All Good Things Cometh to an End, as doth Fancy Titles Penned*

Friday morning I was torn between going back to the Cotswolds, exploring Blenheim Palace and Baddesly Clinton, all in different directions from Warwick. But common sense prevailed, and I decided to stick around Warwick.

First stop: Jamie’s office. Who wouldn’t want to work here?

Warwickshire Golf Club Warwickshire Golf Club Warwickshire Golf Club

 

As the sun was out, the Mill Garden behind Warwick Castle was open, and I had my chance to get up close with pretty flowers. There’s a £2 entry charge that you drop in the box at the gate. I even got to see the launch of the trebuchet at the castle from a distance.

 

Then, after a couple of rounds of Warwick town, because of diversions (the MOP fair has come to town), looking for parking, to the Lord Leycester Hospital. This is not a hospital at all, but a retirement home for ex-servicemen, with plenty of character and loads of history. And picturesque too.

Lunch was at the Tilted Wig, amidst all the chaos of the Mop set up right outside, in the town square. Then it was time to pick up Souvik, return the car, catch the train and find our way to London, to party the night away with our dear friends.

    *By which time you take this service for granted!

When all seemeth lost, hope shalt not*

It was one of those days when nothing wants to go right.

Souvik went to work, and I had a easy morning with a late breakfast, still digesting that enormous roast dinner at Jamie’s the night before. The forecast was cold and wet, and I thought, perfect for walking off all the big meals. The walk was very pleasant, not raining when I started off, but the drizzle started soon after, just as I stopped for a photo on the bridge.

Walking in Warwick

A short brisk walk later I was in the town centre, and walked up to the Collegiate Church of St. Mary. As I settled down to take some photos, I had the scary realisation that my purse was no longer around my neck. Exercising extreme self-control to not curse inside the church, I frantically texted Souvik, and dashed out to retrace my path. I was quite sure it would have fallen off on the bridge above, when I stopped to wear the rain poncho. Right near the hotel, so I would have to walk back all the way. Didn’t notice the rain and almost ignored the traffic, trying to get the internet connection on my mobile phone to look for Inna Aji’s mantra for recovering lost things. Couldn’t find the mantra, so repeated “Inna Aji’s mantra” over and over again! In the meantime, Jamie and Souvik had swung into action and started off to pick me up. We drove to the bridge, and voila! There was the purse in the exact same spot where I’d dropped it. I thanked the Lord, and the weather gods, and Inna Aji’s mantra, and we picked up Denise to have a quick lunch at the Rose and Garden.

After lunch, it was back to St. Mary’s Church to begin my tour. This church dates back to 1123, but was later rebuilt by Thomas Beauchamp. There were further additions, and a restoration after the church was mostly destroyed in a fire, but the crypt from the original structure is still persevered.

There was no more complaining about the weather; I was determined to walk everywhere. The Warwick Museum was closed, as was the Lord Leycester Hospital (it being Monday). I walked on to the St. Nicholas Park, only for a sighting of Warwick Castle from the bridge.

Walking in Warwick Walking in Warwick

Took a chance walking down Mill Street but the Mill Garden was closed too, because of the weather, I think. More great views of the castle from here, and some sneaky pictures of the garden from the fence.

A short foray into Smith Street, but now I was looking for someplace warm, and so headed back to the Thomas Oken Tea Rooms. My phone battery had died a while back, and there was no way to contact Souvik. I was chilled to the bone, but entering the Tea Room, I was charmed by the decor, and warmed by the hospitality, which included an iPhone charger to bring alive my phone.

Walking in Warwick Walking in Warwick

Souvik caught up with me a couple of hours later. Having spent all day indoors, except for the lunch drive, he couldn’t tolerate the cold and rain, so we settled for dinner at the hotel. I had risotto, Souvik his weekly quota of Chicken Makhani. Whoa, what a day!

*One of those titles by Souvik that actually makes sense

Whilst kings battle history rivers runneth crimson*

If you wanted to have glorious sunshine all the time you should’ve stayed back in Jakarta. In England, you should be thrilled to experience the wet weather, mixed with the cold, freezing your toes, noes, and everything in between. We did. The Mop left town in the dead of night, and the town square was restored to its former glory.

Walking around Stratford

The river that shone in the sun before could barely be seen, though the energy of the swans and ducks continued unabated.

Walking around Stratford

We ran into a Sunday market outside the RSC:

Walking around StratfordWalking around Stratford

Then it was time to pack and bid goodbye to the charming town of Stratford-upon-Avon, especially our hosts, Sue and Simon at the adorable Adelphi Guest House.

Walking around Stratford Walking around Stratford

Our friend, Jamie drove us from Stratford to our next destination, Warwick. Our first stop was Warwick Castle, their biggest attraction. The words ‘attraction’ and ‘theme park’ put a fear in my heart, and this one is owned by Tussaud’s. To our very pleasant surprise, not only is the castle very attractive, that is, well preserved and impressive, but the scenes depicting life in the medieval times are done beautifully, and you can see the stamp of Tussauds in the expressions of the models. Climbing up the turrets in the castle, you can see the beautiful views of Warwick town and the landscape beyond. The river below is Avon. The theme shows we saw were fun too, especially the Trebuchet launching the fireball.

Did you see the very realistic expressions of the wax models above? Hah, one of them is a real person. Can you guess which one? He appears in a couple of different scenes.

Warwick Castle was first built in 1068 by William the Conqueror, then rebuilt in stone in the 12th century, and fortified over the years. Click the link to learn more about its history. The visit took up a good 3 hours, plus some more with kids I suppose. We loved it!

*Title credit – guess who!