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"It Will Rain Tomorrow." England Weathers The MaiTai Four.

"It Will Rain Tomorrow." England Weathers The MaiTai Four.

Old Dec 4th, 2013, 06:22 AM
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I didn't see it, Grandma, but I'll look for it. Thanks!

She also was married briefly to an illustrious relative of our own CW.
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 06:28 AM
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I'm reading along. Glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers the free range children with cheese sauce. I'm still chuckling about it.
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 06:29 AM
  #243  
 
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"I guess we made a Grave error." LOL You kill me, Tom!
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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"I guess we made a Grave error." LOL You kill me, Tom!
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 06:37 AM
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Doh!
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 06:41 AM
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lateday - By the way, Tracy loved that book, too, and regaled us with interesting Churchill clan stories throughout the trip. Sadly, I guess she forgot the part about where he was buried.

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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 06:51 AM
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....

She also was married briefly to an illustrious relative of our own CW......

It was CW's Uncle George, a colourful character



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Cornwallis-West
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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Great report, Tom. I know it takes a lot of time to keep notes and put this all together for us. Just want you to know it is very much appreciated!!!

And still waiting for that Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe from your hostess! Thanks!
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 05:08 PM
  #249  
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Thanks sarge…much appreciated. I will finish this up in a couple of days…
(holidays + work = crazy!) I will get that sticky pudding recipe up, too, and someone else has one, as well. Dueling Sticky Puddings!!! Gotta love it.


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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Hi Miss Prism,

“She also was married briefly to an illustrious relative of our own CW......” I believe you are speaking of Jenny Jerome, Sir Winston’s beautiful American born mother. George Cornwallis-West was years younger than she, actually about the age of Winston himself.

In any case, Tom’s visit to Blenheim evokes all sorts of associations with the whole Spencer/Churchill clans and their American connections. CW, who knew?
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 07:33 PM
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Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill is available on amazon and netflix. I remember being
totally enchanted.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 09:27 AM
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There are any number of Sticky Toffee Pudding recipes out there on google if you can be bothered to trawl through them.

I have an excellent recipe for Sticky Toffee Sauce, and because I am a lazy cook and don't have time to faff about with sponge puddings, I use either a pre-made sponge cake or any sort of shop-bought cake. Ginger cake is delicious, or at this time of year you can use panettone.

OK, for the sauce you will need:

2 oz (50g) butter
4 oz (110g) soft brown muscovado sugar
4 oz (110g) golden syrup
5fl oz (150ml) double cream (I think in the US you call it thick?)
a few drops of vanilla extract (optional)

To make the sauce, put everything except the vanilla extract and cream into a small, heavy-based saucepan. Leave over a moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved, then turn up the heat slightly and let the mixture quietly bubble away for 4-5 minutes - no longer.

Add the vanilla extract (not essence, if you don't have extract don't bother). Pour in the double cream - it will froth up, but give it a good stir and set aside to cool slightly.

Cut your cake into slices and arrange in a deep baking dish and then pour the toffee sauce all over. Bake in a pre-heated oven (375/190) and leave for 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cake is soggy with the sauce. Serve with cream or vanilla ice cream. I promise you this is absolutely delicious!

Another scribbled toffee sauce recipe I found in my folder and have also made on several occasions is even easier...

175g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar
125g (4oz) butter
200 ml creme fraiche or double cream

Put in pan, melt and cook 2 minutes.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 10:19 AM
  #253  
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I just gained ten pounds reading that!! Thanks!!!!

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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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Grandma: thanks for the dvd recommendation (Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill) on Netflix. It's arriving today.

julia: thanks for posting the recipe. Rich!
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 02:32 PM
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susan… hope you enjoy it! Think I'll watch a bit on Amazon Instant…...
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 02:57 PM
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Julia, we're going to try the recipe that Jane gave us at the Bramley House this weekend. If it's good, I will post it. If not, we will try yours for Christmas Eve (I love panettone). Thankfully, I will finish my last installment by tomorrow. Thanks for those still following along on this seemingly never-ending journey.

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Old Dec 7th, 2013, 07:40 AM
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<B>NEXT: Chapter Fifteen – Tower Trouble, A Stanton Drive-By, Fountain Penned, An Unscheduled Cotswold Walk, Below Parr, Give My Regards To Broadway, A True English Gentleman, I’m Melting, Mind Your Manor, One Man’s Junk Is…, Gardens Galore, The Last Cute Town, What Time Are We Leaving Again and My Sticky Love Affair </B>

Our final full day in England began with the news that our cats were still alive at home, which made us…and especially Kerouac…very happy.

Even though it was our last day, this would not be a relaxing one (we really don’t believe in relaxing because you never know when I’ll just keel over and we’d have to use our trip insurance for my lonely flight back in the cargo hold).

After another delicious English breakfast at Bramley House, we were on the road about 9:15. It had rained overnight, and the roads were a little slippery so Kim drove carefully. He hadn’t killed us yet, so why ruin a great trip. Speaking of driving, we found the British (for the most part) to be the most polite drivers we had ever encountered. Maybe they just saw the terror on our collective faces as we barreled down the highways and byways.

