Ummm, yeah. So here's where we're staying.
Not too shabby, right?!
I was prepared for anything, but this place is a gem. We took the train up from London yesterday -- an hour-long trip -- and hopped in a cab at Oxford for the quick drive out to Witney, where our hotel, Eynsham Hall, is located.
Olga just can't believe her good fortune, and neither can we. We checked in, had a pint at a table on the lawn, and threw Olga's Kong for a while. She loves the wide open grassy fields, were we've already seen pheasants wandering, and I can't wait to get out and walk a bit today.
And our room! We're in the main house -- the dog didn't cause us to be banished to the hinterlands -- and in fact we're pretty much smack dab in the middle of the building on the third floor. In that top photo, our windows are just below the central medallion on the roof.
We have a very shiny copper bathtub in our room. We haven't used it. I'm afraid to, it's so clean -- though I think we could, if we wanted. (We also have a standard shower in our bathroom.)
This is our view. In late afternoon, the sun casts a golden light over the landscape. I'm so glad the weather is cooperating.
There's a wedding in the building, too, so last night there was some thumpy music coming from the first floor -- but it didn't bother us too much. We went right to sleep.
"I had grown to love these excitable emotional men of the South and to regard them as my children -- for they were little more," she writes of her builders. "They were perfectly maddening, entirely without initiative, and quite irresponsible, but they were most lovable. And I wonder what woman could resist the unconscious way an Italian peasant makes love to her with his eyes while he is taking her orders?"
The narrative fits the mood of this place, which was probably inhabited by its own Lady Fortescues back in the day.
This morning I woke before dawn to find the sky filled with stars, which I haven't seen in quite a while. I took Olga out for a walk in the misty fields. After a brief off-leash experiment, when she shot off into the darkness after some nameless creature -- I could hear it running, so it must have been a large nameless creature -- I kept her tethered.
*This phrase is written in neon above the fireplace in the main lobby. It comes from a painting by Nicolas Poussin and was used by Evelyn Waugh as the title of the first part of Brideshead Revisited. It literally means, "In Arcadia I Am," with Arcadia being a pastoral paradise.