I like to travel. Wait, scratch that. I LOVE to travel. New places, new voices, new experiences. Everything is foreign and exciting and fresh.
In summer of 2013, I went on a little trip to England, among other places. I spent three glorious days in Derbyshire, at a little inn on the Chatsworth Estate.
There was a path from the inn to the house. It wound through fields filled with cows (watch your step), across a sweet little wooden bridge, and on to the sheep-dotted meadows surrounding the house.
It was breathtakingly beautiful. Literally. The kind of beautiful that makes you stop and look around you with wide eyes, all words driven out of your head, mouth hanging open and utter astonishment written all over your face.
It filled my imagination with a million stories but not enough patience to sit down and write them. It made me want to twirl through the fields singing. It made me want to wear full skirts and petticoats – but I didn’t. Well, I didn’t wear petticoats.
I had a perpetual smile on my face and a sweet feeling of contentment the entire time I was there.
The inn itself was rambling and charming, with amazing food and attentive staff. There was a Scottish head waiter or food manager of some sort who was dark and a tiny bit portly; he was that odd mix of a teasing sense of humor and perfect manners, all wrapped up in an impeccable three-piece suit. He was training a young man, Graham, I think, and the poor boy didn’t know how to behave properly, and the Scotsman was very proper with great attention to detail, which of course led to hilarious observations as Graham was instructed on the proper way of carrying a case, addressing guests, and serving drinks. The poor Scotsman could hardly keep from rolling his eyes. I could almost hear him complaining about how young people today don’t know the correct way to do things and how hard it is to find good employees.
My favorite staff member was a waiter who had sandy hair combed perfectly into place and a swoon-worthy Cambridge accent. He described every dish on the menu perfectly, including the lamb that was “sourced form the estate”, which made me feel quite bad for the adorable sheep I had passed earlier that day who’d made everything look so picturesque.
What I loved most about this tall thin man was that he reminded me of a beloved character (for me anyway): Basil of Baker Street. Now, you may not remember the movie The Great Mouse Detective, but I loved it as a child and if Basil was made human, he would look just like this waiter. It became so funny to me that I almost called him Basil more than once and could hardly keep from laughing when he was around.
It was delightful.
The house itself was, of course, amazing. Below is a gallery of pictures from Chatsworth. All were taken by me as I traipsed across the grounds in my layered sundress and boots to ward off the mud. I highly recommend it.
I often travel to new places and will likely share many of them here. Where was your most memorable trip? Where are you longing to go? Who would you go with and what would you do there? Tell me – I’m always looking for a new destination.