Now, where were we? Oh yes, Pear Tree Park & Ride in Oxford. From there we headed south to The New Forest area, which we love. I love the wild horses in the New Forest. After seeing them running free, I hate to see horses all trussed up and saddled up with a great fat bottom on top controlling where they go and what they do. (Just saying how it is near us with the horsey people - quite a lot of Hugh Jarses).
Before going to our hotel, we stopped off at Lyndhurst for lunch and for Roberto to drool over the Maseratis on display at the dealership which is right next to the Mailman's Arms pub. For a one street town, Lyndhurst is always busy and there's always something going on. While we were there, a group of hot rods came through for the hot rod festival at Beaulieu, which we went to on the Sunday.
As soon as we arrived at the Beach House Hotel at Milford-on-Sea, I just loved it. It reminded me of Gull's Point from one of the Miss Marple stories, and funnily enough (some might say spookily) when I switched on the TV later on, that very same episode was on. A lot of the original features in the Beach House have been kept, like the oak panelling throughout the hallways and dining rooms and a lot of the old squashy leather chairs and sofas. Every room has recently been re-vamped and ours was absolutely lovely, not like a normal hotel room at all but like a very comfortable bedroom in a beautiful house. From our room we heard an argument later on at night in the kitchen with the German manager, and one of the chefs. We heard a lot of clattering and banging around and then we heard her say, "You veel obey me!" Don't know what that was all about but it gave us a laugh anyway.
We went to the very popular Saturday market at Lymington. It runs the whole length of the main street on both sides. We discovered the old cobbled back streets that go towards the marina and we had a wander round. I don't know who these people are in the photo but we must have been caught up in thousands of Japanese tourists' photos while we were down south. Can you imagine the folks back home? "Who those people in photo? Why they in evely photo?"
I will skip over Beaulieu Museum. Although it is lovely to visit, we have been there three times and there's only so many times I can look at the James Bond/Formula 1 cars etc. I liked the hot rod festival though.
On the Sunday night we stayed at a de Vere hotel in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. They do a really good deal on Sunday nights - double room for £39. The rooms are quite small but very clean and modern and tastefully decorated. We were a couple of stingypants and didn't want to pay £10 each for breakfast (I didn't want a big fried breakfast anyway) so we decided we would find a nice village in the Cotswolds on the way up and stop off. As it happened we passed a brand new American Diner called Cherry Pie Diner in Faringdon. We were so pleased to find it. The waitresses were all dressed in 1950s style skirts with flat shoes and bobby socks and hair tied back in pony tails. They music was the Everly Brothers on a loop. It was like stepping onto the film set of Grease. The breakfast was really good and the service was excellent. It's nice when a plan comes together isn't it?
Next stop, Stratford Upon Avon Park & Ride. It was easier than finding a car park and the town was only a 5 minute ride from the bus stop. I'm not really that interested in Shakespeare and I must admit I only went to see The Merchant of Venice years ago at the theatre because Dustin Hoffman played Shylock in it. Actually, I quite enjoyed it. Anyway, we did a tour of the town and walked down to the river to watch the riverboats, bumping into a couple we know from our village along the way. It was just a bit too busy for me and there were millions and millions and millions of Japanese tourists.
There are so many great places to visit in the UK. We're looking forward to planning our next little trip.
See you soon, mes amis.