Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Oh for a Village of my own

Car booting yesterday. Will post my haul up shortly. In the meantime, I'd like you to sit back, relax, jump in my horse and carriage and we'll take a litle trip into the countryside. We're going south of London, towards Brighton, but not following the hoards. We're slowing down about ten miles north of Eastbourne, the road bends and suddenly narrows, and the terraced houses rise high on either side.

Then, the little shop signs... Badger Tea Rooms, Not Just Chocolate Tourist Information, Tricorn Hats for Ladies' Millinery. The road widens at a corner shop brimful of locally produced jams and curds, with boxes of eggs piled up outside. Narrowing again, we find the diverting Much Ado Books,Bat's Wing Apothecaryy, a Gallery, a mosaic workshop called The Greenhouse Effect.

If you were to go blindly on, the peaceful yet imposing Wingrove House Hotel and Restaurant would bid you farewell into the Sussex countryside beyond, but turn left down a grass covered lane and St Andrews Church, the Tye (village green) and the Clergy House (now a National Trust home) would miss you dearly.

With five teashops and the 'Best Independent Bookshop in the UK', this little gem is for exploring, leisurely, over pub lunches, milehigh teacakes and mismatched crockery.

Truly, this is England. This is forever England.

And what a find on a grey, misty and forbidding Bank Holiday Monday.