Sunday, 29 September 2013

Saturday in the country

A glorious day yesterday. For reasons I will explain later, Mark and I took a little trip to Stroud and the fantastic farmers market there. I have visited Stroud a couple of times before and I can safely say that it is my favourite farmers market in Britain ( my love of French markets is on a whole other level, I'm afraid ). We arrived relatively early and could enjoy strolling amongst the stalls before the crowds, admiring the autumnal displays, inspiring vintage items and glorious local food. I even managed to buy a sweet bouquet of country flowers....they are usually the first ones to sell out and I've seen real scuffles for the last bunches before.

 I was keen to revisit a peculiar little shop I'd discovered last time: On one side of a pet supply shop, the owner had set up a table, several spinning wheels, peg looms, bags of fleece and yarn for sale, even though at the time nothing indicated it to be a craft shop! The half-a-shop now has a proper sign outside and a lady demonstrating the use of the peg loom inside and the craft part is getting at least as much interest as the pet supply side of thing. They sell a good selection of British yarns from Blacker Yarns, and various breeds of spinning fibre in natural colours and apparently also run spinning and weaving evenings.


We had coffee at the Market Cafe, a perfect vantage point for some Cotswolds people watching, and picked out the last few treats for home (Sausages and sticky ginger pudding for him, goats cheese and ganache cake for me) and then debated which way to drive home.

My car has a worn part at the moment, due to be changed on Monday, and I didn't think the questionable surface on the M5 had done it any good on the way up. I also generally don't like driving the same way to and from anywhere if I can avoid it, so we decided to head up towards Gloucester and down along Monmouth on the A roads back home. Being young and reckless and not all that good at following maps, we took an unexpected turn and found ourselves on the scenic road through the Forest of Dean.
There we came across the Harts Barn Craft Centre and their gorgeous tea room....we had the best table in the house, looking out through the window in the meter-thick walls onto apple trees and brambles and drizzle from the comfort of a warm cottage-y interior and being served home-made soup and cheese scones the size of our heads.

    Another wrong turn (you need to look at this as
a road trip by now) took us through Abergavenny
- a place I never mind accidentally finding myself in. The sheep market was on - it felt a little like seeing the Source, especially as we then went straight to the Wool Croft yarn shop. Ginevra has been stocking my Gower Wool since earlier this year and it was a great opportunity to catch up with her and find out that the yarn has been doing
well for her...and that she would like some more as soon as we have it back from the mill :


On the whole, a faultless day: autumn and everything it has to offer at its very best.
Oh, and the reason for the trip? yep, a new toy. again. ;)

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