Sunday, April 13, 2014

Girls' Weekend in the British Countryside: Tudor Homes, Wine & A Beautiful Escape

Bridge House, Rickinghall, UK
 Last weekend was a lovely escape from the city and a beautiful reunion with Alexandra and Juliet in the British countryside. We stayed in Juliet's family's home, in a tiny town called Rickinghall in Suffolk (on the border of Suffolk and Norfolk), about a 45 minute drive away from Norwich. It is from the Tudor era (yes, really!) and we learned a lot about the historic details of their beautiful, ornate home. Their home is so historic, it's listed, meaning any change or addition to it needs to be approved by the British government. 

I think the slideshow at the end of my post says its all - we spent one night and two days in this large country home, enjoying the weather on long countryside walks, playing with Paddy (the black lab) and Albert (the Schnauzer cross), eating breakfast in the family's artistic conservatory, and drinking wine by the fire. We also visited the Abbey Gardens in Bury St. Edmunds, a nearby town, and had a beautiful meal in a historic pub called The Fox Inn. On Sunday, we went to another nearby town called Hoxne and ate at the Swan pub.

Two historical points that fascinated me were the circular drawings carved in the wooden walls---these were carved in the 13th century and were thought to be powerful ways to ward off witches. We also found similar circles in the Swan pub, in Hoxne!
Circles to ward off witches!

The floorboards on the second floor of their house were made from ship's timber...and if you look closely, you can see doodles and carvings the sailors made on the ship's floor. 
Sailors' Doodles!
As we drank our wine that night, we chatted and also watched Wasteland, a moving documentary about the poorest of the poor - garbage collectors in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and their dream to make modern art from garbage pieces, which later  became an exhibition in New York art galleries. Juliet's dad's cousin was the director of this beautiful film - a must see!

Check out the slideshow below (click in the top right corner if you'd like it to move faster or slower). What a lovely weekend of drinking wine and catching up with good friends! 

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