Thursday, February 28, 2013


We haven't been to Salisbury for ages.  Months, even. Not since we went down and stayed at Barb's place and took Gwen for a (very) early Christmas lunch in mid-November.

So we went last weekend.  Now as you may remember, if had been our habit over several years to stay at The Swan in Stoford. But now there are new people running it so we decided that it might be time to look for other, equally charming places to stay.  I had a look online and found that The Old Mill in Harnham had some weekend offers on.  Now we've stayed at the Old mill a couple of times, but lots of years ago.  We've eaten in their restaurant too, but also not for several years.  But when we did go, we really enjoyed it.  And you can't fault the location; it's just across the meadows from the cathedral and sits next to and even over the river Nadder.  So I booked us in for a couple of nights (having taken Monday off to allow for a leisurely trip back home) and off we went.

And it really was delightful.  I am fairly sure that I hadn't booked us into a "superior" double room - but that was what we got. We were right upstairs and had a lovely view of the river. We had lunch in the bar on arrival (I had a sausage sandwich, you might be astonished to learn - and it was delicious; the sausages weren't in the least bit salty or gristly or fatty and the accompanying chips were OK). Then we toddled out to Downton to see if we could find Matthew, late of the now abandoned Swan and who is now manager of the White Horse in Downton. There wasn't an opportunity to eat there (although we will make sure we do take the chance to eat there one day soon) but I must say that the cup of tea they made for me was excellent. Pub cups of tea are so often a disappointment! And then we dined in the restaurant at the Old Mill - and the food was exceptional. Our only problem was that we are off the booze for Lent and had no idea what to drink instead.  We each had an "adult" soft drink (elderflower presse for me; ginger beer for The Builder) but they didn't last long (there is only so much soft drink I can drink!) and we were reduced to drinking water with our meal.  There really must be something slightly more celebratory or even more interesting than water that isn't alcoholic, surely?

Anyway. We slept well in the ENORMOUS bed (I almost needed binoculars to see The Builder :-D ), made a good breakfast - although I had to be fairly restrained because we were going out to lunch - and then trundled into Salisbury for a quick visit to Waitrose and then to Currys . Then we collected Gwen and made our way out to Whiteley where were waiting for us Jeanette, Matthew, Rebecca, Evie - and Ian who is now back from his six month stay in Canada. There was also a visiting dog, Poppy,. who belongs to a friend of Jeanette and Matthew and who was spending the day with them while her human was off doing other things. We had a good time. Delicious lunch, a good natter; a play with Poppy; a tickle of Evie. A lovely afternoon.

Monday saw us heading to Warminster to visit Barb.  We had some things to drop off with her and she made us a delicious sausage frittata for lunch.  Then we came home - well-fed, full and very slightly fatter than we had been when we set off on Saturday morning!!

Japanese classes have started again. I am hopeful there won't be too many unscheduled breaks this half-term. If I don't go regularly I forget everything I've learned :-S

Click on the beautiful roof to reach the photo album

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