OOoo The Ritz

So, I did one of those lists of things to do before a big birthday.  On my list was going to The Ritz for for afternoon tea.  My mum took my grandmother to The Ritz for tea in 1998, so in 2018 I took my mum.  Make sure you book in advance and read the dress code, it is quite strict.

We arrive and check our coats.  It is glamorous and beautiful with pink marble and high ceilings.  There is a pianist playing a grand piano.  It is delightful and decadent.

We start with choosing our tea, yes a tea menu…I am in heaven.  There are finger sandwiches to start with, followed by an array of little pastries and tarts.  Next are scones with clotted cream and jam which are delicious.  Just when we think we cannot possibly fit another thing in, the trolley comes around and we choose between cakes from the trolley.  Mum and I go for ginger cake which is moist and amazing.

The Ritz is definitely the best afternoon tea I have had.  We leave full and content.

 

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My beautiful Nan.

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Film Flashback to Hong Kong

A little more poetry

I wanted to share a little more poetry from one of the poets local to the Wye Valley area, Edward Thomas.  Again this is just an excerpt from this poem, please do go and read it all.


Haymaking
– Edward Thomas

Aftear night’s thunder far away had rolled
The fiery day had a kernel sweet of cold,
And in the perfect blue the clouds uncurled,
Like the first gods before they made the world
And misery, swimming the stormless sea
In beauty and in divine gaiety.
The smooth white empty road was lightly strewn
With leaves—the holly’s Autumn falls in June—
And fir cones standing stiff up in the heat.
The mill-foot water tumbled white and lit
With tossing crystals, happier than any crowd
Of children pouring out of school aloud.

Mowgli’s Wye Valley Adventure – Day 2

It is day two, after an amazing breakfast at our lovely BnB we are ready to head off.  We jump in the car and head off to Monmouth to have a little explore of the village, we walk to the river Wye, and visit the famous bridge, we do part of the tourist walk and see the Judges’ Lodging and old Market Street.

The weather starts to clear so we head to Usk Castle in Usk.  Usk Castle is privately owned and free to enter during the day, with donations requested.  It is dog friendly, so we wander around the remains,  it is quite beautiful with well tended gardens and lovely views.

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Usk Castle

Next we head to Tintern Abbey.  The ruins of the cistercian abbey are impressive and vast.  It is of course, dog friendly as long as your friend is on a lead and you make sure you pick up after them.  Its £6.90 for adults and free for dogs.  The ruins are well preserved with lots of information boards around the site.  The Abbey is one of the oldest tourist sites, and reported to be one of the first package holiday destinations.  More Information here.

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Tintern Abbey

We follow the Wye river path to the old mill and wander the art and craft shops before heading out of Tintern.

On recommendation we make our way to The Miners Arms in Lydney for dinner.  This plain looking local pub turns out to be one of the best meals we have had in a long time.  The coconut and pumpkin soup is amazing,  the pork belly is tender and all the food is locally produced.  This really is a great find!

 

Tintern Abbey

I have enclosed below a small part of a poem by William Wordsworth which I find very beautiful.  Please do read the rest, I think it evokes the beauty of the area and brings the ruins to mind.
Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798
– William Wordsworth
“…And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led: more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. …”

….to see and feel

“You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.”

– Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Inspired Elf

Who inspires you?

Who makes your mind sing?

That spark or light,

That lets your imagination take flight?

 

I’m very inspired by Deborah Frances-White and the work she does to inspire women to be strong and loud and visible.  I urge you all to listen to her podcasts.

One of the authors that I find most inspiring is Khaled Hosseini, his books transport you into the lives of other people.  Giving you a taste of something so real it strikes you as strange when you look up to find your world in front of you.

Just two of my current inspirations, I felt compelled to share.