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  • Writer's pictureJane Ritzenthaler

Touring the Cotswolds in Style

My hosts, Simon and Joanne, returned from their holiday in Morocco Friday evening (actually early Saturday - it was 3:30 AM when they arrived home!). After catching up on our experiences, Simon asked me if there were any places I would like to go that afternoon. I admitted there was one village, Bibury, I would like to see. It is located a bit further away, and I hadn't wanted to impose on the very gracious Andy any more. So after lunch, Simon pulled the above beauty out of the garage. It's a 1961 Jaguar Mark IX, which has been lovingly restored, mostly by one of the previous 3 owners. As we headed out, we certainly turned a number of heads!

Bibury is located on the River Coln, and the cottages along Arlington Row were originally monastic wool barns. In the 17th century, they were converted into weaver's homes. Now domestic dwellings, they overlook the Rack Isle, a four acre water meadow where cloth was once hung out to dry. We wandered about the village, and stopped in at the Church of St Mary, with its beautiful carved ceiling and stained glass windows.

In search of lunch, we decided to drive on to Northleach, and located the Ox House and Wine Bar. Simon is a connoisseur of fine wines, having been the buyer for many years of wine for an upscale grocery chain in the UK. We had a late lunch of quiche and lovely glasses of wine from Australia and France.

Our next stop was the Cotswold Woolen Weavers in the tiny village of Filkins. Once again I wished I had brought a much larger suitcase...and that I didn't live in such a warm climate! Rooms full of coats, sweaters ("jumpers" in the UK), blankets...I succumbed to a beautiful cashmere scarf that will have to wait until next winter to be worn.

As if the afternoon wasn't already full, Simon had one last stop in mind on the way home. The Double Red Duke gastropub in Bampton. The first floor is a myriad of small rooms outfitted with sofas and chairs, dining rooms, and of course, the bar. Upstairs are 19 rooms.

We finally arrived back in Aston, and four hungry critters happy to see us! While Simon prepared steak, roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables, I reluctantly headed up to pack. My flight was at 10:30 Sunday morning, and with an hour's drive to Heathrow, Joanne and I would be leaving by 7:30. The plane was full, the flight long (10-1/2 hours), and I was more than ready to be home! I was greeted in the driveway by my cat, Tigger, whose meows told me all about what he had endured. He's barely left my side since.

Another amazing trip to England behind me...and hopefully, more to come!

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