Monday, November 26, 2007

Farthings.

Aside

This is the hotel in Hatch Beauchamp near Taunton, where we spent our 28th wedding anniversary. The original building dates back 200 years and used to be called ‘Templemore’- no-one knows why or when it was renamed ‘Farthings’. A farthing is an old coin of the realm and I think two made a halfpenny, so clearly there were four in an old penny. The farthing was first made in 1279 on the orders of King Edward. He ordered a round farthing to replace the practice of giving change by cutting a silver penny in half to provide change in pennies or cutting it into four to give change in ‘four things’ or farthings.

It is an elegant Georgian building on a quiet road which used to be the main road. There are large grounds with lots of unusual species of birds or fowl. The weather was cold but sunny so we wandered round the grounds and admired the turkeys.

‘Are they for Christmas?’ we asked a lady who was putting fresh plants into the many pots.

‘I don’t think they will be able to eat them - they talk to them.’

The hotel was warm and welcoming with fires and comfortable furniture. MTL had done the booking and we were in a Master bedroom – named ‘Garden’ – which was one of the nicest rooms I remember. Perhaps because it was November we got an good deal but I maintain it‘s because the booking was made by a man.

After an excellent dinner we chatted to two Welsh ladies – a mother and daughter. The daughter shared my love of mountains and told me of a haunting book ‘Menlove Edwards’ by Jim Perren which I didn’t know of and in return I told her of two of my favourites –‘The Last Blue Mountain’ by Ralph Barker and ‘The White Spider’ by Heinrich Harrer which have always fascinated me.

The next day the weather was bitter so we had a super breakfast to try to nail the rest of the Christmas shopping in Taunton. By lunch time it was done but neither of us could face lunch so we went to one of the many coffee shops that have sprung up (I blame ‘Cheers’). I had my sunglasses on – in spite of the rain- and managed to read that a cappuccino was £1.80 for a regular and more for a large. It was all very slick and most of the names were Greek to me so I very carefully asked for a regular cappuccino. Then another chap asked for £2 or whatever.

‘Why isn’t it £1.80 like it says on the wall?’

The whole place froze and everybody stared at me as if I had just kicked a cat.

Of course it was explained that (as it said on the notice but I hadn’t spotted it) there were two prices – one for taking away and one for drinking in. Was my face red? MTL was highly amused. You can take the lass out of Lancashire…

22 comments:

R. Sherman said...

When I think of England in November, I think gray and dreary. The sun in your photos puts the lie to that.

I'm glad you had a nice time.

(BTW, "to go" cups are complimentary in the States.)

Cheers.

Dandelion said...

I didn't know you liked mountains. I also didn't know there was a whole fiction genre on the subject. The only one I've read is The Mountain of Adventure by Enid Blyton.

PI said...

Dandelion: yes I've lve mountains since I was a little girl and climbed Helvelyn - archives. But the genre is non-fiction. That's what makes it so gripping.

sablonneuse said...

I couldn't knowingly eat a turkey - or anything - that I had 'known' when it was alive but this must sound terribly hypocritical to a genuine vegetarian. A teacher I worked with used to say she could never eat anything with a face.

zoe said...

it looks lovely - the photos are magnificent. you have great taste in the places you choose to stay!

PI said...

Randall: I think the extra charge was if you drank it there. Obviously I need to brush up on my coffee culture.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

It looks beautiful! The colour scheme in your room - that pale green with scarlet flashes - is what I suggested Daphne could try out for her new background to see if she likeys.

Glad you had such a lovely time!

rashbre said...

I can remember being in Milan and there was a difference on the price of expresso depending on whether one stood or sat, still in the cafe.

...at least I think thats the reason...

Tonight mine's a double shot skinny latte, if you know what I mean.

rashbre

Nikki-ann said...

The hotel looks wonderful. I love the photos of the rooms. Very nice :)

Sounds like you had a great time.

I love hills & mountains. I don't think I could live anywhere where I couldn't see hills. I guess it comes from growing up in Mid Wales!

PI said...

Sam: of course you are psychic. It's a great colour combo.

Rashbre: that's the trouble - it's anew language to me . Coffee was either white or black.

Nikki-Ann: we have hills here and lovely ones but no mountains alas.

PI said...

Zoe: it was special for a special anniversary:)

Guyana-Gyal said...

I lost my comment :-( I was saying how much your photos remind me of the lovely places I visited on my one and only visit to England.

What an adorable place to celebrate. Which reminds me, all the 'episodes' you're writing, from modelling to William to your shop...they all lead to this life with YTL.

PI said...

GG: I guess that is true:)

Keith said...

Remember Pat that "A turkey is just for Christmas, and not life"

Kanani said...

Really? An extra charge for staying in? But wouldn't someone staying in spend more --I mean a cookie, cake, something?

Oh well. Yes, I'd of been embarassed as well!

granny said...

Checking in late - as usual.
Belated Happy Anniversary PI. Such a long time!

PI said...

Granny: thank you. Honestly it's passed in a flash.

Jack said...

Happy anniversary to you both, Pat. Looks like you enjoyed it thoroughly -- and that's what matters.

Jack said...

Happy anniversary to you both, Pat. Looks like you enjoyed it thoroughly -- and that's what matters.

PI said...

Thank you Jack! It was fun.

moon said...

LMAO @ Late Turkeys !! What lovely photos! The place is marvelous...seems like u have a very enjoyable time..did u get all your xmas shopping done? Such a treat to get away and see new things...visit new shops...then share all the pics with us lol, Thanks so much!!

PI said...

Moon : yes all done except for MTL and I need to get him in the men's outfitter's shop. Easier said than done dammit!