A Travellerspoint blog

Families and Football.

First Few Days in England.

rain

Peter in front of Ashridge House.

Peter in front of Ashridge House.

We were really tired by the time we checked into the Ibis Hotel. We are entitled to free drinks, so we decided to go for those and just eat in the hotel. I had pepperoni pizza and Peter had tuna fish sandwiches. We were so tired we ended up taking some of the food back to our room. After a good night's sleep we felt a lot better.

Statue in New Street Station.

Statue in New Street Station.

Our room in the Ibis.

Our room in the Ibis.

Next day we headed off to Bescot Stadium to watch Walsall v Salford. Peter is a diehard football fan. I am not really interested in football, and I never used to go with him, but nowadays he needs help in getting to and from his seat, so I need to come with him. At the stadium we met up with Peter's brother and his son.

Peter, his brother, Richard and his son, Jack.

Peter, his brother, Richard and his son, Jack.

Peter enjoying the game.

Peter enjoying the game.

Peter at the match.

Peter at the match.

Peter, Jack and I at the match.

Peter, Jack and I at the match.

Swifty, Walsall's mascot.

Swifty, Walsall's mascot.

Swifty, Walsall's mascot.

Swifty, Walsall's mascot.

To my surprise the game was actually reasonably enjoyable. I had thought I would be bored senseless, but that wasn't the case. The game started off well and Walsall took an early lead. Later Salford equalised and the play seemed to go off the boil for a while. It looked like it was going to be a draw then Walsall scored a second goal in the last minutes of injury time to win the match. Our side of the stadium erupted in joy. Peter was delighted to have seen his team win for a change.

The match.

The match.

The match.

The match.

The match.

The match.

Is that Ben on there?

Is that Ben on there?

We ate in the Wetherspoon's in New Street Station on our way home. I had a chicken burger and Peter had Wiltshire ham, egg and chips. It wasn't that great to be honest. We got chatting to a few people in the pub about how to know who's turn it is to be served next and about the state of the country. Back home we watched an episode of 'Vera' then called it a night.

Next day we were heading down to Peter's brother's house. He lives in a tiny hamlet in Buckinghamshire called Slapton. We had discovered there would be a rail strike on our return journey if we took our usual route down, so instead of travelling to Leighton Buzzard from New Street Station, we had to travel to Haddenham and Thame Parkway from Moor Street Station. It was quite a pleasant journey. The train went via some interesting places such as Banbury, Warwick and Leamington Spa. I noticed quite a bit of flooding in the fields on the journey down. Peter's brother picked us up from Haddenham and took us to his home. His wife had prepared us a wonderful birthday meal for Peter. She had even made him a coffee and walnut birthday cake.

Birthday boy with his cake.

Birthday boy with his cake.

For dinner we had pork in mushroom sauce with roast potatoes and vegetables. I discreetly took away Peter's mushrooms as he absolutely hates them, but Viv didn't know this. Anyway no harm done. The meal was delicious and Peter had his favourite vanilla ice-cream and meringues for dessert. After dinner it was movie time. We watched 'Hell or High Water,' a movie about two men who carry out a spate of bank robberies to save their family ranch.

Next day the weather was pretty rubbish, so we didn't go out until the evening. I had a quick wander around the garden, but it wasn't great weather for taking photos.

Garden flowers.

Garden flowers.

Garden flowers.

Garden flowers.

Garden ornament.

Garden ornament.

Lucky horse shoes.

Lucky horse shoes.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

We went to an Italian restaurant in Tring called Storia. It was quite pleasant. Peter had a pear, walnut, pistachio and gorgonzola pizza and I had marsala chicken. The food was very good and very filling. Peter ended up taking half of his pizza home with him. I attempted to pay for the meal, but was told it was all part of Peter's birthday treat.

Richard and Viv in the restaurant.

Richard and Viv in the restaurant.

Peter and I in the restaurant.

Peter and I in the restaurant.

My chicken masala.

My chicken masala.

Peter's pizza.

Peter's pizza.

After that we went to a pub called The Red Lion. I was finally allowed to pay for something. This was a very friendly and comfortable country pub. Behind where we were sitting there was a tank of brightly coloured tropical fish.

Peter in The Red Lion.

Peter in The Red Lion.