We had a full list of attractions and towns I had downloaded, and I hoped we could visit most of them before heading back across the pond. The first place to see was high on my list…and it was also high. Jane had given us great directions to Broadway Tower, but even with those directions and our GPS imploring us to go straight onto a very small road, we turned right and found ourselves in the town of Broadway...not the Broadway Tower.

We tried to find the TI, saw a sign and Kim parked in lot close (we thought) to the TI office. Tracy and I said we could zip over to the “nearby” TI and get directions. Unfortunately, the nearby TI was not as close as we had thought, but we did get to see more of Broadway than we had expected. When the woman at the TI asked where we had come from that morning, we said, “Chipping Campden.”

Her dry reply was, “So you missed it.”

“Yes,” I answered, “that’s why we’re here chatting with you and not at the tower.”

By the time we finally reached the Broadway Tower parking lot, the skies became bluer and bluer. One of the stories on why it was built in the late 1700s was so that the Countess of Coventry could see its beacon from her Cotswold estate at Croome Court in Worcestershire (now a National Trust property). Either that, or she could see her estate from the tower. Whatever the true story, it was built in 1798, and we were going to climb it.

The walk from the parking area to the tower afforded us some great views of the tower and some of the famed red deer, which we surmised must have been some of Rudolph’s illegitimate offspring. Kim and Mary decided the views out over the countryside were good enough from down below, so Tracy and I made the climb to the top (£4 apiece) on our own.

As we climbed the tower, at certain interludes there were exhibitions about its construction and other interesting tidbits of information. They include the fact that in 1943, while on a reconnaissance mission, a Royal Observers Corps plane crashed just 200 meters from the tower, killing all five aboard.

Also during the Cold War, Broadway Tower was used to monitor nuclear fallout in England, and they even built a bunker (Nuclear Bunker) about 50 meters from the tower.

The views overlooking the countryside were stupendous, and it’s said you could see the Welsh Mountains from up here. I told Tracy I was quite excited because this would be the first time I had ever gone “Wales Watching.” She shook her head, and I knew it was just about time to go back to the states. By the way, Broadway Tower is on the Cotswold Way for those of you wanting to hike the Cotswolds.

Our next stop would not end up really being a stop at all. We drove through the little town of Stanton (I think there was a town there somewhere) on our way to Stanway, where we wanted to go to the Stanway House & Fountain, which also has a Baroque garden (apropos since we had spent so much money we were almost Baroque ourselves).

This Jacobean manor house has the tallest gravity fountain in England, which we were looking forward to seeing. Sadly our tour guide (moi) left out one important detail…the house and garden shut down at the beginning of September and the place was all locked up for winter. Next time, I should probably read the brochure a little more carefully. At least we did get some nice shots of an adjacent church.

Hopping back in the car, we took the short drive to Winchcombe where we would visit our final castle of the trip. We drove by Hailes Abbey, but we passed on that as we had seen our fair share of abbeys on this journey.

In Winchcombe, after making the turn toward Sudely Castle, we all yelled at Kim that there was an open (free) parking spot. We felt this was a great coup (well, for about ten minutes).

As it turned out, our free parking space was nowhere near the castle and was located about a ½ mile from the entrance. However, it provided us with a lovely stroll through the Cotswold countryside, and since you’re supposed to walk in the Cotswolds, it turned out fantastic. You see, every cloud does have a silver lining…except the one that appeared overhead that dropped some measurable rain on us for the last ¼ mile.

We found Sudeley Castle to be much nicer on the outside than the inside. Inside the castle (no photos), we saw some displays that included clothing, letters and artifacts that we were not particularly interested in seeing. The old-time pedometer was pretty cool, since we were tracking our steps on this trip.

There was a movie showing in a small room that had lots of details about Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last (and fortunately for her) surviving wife. We probably would have stayed to watch it, but there was a guy in the back hacking up a lung (or two), and no one really wanted to carry a deadly influenza back on the plane.

The gardens at Sudeley were definitely the star attraction and very colorful. We walked into St. Mary’s Church (located on the premises) where Katherine Parr is buried. On the walk out of the property there were owls, peacocks and other assorted fowl. The peacocks seemed interested in us, while the owls didn’t give a hoot.

The town of Winchcombe did not look that charming to us (a fair was being set up…nothing like kiddie rides to destroy history), so we traveled back to our first stop of the morning…Broadway.

As we entered town, Kim talked up the charms of this place. “In your trip report, remember to give my regards to Broadway,” Kim said (and fortunately did not sing).

By now, we were pretty famished. At the edge of town we walked into a pub filled with what seemed like locals who were having a jolly good afternoon respite, and the pub’s official greater was right out of “Typical English gentleman” central casting. This older man (guessing mid to late 70s) at the Crown & Trumpet pub welcomed us like we were long lost relatives.

Sadly the pronunciation of the beer I ordered supplied Kim and myself with additional grade school humor opportunities. At this point, Tracy and Mary were getting hot. Oh, not at us, they had already tuned us out completely by the time we reached Bath. The heat inside the Crown & Trumpet had suddenly been turned up to near sauna-like proportions. Luckily the food was very, very good, so for the moment we all forgot that we were sweltering. At least our table was by a window that we quickly opened. It’s the only meal I’ve ever had where I lost weight.

