Sunday, May 28, 2023
No Sundaes on a Saturday
I've been coy about our weekend destination simply to add a little suspense to the ol' blog, but I suppose I can now reveal where we are. We came to a country inn near Winchester, in Hampshire. It's quite secluded -- there is literally nothing around us but farms, which is nice unless you're looking for a cup of coffee as I was this morning. (I resorted to the in-room Nescafe.)
We came down by train yesterday from London. The builders surprised us by turning up again in the morning, because we thought they wouldn't be working through the weekend -- but apparently they are. Even on the bank holiday! The supervisor said if they didn't our renovation job would run into the following week, but as it stands now they hope to be done by Wednesday. Woo hoo!
Still, all the more reason for us to "get out of Dodge," as people of a certain generation who are familiar with the TV show "Gunsmoke" might say.
We got off the train in the town of Micheldever (pronounced "Mitchell," not "Michael," I belatedly learned), and headed directly to this colorful little pub for lunch. Olga sunbathed and enjoyed some meat and cheese from my ploughman's lunch plate. We bought her a cup of ice cream supposedly made just for dogs, but it was strawberry and she wouldn't touch it. What dog wants a strawberry?
Then we caught an overpriced taxi to our hotel, the Norton Park Hotel, Spa and Manor House.
Here's the Manor House, which I haven't been in yet. Olga and I took a walk around the grounds and also saw the barn (top) and explored the very modern hotel. I tried to book a massage but alas! There's a wedding here this weekend and all the spa slots are taken. I'm going to try to get on the waiting list today just in case, but it looks like my goal of a weekend massage may not be achieved.
I may not get a spa treatment, but Olga found several opportunities to indulge her physical being...
...like a woodland walk...
...and a canine mud bath. She plunged into this pond before I could stop her and, being from Florida, my immediate first thoughts were of alligators -- but of course we're in the green and pleasant land so no harm came to her at all.
We had dinner last night in the hotel bar, and that was a whole 'nother saga. It starts, as so many restaurant sagas do, with me ordering a gin martini in the vain hope that some bartender somewhere will know how to make one. This guy said he did, but what I got was so heavy on vermouth that I couldn't even taste the gin. (I'm trusting that gin was actually in it.)
Meanwhile, Olga did her best to lie in the sun, and wound up snoring so loudly that people around us were laughing.
We ordered our meals, which were meh, and then Dave said he wanted dessert. But for some reason the bar put a pause on all food orders for half an hour -- I assume this had something to do with the fully booked restaurant upstairs, which in turn probably had something to do with that wedding again. We waited and were eventually able to order a couple of sundaes that should have been relatively easy to assemble, but an hour later we were still waiting and so we cancelled them. No dessert for us.
Today we're hoping to get into Winchester to see the cathedral, and Dave made a restaurant reservation there for us tonight. Olga will stay snoozing in the room, and I don't think she'll mind.