! Quite!

Headed back to the Hotel to just collapse, both of us were knackered. Had a lovely meal that evening, great food, good wine and the staff were awesome. Moved to a sitting room for coffees with neither of us realising at the time how strong the coffee was....... it lead to a very restless night with very little sleep. Come Sunday morning we were more knackered than when we arrived, eeeurgh - note to anyone going to the Dormy House, take the after-dinner coffee with great caution!

Packed up the bags on Sunday and reloaded the car, it was just a short weekend break. Headed out to a place called Chipping Campden as recommended by one of the hotel staff and it was just perfect.

Now, a word of warning: I may bore you to death here as I love architecture, you can blame my art teacher forcing me to study Banister Fletcher as part of my art a-level for that!

Going briefly back to Barney here; Barney has its fair share of charming, 'olde-worlde', buildings, for example the Market Cross, alas it has also gone down the tourist pound route and as a result has lost all of its old charm. Most of the old family run independent shops have gone and the Wednesday market isn't much to write home about, a great shame. Chipping Campden however has kept its old charm, any new builds there are built to reflect the old houses, with narrow leaded windows and period correct stone masonry. How I feel it should be! As a result took loads of pictures so will run them off here.

The Market Hall:

Random selection of old buildings that caught my eye:

Architectural detailing:

The village's old Toll Listings:

I'd love an entrance to a home like one of these two *sighs*:

As you walk around the town centre there are lots of nooks and crannies, I had a look through a key hole to see what was behind a set of old wooden gates, lo and behold a path to a secret garden (rather chuffed with this photo as it was taken through the old key-hole!):

Quite a few of the buildings on the main street were undergoing renovation, I snapped this door with paint swatches on it, it looks rather funky as it is:

If it was me, I'd be tempted to paint each wooden section a different colour (as is but tidy it up), failing that would opt for the pale blue in the top right!

At the end of the high street we came to this building and I fell in love with it - does anyone want to buy me it please?

Imagine it with a rose climber, window boxes and a planted entrance similar to the ones shown before, something to dream about!

The photographs here don't do any of the buildings justice, it was an overcast day which was a shame.

Chipping Campden has a good collection of antique shops, family run cafes, potters, silversmiths, all sorts of cottage industry goods made in situ, and not one Starbucks in sight thank god! Let it be said however, thieves are not taken kindly:

And last but not least Phil managed to pick up a little hitch-hiker before we headed back to the city (which he popped back into the foliage before we left I hasten to add):

So all in it was a lovely (yet strong-coffee-induced completely knackering) weekend, definitely going back and would recommend it to anyone reading this here blog.

It's good to just kick back, take time out and relax now and again, forgetting all about life's problems.

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