Next day Viv and I went for a country walk just around the area they live in. There are quite a lot of nice walks here, but having only one pair of shoes with me, I refused to do muddy ones. This was largely along roads. The hawthorn bushes were blossoming at the sides of the road. I could hear newborn lambs bleating, too, but couldn't see them. We passed the closed down village pub and saw the village church in the distance.

Village Church.

Village Church.

Former village Pub.

Former village Pub.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Later Richard drove us to The Bake House for coffees. The Bake House is a cafe inside Ashridge House.

Ashridge House is a huge stately home that is over seven hundred years old. It was founded in 1283 by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, as The College Bonhommes Monastery. With the dissolution of monasteries in 1539, Ashridge became the property of King Henry VIII. Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I, was raised here. Princess Elizabeth continued to live here until she was arrested by her sister, Mary, in 1554. In 1604 Queen Elizabeth I's Lord Keeper, Sir Thomas Egerton, bought Ashridge House and it became home to the Dukes and Earls of Bridgewater for almost two hundred and fifty years. In 1808 the house was almost completely rebuilt by James Wyatt. In 1914, although still owned by the Bridgewater family, Ashridge House became a rehabilitation centre for the duration of the First World War. From 1929 Ashridge House was used as a training centre for Conservative Party workers. When World War II broke out, Ashridge House was again converted into a hospital. From 1949, Ashridge House became a ladies' finishing school. Then from 1959 Ashridge House became a business school called Ashridge Management. Nowadays as well as being home to a cafe and bar, Ashridge House hosts weddings and conferences. There was a wedding celebration taking place when we were there. We saw the horse drawn carriage and from a distance the bride.

White horses.

White horses.

Peter with his carriage.

Peter with his carriage.

Daffodils.

Daffodils.

Rhododendrons.

Rhododendrons.

Peter in front of Ashridge House.

Peter in front of Ashridge House.

Peter and I in front of Ashridge House.

Peter and I in front of Ashridge House.

Ashridge House.

Ashridge House.

Richard, Peter and Viv in front of Ashridge House.

Richard, Peter and Viv in front of Ashridge House.

Peter in front of Ashridge House.

Peter in front of Ashridge House.

Peter in front of Ashridge House.

Peter in front of Ashridge House.

Peter in the courtyard.

Peter in the courtyard.

Us in the courtyard.

Us in the courtyard.

Later that day we went for drinks in another pub, The White Swan, it was an attractive country pub with a large open fire place, not lit on our visit. The only problem for me was I ordered a sumo IPA. I've never tried it before. It was horrible, not sure if it just is horrible or if there was something wrong with it. I suspect the latter.

Peter in The White Swan.

Peter in The White Swan.

Peter in The White Swan.

Peter in The White Swan.

After drinks we returned home and Viv made us an excellent chicken schnitzel meal. We watched 'The Third Man's then retired to bed.

Next day we took the train back to Birmingham from Haddenham and Thame Parkway. The train was really busy due to the strike or the Easter holiday or both. Fortunately I managed to get a seat for Peter, but I had to stand for part of the way.

We checked into The Ibis on Ladywell Walk again. They had very kindly stored our luggage for us for free while we were away. We ate in their restaurant again that evening. We had our free drinks. Peter had his tuna sandwich again and I had a chicken burger.

Posted by irenevt 13:12 Archived in England

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Comments

I guess it was nice to meet up with the family, love the pictures! :)

by Ils1976

Hello, Irene! The Ashridge House is an amazing edifice... Thanks for sharing your discovery joy with us! Keep well!

by Vic_IV

Thank you, Ils. Yes it was good to see everyone.

by irenevt

Hi Victor, yes it was a really amazing building. I wasn't expecting such a fancy place for a coffee.

by irenevt

Swiftly obviously brought the team luck! Well done Walsall. Your trip to Buckinghamshire sounds amazing. I bet Peter loved his birthday cake too x

by Catherine

Yes Peter loves coffee cake. His mother used to make an amazing one. I have the recipe but my attempt was nothing like the ones she used to make.

by irenevt

It was fun to see a picture of Peter, his brother and his brother's son. There is definitely a family resemblance.

Looked like a pleasant family visit.

by Beausoleil

Yes there are definitely similarities there.

by irenevt

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