Tracy and Mary shared a smoked chicken and tarragon sandwich on a baguette with a side order of butternut squash soup. Kim had a cheese omelette while I enjoyed a Steak & Guinness Pie, which was interesting because they didn’t sell Guinness to drink. The Crown & Trumpet was a winner. I just recommend they turn down the heat a tad.

Afterward, Kim and Mary wanted to go find a place where they were selling some arts and crafts, while Tracy and I had one more attraction to see on our Cotswold bucket list. Kim dropped us off at Snowshill Manor.

It seemed that half the people we ran into pronounced it “Snows Hill” while the other half said “Schnozzle.” Either way we wanted to visit this quirky place purchased in 1919 by Charles Paget Wade, described as “an eccentric architect and antiquary.” Writer J.B. Priestly called him, “My eccentric, but charming, friend of the fantastic manor house.”

The manor was a brisk 10-15 walk from where we purchased our tickets. We strolled past sheep pastures and beautiful gardens that we would explore later after going inside the house.

After walking for a bit, a tram came by, and the driver asked whether we wanted a lift to the manor. At this point we were pretty beat, so we hopped on and paid the £1 “donation” and off we went. I leaned back to relax for a few minutes before reaching the manor, but after about 100 feet, the tram stopped. “We’re here,” the driver said. Sure enough, had we looked left when we picked up the tram, we would have seen that we had nearly reached our destination.

Once inside, a docent gave us info on the house and its owner and off we went to explore this place crammed with a lot of “stuff.” Some of the rooms containing Wade’s treasures looked like they could be used in the television show Hoarders.

Those treasures included numerous bicycles, toys and even a room full of Japanese Samurai armor. I put on one of the helmets that weighed a ton (massage therapy should have that neck fixed by Christmas). There was also one room devoted to musical instruments. I found the manor more fascinating than Tracy, but that’s because I am a hoarder at heart (check out our garage). A part of the manor dates back to the 1500s, and substantial additions were made in the 1800s.

Adjacent to the manor is the Old Priest’s House, which is where Wade preferred to live. We walked through that home before perambulating through the various glorious gardens. It is a lovely setting and was a fitting last site to visit in the Cotswolds. The area made for a great spot to use the panorama setting on our camera.

Kim and Mary picked us up and said we had to go into the town of Snowshill where they had driven through a few minutes previously. Kim said, “This place is felony cute (Kim only uses that phrase for towns and women, not handbags bilboburgler).” He was right.

When we returned to Bramley House, we told Jane we would be unable to have breakfast the following morning because we needed to be at the airport early to catch our 12:30 flight. She nicely offered to provide us coffee and juice before we left.

When Jane walked away, Mary said, “You know something? Now that I think about it, isn’t our flight at 2 p.m.?” We had been under the impression our flight was earlier (thanks to me telling them that for the past two weeks), but as I walked up the stairs I was questioning myself (the unofficial tour agent). Sure enough, looking at our tickets our plane left at 2 p.m., so I hurried back downstairs and told Jane they were stuck with us for one more English breakfast.

It was a beautiful evening and we opened one last bottle of vino in the Bramley House backyard garden, toasted our good fortune and then it was off to the Eight Bells for the last supper. Dinner was excellent (as was the Ubu).

Tracy dined on Monkfish & King Prawn with Green Thai-style Curry over Basmati Rice, and a Lime & Coriander dressed Salad, while Mary had Seared Calves Liver set on a Buttered Mash with a light Smoked Bacon Jus and Seasonal Vegetables.

I had a delightful dinner of Sun-dried Tomato and Spinach Risotto garnished with Parsnip Crisps. We have no idea what Kim ate that night, because before we could write that down, we were served the dessert that I crave to this day.

Tracy and I had ordered Mr. Hawker’s Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce & Vanilla Ice Cream. Now I don’t have a clue who “Mr. Hawker” is, but he changed my life. Tracy and I did not talk the rest of the meal as we inhaled our sticky toffee pudding. (Tracy hardly ever eats dessert, but she was in “sweets heaven.”) Had we been in the privacy of our own home, I think we would have licked the plates clean.

We took our last Chipping Campden stroll after dinner and returned to Bramley House for a longer night’s sleep than we had thought earlier in the day.

After another wonderful breakfast the following morning, Kim guided us back to Heathrow (exactly a two hour drive from Chipping Campden…including a stop for gas…DIESEL…and a couple of missed turns). Our 16-day English adventure was complete.

<B>NEXT: Epilogue – Why I Don’t Blog and Our Final (and Somewhat Surprising) Impressions of England</B>
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Old Dec 7th, 2013, 07:54 AM
  #258  
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"We were almost Baroque ourselves" I just love this report.
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Old Dec 7th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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I Baroqued out laughing. Thank you, Tom.
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Old Dec 7th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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I'm stuffed.. and exhausted. Awesome! (I'm wondering where your next trip is.. probably already looking at places, aren't you?)
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