Early summer of 2017 we flew – on a bit of a whim – across the pond to the United Kingdom. Easily convinced to accompany close friends, we found ourselves landed in London where we would spend the next 24 hours. Our first evening was spent immersed in a classic performance – Les Misérables – followed by a day of wandering within the captivating bustle of Borough market, where we enjoyed a late breakfast accompanied by the well-loved Monmouth coffee.
In true British style, we rented a car and took the winding rural exodus – so often made by busy Londoners – to the Northern coastal region, among the fells and countryside of the Lake District. The transition from the weathered grey of the city, towards the pleasurable green of the landscape inundates the senses. Lush vegetation, both wild and attended to, is distributed amongst cold weathered stone. Burst of colourful flower gardens in between, stir the imagination. There is no questioning why many writers, including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Arthur Ransome and, of course, Beatrix Potter found inspiration here.
The Lake District is composed of many small towns and villages whose structures adhere to strict building codes, to uphold their atmosphere and architectural character. Many houses, farms and pastures are delineated by original stone fences built centuries ago, with houses punctuated with exquisite doorways and entrance ways that each tell a story.
Time in the town of Kendal was spent at the breathtaking Hollin Root Farm, from which frequent day trips and cream tea were had. We visited Sizergh Castle – a working estate that expressed the texture of time and a delicate yet functional aesthetic. Strickland Arms – a local pub on the edge of the district became a memorable watering hole that, if visiting Kendal, you must pay a visit.
Finally in York – a Northern pre-industrial city full of extraordinary culture and history. At its heart lies the beautiful, monumental York Minster Church, while just down the street we visited the smaller, almost hidden Holy Trinity Church – famous for being featured in the British mini series ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ (we have a soft spot for British masterpiece remakes). Narrow, cobbled streets offer the best in little retail shops of wonders, where we dreamed of opening our own.