Sunday, February 05, 2012

Getting Away

I've just been on a 'mini-break'!  I love sneaking away in the middle of a term, it's not a proper holiday so feels all the more special.  When I combine that with a bit of shopping, well, it's an all-round winner.  I finished last week feeling totally wrung out with work, not sleeping properly and generally just under the weather, so Saturday morning saw me driving down the M40 towards Oxford.  I don't know many women who don't like 'luxury goods' but paying for them is the downside: centre stage Bicester Village!  For those not in the know, it's a luxury retail outlet extraordinaire; an outdoor shopping mall; a retail heaven!  Most of the luxury brands have a home there - Mulberry, Burberry, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Alice Temperley, not to mention other big names such as The White Company, Jigsaw, Ted Baker, Monsoon, Links, Pandora, Smythson, Gieves and Hawkes, Brookes Brothers etc.  There is simply something for everyone.  I spent a happy couple of hours browsing, then, two dresses and a White Company candle later, I headed for  the Old Swan and Minster Mill in Minster Lovell in the Cotswolds.  It was only a short drive so was the perfect destination after a shopping trip and tired feet!

Minster Lovell is one of the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds (although they all say that don't they!), but I think they may be right.  Boasting a single row of Oxfordshire stone cottages with thatched roofs and a church, PLUS a ruined Hall with ghostly sightings it couldn't have been more perfect.  My room was contemporary overlooking the garden and the River Windrush, but the main Mill and the Old Swan date from the 17th century and have the beams and huge fireplaces to prove it.  The food was to die for and to top it all off, it snowed. It really couldn't have been more magical.

Views of the Mill complete with Minstrel's Gallery

Interior Decor - I've NEVER seen such a huge mirror - you can't see the scale on this

Late lunch by the fire

The River Windrush cuts through the grounds

The Village (just as it began to snow)

The Snow

Before and After - the giant chess board
Jemima and friend - they were not happy as their pond was frozen

No comments:

Post a Comment