Monday, June 25, 2012

Merry Old England, Revisited


 Burford is one of the wonderful villages where we stayed in the Cotswalds. This is our hotel, The Burford House, located on the High Street. It is a beautiful 17th century building, and we were treated wonderfully. We were the only guests, as it is a small hotel, and they were so very gracious to us. Our dinners were elegant. I have to admit that a couple of ladies did put the napkins on their heads. What can I say? They looked like crowns. The owner even brought a life size cardboard Queen Elizabeth out to dine with us. One of the best things was seeing every town and storefront decorated for the Queen's Jubilee. Banners and pennants were everywhere.
 This is the view from our room. We had a stairway that was our own entrance to the courtyard. We stayed for four nights at the Burford House. It was our own little home!
Shopping was delightful. I am always drawn to the bookstores and here I found one of my favorites. This is the Madhatter Book Shop. Who could imagine-a book shop and hatshop in one place!! We could actually try on English hats-big,luscious,flowery hats, and dainty little fascinators. How I wanted one, but being a milliner in my past life at Living History Farms, I actually can make my own. But where would I ever wear it? I think that would be my dream store, if I were to be a shopkeeper. Hats and books-my idea of a perfect combination. I loved the shopping in Burford. I really didn't do a lot of shopping. Now that I am back, I think of things I wish I had bought. My  friend, Gerry, and I had a great time in the charity shops. And the little pharmacies. I am fascinated by the everyday papers and envelopes. I know, easily pleased. Needlework shops are another favorite of mine. I really wanted to buy some yarn as a remembrance of the trip, but didn't find anything. Most shopping was in little bits and pieces, except for the entire day along this street. And of course, there were the gift shops at the historic houses we visited. I found myself spending as much time admiring the buildings and the people as studying the merchandise. I will never get used to the idea that so many of the houses and shops are centuries old. I love it and would live like that if I could. My own little cottage was built in 1918 and always seems very old here in Iowa.