Welcome to

Stately Barrett Manor

Monday, September 25, 2023

Manchester - Swallowcliffe


This morning we had a seriously good hotel breakfast. It was a buffet, but a notch or two above most hotel breakfast buffets. The sausage was local, and the scrambled eggs were light and fluffy. I suspect they were local as well. The hot items were served by an employee from behind the buffet, which made for far less chaos. Okay, none. This is a posh hotel and people behaved themselves accordingly.

After a quick walk around downtown we hit the road. Again, lots of twisty little roads. I know they’re used to that here. Us, not so much.

We stopped for a snack at a place called the Golden Heart in Gloucester.

At last, we entered Salisbury. Again, lots of twisty little roads, but sometimes the hedge would part and the sun break through at the same moment and we were rewarded with stunning vistas of the countryside. Including Stonehenge. I didn’t realize it was so close to the road.

We made it to the Royal Oak in Swallowcliffe and got checked in, then slipped downstairs for a pint. The gentleman behind the bar had been to the US before and said he was surprised by how “crazy wide” the roads are here. James may is a partner in this pub. It apparently started life as a tannery 200+ years ago, then got turned into a pub at some point. When it was in danger of closing a few years ago, May and some partners bought it up and renovated the joint. The result is a delightful mix of old and new.

Our room (Ashcombe) is in a converted attic at the top of the building. There’s a lift that goes partway, but the rest is up to us. And more stairs. However, the reward was worth the climb. There’s a proper King bed and a good soaking tub, not to mention a nice view of the pub’s namesake tree. The only problem is that there’s a beam that goes along one side of the room, right at head-bonking height. Being a certified klutz, this has attracted my head. Ouch.

We had dinner in their restaurant, along with a G&T made with James Gin. What else would we have there? It was all very good.


(Go to the next day)