So been a bit quiet on the western front recently; lost my blogging mojo momentarily.
However its recently been my birthday and to celebrate i was treated to one of my favourite things; a mini adventure… This took me to a little place called ‘Coleford’ situated in the Forest of Dean.
Stayed in, what i can only describe as, the coolest accommodation; it was a converted coal store, The Lodge Rooms. The top half was a cottage style bedroom with a garden wall (essentially a vertical garden inside), then you walked through a stone archway and down below was the remnants, with original features remaining, of a converted coal store. Complete with a double ended deep bath and a free standing shower it made for a lovely, relaxing stay. Here is a mini video as my description is just not doing it justice:
In the summer months they also open massive domes, with sky views, that you can stay in where you also partly self sustain yourself; heat your own water etc. The place itself also has a massive stone pizza oven, a giant decking area for socialising and quirky fixtures all over. We were lucky in that we were the only people staying for this particular night (it was a Sunday) and in the morning (my birthday) they had laid out a continental breakfast including a freshly baked loaf of bread and homemade jams just for us.
Whilst on our trip we ventured out to a place called Symonds Yat for beautiful views and HUGE dinners. The drive there was certainly an adrenaline boost; its through a valley surrounded by trees and massive drops off the side and at one point involved a v shaped corner with a guesstimate of a 70 degree angle downwards. But hey we made it.
They usually have a hand pulled water ferry that takes you across the river, but due to the choppy waters it wasn’t operating. So of course this called for a gin and a moment to take in the views whilst waiting for the restaurant to open. For some unknown reason i cant get the restaurant website to load on anything but its called ‘The Saracens Head’ and also has an inn.
So the picture may make it appear small but if you compare the fact that the burger is practically the same length as the top of my arm, yeah.. Also accompanying it was a massive bowl of chips which all followed a starter of sour dough and dips. I’d specifically asked for champagne for my birthday and as you can see i got it, but not before the waiter did the whole ‘madam please try your wine’ – i wonder if anyone actually says ‘no i don’t like it now you’ve gone and opened it’??
The next day, unfortunately, the heavens weren’t on our side and it was absolutely tipping it down with rain; although i had packed my wellies a walk was not on the cards. Instead we took the opportunity to drive through the valleys whilst following the river and we ended up in Tintern. After purchasing some giant umbrella’s from the local shop we decided to go for a nose around Tintern Abbey (or whats left of it anyway) and then popped in to the local cafe for scones, jam, clotted cream and hot chocolate. Just what the doctor ordered.
To summarise for anyone looking for a rest bite with a bit of a twist then this is your place, if you enjoy the woodlands and walking then even more so. I will certainly be looking to visit again in the warmer months so i can stay in the domes and venture through the forest.
All in all an absolute success of a birthday.
Next stop: Berlin!!