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LICK…London, Ireland, Cotswolds, Kent.

LICK…

London, Ireland, Cotswolds, Kent.IMG_6767

 On exit from the massive St. Pancras train station in London, awed by size & structure, we are grateful to see a friendly face picking us up, & excited to be starting a new adventure!IMG_6624

It was a touch surprising to acknowledge the sense of relief  which reared it’s little head, at the comfort of being in an English speaking country, after  3 months in Europe trying to make my way without the mother tongue…IMG_6664

omg! Our local pub! It’s grooving, it’s English, it’s got meat & 3 veg. It’s cruising & I’m feeling fine :))

Once again, our new landlady in Shoreditch, also a chef, sent us to this fabulous funky, organic place, called Bones, for breaky, just around the corner…all awesome, staff, music, coffee & ambiance.IMG_6629

So that’s it, breakfast & dinner spots sorted…an important basic in place.IMG_6634

Another strategy was to ride the red double decker busses up top, front seats, in the intrigued tourists discovery spots. A fantastic vantage point to view life in London, icons & bustle alike.

Behind warm glass, over the days, we did all the Monopoly streets, unobstructed views, terraces, chimneys, trees, pretty flower boxes, old & new architecture side by side.IMG_6654

A night out in Soho, wandering, recording our zest, soaking up the flavour, watching, walking, laughing….we could stay much longer.

Southbank, the London eye, Thames river cruise, great food, fun times…we love London.IMG_6737

Early morning, we jumped on a train for a gorgeous day in Kent, where we met some  lovely people, & discovered we have mutual friends in Buderim, Australia!

Small, accessible world…IMG_6782

We wandered exquisite horse country, bashed around in a cute little 4WD mini, had proper fish & chips with generous friends in their home,  & lots of interesting conversations.

How beautiful the countryside is! We love the Kents!! :))IMG_6940

Last night in London, dinner with Simon & his fun boys at Highgate.

Another early train to the Cotswolds, where we were met by some more darling ex-Aussies.

They showed us a magic day among the dressage lifestyle, magnificence, strength, harmony, beauty..mighty sturdy warriors!IMG_7031

Took us through exquisite countryside, Daylesford organic farms fair, lots of yummy taste testings, much to see, do & learn.

It is the perfect time of year to see all the hedgerows out in full pretty white bloom. Breathtaking vistas around every corner, over every rise.IMG_6958

This is where I find my ideal Cooking School, my style, my template! I’m so full…of beauty, of new ideas!

We drop off luggage at a cute little stone priory, & go out to a grand dinner at a local English pub when more friends join us from London & Denmark.IMG_6886

These gorgeous girls drive us around extensively, & take us to some fabulous places to feast like kings.IMG_6998

Almost always the food is amazing. The concentration is on quality produce rather than takeaway junk…fast food chains are minimal.

We experienced many memorable meals, even tasted the famous Eton Mess.IMG_6859

And the typical English pub right across the road from our lodgings had live music every night.

So we finally got to sit in on plenty of cool, vibey playing-right-at-you sessions, one of the sensations on my wish-list for England :)) happy dance xx IMG_6926Hire car in hand, on our day of departure we drove leisurely all through this amazing fairy tale countryside & flew on from Liverpool.

Having always been a big Beatles fan, I imagined them roaring around in cars as teenagers, pumping out tunes in their parents garages, getting high on being noticed at smokey gigs….IMG_7042

The proximity gave me a sense of closeness, & I felt a renewed honour for their contribution to my youth, an awe at their effect on the world.

I just knew a hearty singalong would be essential on our next road trip when we landed in IrelandIMG_6921

Cork. We think we are staying in an air b&b home just on the outskirts.

An hour later we find ourselves in the bottom South West, now too late to turn back & meet up at a pre-arranged dinner with some other friends passing through the city.

Bit of a bummer, but our gorgeous hostess alleviated all those concerns with her warm, embracing welcome. Thank you Tara!IMG_7085

And so for the next few days we explore the lower half of  another breathtaking country.

It’s picture book gorgeous, very similar to the Cotswolds, reminding me of  the hospitable country cousin. The craggy, blustery coastline, soft, thick spongy grass littered with wild flowers, raw beauty. IMG_7091Limmerick, Macroom, Kinsdale, Kilkenny, good food, good coffee.

