I am back in London after unwinding in the Cotswolds for the weekend. I was moved by the lush surroundings, a certain frolicking natural beauty, and the enchanting honey-coloured limestone that are the building blocks for Cotswolds’ dwellings. The Cotswolds, located in the English Countryside, is worthy of a stay – for its close proximity to nature and open space to wander, for body and soul. I visited on my own this particular weekend, and it gave me time to contemplate and relax into my thoughts and senses. What I experienced brought to mind everything I love, and what I so enjoy writing about and sharing on my blog, “Rose Knows.” In every new letter I write to you, I hope to share with you my delight in what I discover around me; also, in perchance you get the opportunity to visit some of the places I write about in my travel features, perhaps it will aid you in getting the most out of your time while you are away and abroad.
I realized awhile ago (a little too late in the game at this point) how many photos my friends, acquaintances, and my husband have taken of me in places next to signs that say to the effect “Keep off the grass (or ruins)” and I am obliviously in the heart of where it has been designated one should not be. This realization, and critique that has been both kindly and rather harshly pointed out to me, leaves me thinking that while on one hand it is a very bad thing that I have acquired a skill for being blissfully unaware of signage or designated off limit zones, it has lead me to some rather exceptional opportunities and experiences. What I am getting at is that going down a road you might not have otherwise, you might surprise yourself with what you find, and what you are capable of. Life sometimes calls for and needs a quality, calculated risk, that not everything is so set in stone that you cannot think outside the parameters sometimes set before you (by others, or yourself). This idea, and then later the risk, is just to give yourself a little extra open space to express yourself, and God intended this sort of exploration to be good for the heart.
So, I am not encouraging you to walk on grass you should not be walking on, but I am encouraging you to not take everything at face value, but to search a little more, explore a little more, and go a little further than you thought you could before. “Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk,” (Dalai Lama XIV). This line was one of my mantras before I journeyed to Tibet, and fell in love (and this was just as God would have it for me…everybody’s journey is unique). This is all to say as well that you should find joy in discovering new things and not limit yourself (this is advice I give myself as well, in the event you think that I am skydiving every weekend or something, because I am not. I limit myself too). I just find that with a little extra effort, one can find life that much more rewarding. Now, I want to share with you my weekend in candids, and a video!
LANGUAGE. (British) English.
Photo. Ellenborough Park, Hotel. My room! The soft blue of the wallpaper and the warmth of the carpet and furnishings made for such a tranquil space.
Photo. The lovely bath.
Photo. View from my room.
Photo. The heated all-year-round outdoor pool. There is nothing like a warm outdoor pool when it is cold outside, an exceptionally invigorating experience, and given the chance, a recommendation for all.
Photo. Lavender alive with honey bees.
Photo. The Garden at Ellenborough Park, and chopped wood ready for the hearth.
Photo. The view from a dining room; what you cannot see is the room was perfectly set for ten and anticipating its evening guests.
Photo. Afternoon tea being enjoyed in the lavish and richly decorated Tea Room, at Ellenborough Park.
Photo. All in the details. Ellenborough makes sure the daily weather timetable is printed and out for view should you fancy reading the forecast.
Photo. Ellenborough’s The Brasserie. Freshly-baked bread, and wild leaves from the Garden.
Photo. The Brasserie. Dark Chocolate Cake with Coffee Ice Cream.
Photo. Ellenborough’s Boot Room equipped with everything you need for an outing.
Photo. Hardy Irish Dubarry Coats hung immaculately in Ellenborough’s Boot Room.
Photo. If you do not know already, I adore horses. Absolutely head over heels in love with horses. I daydream frequently about the day I can have my very own horse. Riding at Jill Carenza Equestrian Stables.
Photo. Matthew and I have unearthed the fact that the British have evolved through the centuries to deal with the damp by having developed an intrinsic and friendly relationship with mold, even in its prettiest of forms – green moss, for instance, decorating this utterly charming English cottage.
Photo. This English gentleman crossed the road, and walked past the antiquated cross.
Photo. A self-portait and study of a blissfully happy Rose aboard an Irish Sporthorse (it does not get much better than this). P.s. I was wearing an Eventer Riding Vest under my coat which I found surprisingly comfortable and comforting.
Photo. I could hardly capture this candid in time, and this carriage passage you can barely see took me back in time.
Photo. I love how Tiger turned ever this way to look back at me every so often on the ride. Ahead, Matt rides a young filly and wears a black wind breaker that reads “Keep Calm and Keep on Riding.” So colloquially British.
Photo. Fellow riders from the same stable, returning from a ride of their own.
Photo. Snapped just after a breathless gallop.
Photo. Endurance bridlery; a view from the saddle.
Photo. Cotswolds Way, a bridle path that beats any California trail I have ever ridden on.
Photo. The local scenery, Tiger and his fiery mane; both gorgeous.
Photo. A herd of horses graced our presence in the distant meadow; they danced around excitedly amidst the rising wind currents, and banded together instinctively.
Photo. A sweet pink lady apple for a handsome sport horse gentleman.
Photo. Enjoying the rain and on my way to a quiet dinner within Ellenborough’s main dwelling.
Photo. Before stepping into the Restaurant, a view from the entryway entrance of Ellenborough to the outside.
Photo. A view of Ellenborough’s Entrance with sunset splashed across its facade.
Photo. Sculpted hedges, part of the finesse of Ellenborough Park.
Photo. A view looking out from the grounds of Ellenborough Park, the branches of a large pine in the foreground.
Photo. A side view of Ellenborough; long threads of windows designed to keep the chill at bay and warmth contained, refreshingly simple lines and structure, but unsymmetrical and as if built, such as the varying stone window frames and room additions, according to what dimensions the builders felt like as they went along.
Photo. Flora in dark magenta, wispy green, & snowy white.
Photo. Oh, did I love their organic garden. All the produce is used in the restaurant from garnishes to salads, sides, and desserts!
Photo. I love how the pool reflected the sunset in the sky.
Photo. An experiment in photography.
Photo. Just Rosie. A photo along the footpath from Ellenborough to the Cheltenham Racecourse.
Photo. A Painter’s Dream, the exposition of the meadow and land framed by gate and uninhibited, partying brambles.
Photo. Dog, his master’s most loyal friend.
Photo. The English adore their footpaths. I love the arrangement of these metal steps making it easy for an up and over from either side.
Photo. A blossoming black fungus and the end of a horse.
Photo. A moment of two hearty little black and white draft Gypsies amidst sky, grass, and brambles.
Photo. Of all things, a field with a herd of Alpacas.
Photo. The way back to Ellenborough Park.
Photo. The rust red spindles vying within fluffy golden thrush and cattails, overlooking a lonely pond.
Photo. Waiting in the main town of Cheltenham, along the Promenade for my coach back to London, I read a local shop’s cheeky excerpt about “Our Staff.”