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!)
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.