The Smoking Dog

7 January 2015

Over the Christmas period I had two weeks of doing absolutely nothing.  Really - nothing!  Nothing at all! Not even a bit of art (which I agree is shameful!)

The reason that it was two full weeks was because the weekend before Christmas (and this is something that we have never done before) 0H and I took ourselves off for a long weekend hotel break in the Cotswolds.

We were lucky enough to find a brilliant little hotel which took dogs. For not only did we have my own Whippet X but we also had Son No 1's whippet – both seen in an earlier post modelling dog coats.

Now, while I have been to the Cotswolds on numerous occasions we explored a tiny corner previously unknown to both of us. The hotel was halfway between Malmesbury and Tetbury.

So on the Sunday, dogs in tow, we explored Malmesbury. What a delightful little town, built on a hill and rather dominated by what is left of a mediaeval monastery.

And we had a wonderful pub lunch in this pub. I am not usually one for pub signs that just occasionally you do see gems like this one. Personally, I think this one deserves a place in the folk art collection at Compton Verney.   (Oh, and it was dog friendly and even kept Boneos behind the bar!  Perfect for a doggy loving family like ours!)

Tetbury, which we explored on Monday, is very picturesque but somewhat dominated, in my opinion, by its Royal resident. The Prince of Wales lives a couple of miles outside of Tetbury and while I do not believe for a minute that he pops into town to do his shopping (I'm not sure the Prince of Wales knows what shopping is!) his presence rather dominates the town, or rather the atmosphere in the town.

Now you can't blame Tetbury. If I were a local businessman I think I too would probably cater for the tourist trade. It was all a bit Tweedy and country, if you know what I mean. And how many antique shops does a small town need?

I think for me it's really hit home when in the window of one of the antique shops I saw a pretty little set of half a dozen plates with the handsome price tag of £60. 

I have the exact same plates, acquired from a local charity shop for £5. You can see from the mince pie crumbs that I use mine!

But don't let me put you off. It is a little corner of England worth exploring. There were some great walks in the locality but the weather was so grim that we didn't really manage to explore them. 


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, such a shame you didn't find the studio of Angie Hughes in Tetbury - textile and foiling diva - I've done a workshop with her. Gilli @ Tasty Textiles & Stitched Together

    1. You are of course quite correct, Angie is in Ledbury (which is not in the Cotswolds at all!!)

      I bet she'd love it if she knew you had called her a textile and foiling diva!

  2. It sounds as if you had a lovely break, Hilary. All the best for the new year!

  3. I prefer Malmesbury to Tetbury - I agree with your description1
    I think Angie Hughes is in Ledbury not Tetbury!

    1. Yes - really liked Malmsbury. Some of it looked like it was clinging to the hillside a bit precariously. Definitely a place to return to.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this article! I have just launched a book on The Whippet care, here is the link


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