We had our best pub meal in Cork on recommendation from an Irish farmer who came to chat with us while on the side of the road taking pics.

Slow-roasted beef cheek, crispy potatoes, mushy peas how they are supposed to be done. And the publican shouted us Irish Coffees for our kind words :)) IMG_7173

Our last base on this epic journey is in Dublin. Central to the rest of our adventures.

Off to Galway one day, a fabulous city of contradictions…rushing water through town, lovely old stone bridges, Latin Quarter full of lively tourists & buskers, large green banks of picnicking people, red-skinned locals enjoying the sun on the beach, ooch!IMG_7212

Wealthy streets of beautiful homes, lots of glass to trap the warmth, lots of people fishing, lots of B&B’s, horses & dogs out playing on the muddy flats while the tide is way out.

A sense of calm.IMG_7182

We ride buses around Dublin, meet lovely people, & are invited to the opening of well-known equine artist Tony O’Connor.

As one of our missions, even before leaving Australia, was to visit his art exhibition, this was an exciting bonus for us, (& vicariously for many friends back home.)

A great evening had by all!IMG_7196

Another leisurely road trip, up to Northern Ireland this time, Belfast, where we met up with some distant relatives. A sprightly gentleman in his eighties, Don, just happened to be one of the key guys in charge of the wharf where the Titanic was built, for 40 odd years.

He graciously showed us around, it’s astounding having an insider tour guide, & we are very thankful.IMG_7254

Another distant relative on the way home, beautiful, lush gardens by the lake, bunnies on the lawn, a home kept in the generations since the 1600’s, warm, welcoming people. Blessed.

Our last day sees us driving into the hills for the famous beef & guinness pie for lunch at the equally famous Johnnie Fox’s ancient, foot-stomping, workers pub.IMG_7272

Home to pack, lighten our load where possible, & head into town for a Dublin night out.

We wandered around, soaked up the atmosphere, bought gifts, had a fantastic Phad Thai in a cool little generic restaurant.

On to a pumping pub, everybody involved with the performance, bar food, singing,  & music that makes you move :))IMG_7282_1

Early morning start…Dublin, Gatwick, Dubai, Singapore, Brisbane.

 On the back of Ireland being such a spectacular balm, a scenically calm & beautiful way to complete our stay, I must say it is with some sorrow that our time traipsing around the world is rapidly coming to an end.

But accepting that the time is near, the last week or so has been tainted with an air of just whiling away the days till it’s time to go…IMG_7239

The one habit that keeps me motivated & excited about the long haul home, is knowing there’s a movie marathon coming up! Yay…!

And a long time later, home…to sleep  (& then start working hard & saving for the next adventure :))IMG_7298

When I arise, I’ll tell you what I’ve learnt. And then some recipes, I promise…

Sincerely, thanks so much for accompanying me on my epic journey… It means the world!

Love Roni

 

 

6 Comments
  1. Ah Roni, what an amazing adventure of sights, sounds and tastes… it’s been a joy traveling with you from my office chair. Can’t wait to hug you and hear more … love love xxx

  2. Oh Jeanne, how sweet you are! Thanks honey, there’s a bit more of me to hug now too :))
    The walking starts in earnest on Monday, after the fog has cleared…lol.
    Small price to pay, & I’m pumped & ready to start planning the next one :))
    Big love to you, Roni xx

  3. I’m going to miss these stories!!!, I have absolutely loved reading about you’re travels. You write beautifully, you’re pictures make my heart sing and I feel like I have had a holiday myself. Yet another gift you have given to those that love you. Wonderful to have you back is Oz and hopefully we might even be able to catch up some time this year. Huge love from us xoxoxo

  4. Thanks gorgeous girl… I love it when a heart sings (& food:))
    And so glad you got to have a holiday too, was hoping on taking one for the team…lol. Some one has to do it!
    Guess I’ll just have to work harder on my plans for the next one…we need singing hearts always :))
    My most humble gratitude for your support in all sorts of ways,
    huge love
    Roni xx

  5. I have loved every story of your adventure, have been there with you in so many ways, but also so good to have you home & have one of your amazing hugs xxxx

    • Ah Miss Gwen, many special thanks to you….& yes, it will be lovely to spend some quiet time with you catching up :))
      love you long time, ciao bella!
      Roni xx

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