Who’s watched the movie The Holiday? In a nutshell, the gorgeously leggy Cameron Diaz breaks up with her boyfriend in LA, does a house swap, ends up in the Cotswolds and meets local boy, Jude Law. Naturally they fall in love with each other and I fell in love with the Cotswolds!
Ever since I watched that movie I knew that I wanted to visit this beautiful part of the English countryside. So when my friend Mel asked if I would join her on a Cotswolds weekend, I jumped at the opportunity!
It was a little bitter sweet because after three good years in the UK, Mel was returning back to Australia. I’ve only known Mel for a few short months but she is a great gal that will be sorely missed here!
Before we got on the road, the three girls (Mel, Antonella and I) had to do a little rock paper scissors to see who would be driving our car…
We had originally requested a little golf but ended up with ‘the beast’ (see below).
Mel hadn’t driven for three years, Antonella had only driven on the other side of the road (she was definitely out!) and so I got behind the wheel for my first UK driving experience – thankfully we all made it out alive!
The Organic Farm Shop
First stop was technically Cirencester town (pronounced Cir-ren-ster not Cir-ren-ces-ter). We wanted to stop in at the farmers markets but they were cancelled because of the pouring rain – humph!
Instead we opted to drop in at the local Organic Farm Shop. We picked up some local cheese, eggs and other delicious organic goodies for us to snack on.
Chedworth Roman Villas
Next stop was Chedworth Roman Villas which was the home to the some of the richest people in England during the 4th Century. Today all you can see are parts of the ruins and replicas of what villas would have looked like inside.
HOWEVER… while the website did actually state they were open, they were…. you guessed it – CLOSED!
Given Mel wasn’t going to be back to the villas anytime soon, she gracefully popped over the fence and gave us a short history tour.
Our tour guide Mel told us that the ruins were discovered in 1864 by a local gamekeeper and subsequently excavated over time. During the excavations they found some seriously cool inventions like mosaics, bathhouses, loos (latrines) and even underfloor heating.
Those romans were way ahead of their time!
After all that cold weather and hard work (by Mel), our tummies were rumbling and we were in need of some hot food to warm us up!
We stopped in at Fossbridge Inn which was recommended as one of the most delicious pubs in the Cotswolds!
After some very indecisive conversations, we all ended up ordering the same thing – pies with slow roasted beef, chips and mash and LOADS of gravy!
The veg was definitely neglected!
Although we could have done with a nap after our delicious pub lunch, we ran back to the car and headed off to Bourton-on-the-Water (say that fast five times!).
Bourton reminded me of a little town from Wind in the Willows – it’s got beautiful sandstone buildings, tiny little doors and all the blossoms were out!
And yes it is ‘on the water’ as the name suggests, but this is the water… Not exactly the largest body of water you’ve ever seen!
We explored the village shops – full of cute knick knacks, toasty pubs and tea shops lined with sweet cakes. By this stage it was raining cats and dogs and we were all completely soaked!
That didn’t stop our little Peruvian friend Antonella from wanting to stand out in the rain to get a soggy picture with the ducks!
We decided we’d had enough of the weather so we drove to Cheltenham to our hotel for the night. We thawed out with some wine and nibbled on our local cheese platter!
On a whim, we ditched dinner and headed out for a series boogie in Cheltenham to work off all that cheese (there was some running man involved hence we won’t be showing our faces there again)!
Then we came home and put our weary heads to bed while counting sheep and dreaming of the pretty English countryside.
Actually there is one part of the story above that I did miss…
Can we please just take a quick moment to look at the extra ‘bed’ that we were given for the night. We didn’t suggest the bed was for a child and needless to say, none of us were going to fit (although I tried)! Thank goodness all that running man meant I was ready to pass out on the couch instead!
Now I’m really done! See you soon for Part II of the Cotswolds adventure!