After touching down in England, I took the train to Grantham where Mike’s dad came to collect me. We drove down tiny country lanes to their house which is near the tiny village of Pickworth. The village consists of a church, graveyard and a few beautiful large old stone houses complete with gravel driveways.
His parent’s house used to be a mill and dates back to 1840. There is a large vegetable garden, an orchard, a chicken pen and enormous garden.
We enjoyed high tea on the patio in the sun, with homemade rhubarb cake and English tea. The English tea is something that will take me a while to get used to. The taste is much to strong for a lifetime Rooibos drinker like me.
Mike’s mom, Helena is an extraordinary cook and each visit is preceded by different meal orders. As promised we had a large English salmon for dinner with roast vegetables from the garden followed by a berry and strawberry cheesecake.
On Saturday we travelled around Lincolnshire, popping in at Mike’s sister’s family who live in an old stone house in another small village. After lunch we all went for a walk by the river in Stamford and a beer at the historic The George Hotel.
Dinner was again a true English feast with his whole family, roast lamb, yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and various vegetables from the garden, followed by homemade icecream. Mike’s family is loud and crazy and I laughed until my stomach hurt.
On Sunday morning we went to collect bikes from his sister’s house and cycled a scenic 20 mile route through the Lincolnshire countryside. We saw a large herd of deer and many rabbits.
Sunday afternoon was spent exploring the city of Lincoln with it’s steep cobble stone streets and beautiful cathedral.
Sunday evening we had a BBQ with the whole family and again laughed until I cried.
On Monday I checked into my beautiful Chelsea home, thanks to a recommendation from Guy and Marise. I walked to Covent Garden and then to the Shard where the new Shangri-la Hotel is, stopping along the way at interesting shops and galleries.
I ate at one of the Jamie Oliver restaurants, but I have had better meals in my life.
My favourite new way to explore London is on a bicycle. It is a bit daunting cycling in the centre of London without a helmet but very exciting.
As Samuel Johnson said: You find no man who is willing to leave London. No sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.