A Midsummer Day’s Dream (The Ordinary Moments)
As I’ve mentioned in a few recent posts, I’ve not been out much lately except for a few hours here and there. I haven’t been able to manage a full day yet but I needed the fresh air and a day away from the house so Sukh and I decided to take the kids out.We’ve been meaning to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon for some time now. Thanks to Stratford Upon Avon Online, we were able to spend the whole day experiencing some of the many attractions on offer in this beautiful market town.Stratford-Upon-Avon is famous for being the birthplace of the world’s greatest playwright – William Shakespeare.
I remember visiting a few times as a child. My parents would take us there and we would spend afternoons walking around along the banks of the River Avon.We thought the kids would appreciate the beauty and history of the town, seeing as they’ve now read a lot of Shakespeare’s plays.
I bought a boxset of his most famous plays, which have been adapted for children. Shivam’s favourites are Henry V and Hamlet and Shalini prefers the tragic romance Romeo and Juliet.We left late morning and 40 minutes later we arrived at our first stop for the day, The Bell in Alderminster, which is a gastro pub and B&B. It’s about 7km outside of Stratford.There was a warm atmosphere as soon as we entered, with friendly staff ready to greet us and seat us straight away, as I had booked a table a day before.
The restaurant itself is contemporary and stylish. In the pub, there are a couple of log burners and it would be a beautiful place to come and relax over a drink in the winter.Sukh and the kids ordered the pork chop with mustard mash and greens whilst I preferred the panfried sea bream accompanied by new potatoes, kale and buttery capers.We spent some time enjoying the garden while we waited for our food.Our meals were delicious – and so filling. The kids wiped their plates and tucked into their desserts. They had both ordered brownies with vanilla ice cream.
The manager Sean was a friendly man and spent some time talking to us. Customer service was second to none and Sean made sure we were OK whilst at The Bell and also for our onward journey.Once we got into the town, we realised how busy it was. A lot of the car parks were full and there were coach-loads of tourists pulling in.
I can understand why. It’s a beautiful part of the country and worth exploring.We decided to visit the Shakespeare Centre first, where the kids learned so much interesting information about the playwright.
Shivam spent time reading all the signs and then relaying that information to me.The Centre takes you through to Shakespeare’s home. In each part of the house, friendly staff are waiting to share facts about his life.
I’ve never visited on my previous trips so this was fascinating. It was exciting for the kids to see how they lived.Shalini was surprised at how they cooked their meals with such basic facilities. Shivam was fascinated by the leather workshop where William’s father, John, made gloves.Upstairs, we ventured into the three bedrooms. The first was William’s room which he shared with his brothers. They all shared a single bed but at least they had one.His sisters slept in the room next door above the smelly workshop and didn’t have a bed at all and no fireplace in their room either.
Then there was Mary Arden and John’s room with a double bed and a crib next to it. This was the room in which William was born. Who knew that he would go on to become world famous and his work would carry through centuries?We spent some time in the house garden where actors were performing sonnets and monologues from Shakespeare’s plays. I think the kids had had quite an educational afternoon.We headed to the River Avon and along the markets, which were selling a variety of arts, crafts and food.We had a casual stroll before we headed for afternoon tea at the Hathaway Tea Rooms, which we were able to enjoy courtesy of Shakespeare’s England.Life is so busy and we’re always rushing around, especially on days out so it was nice just to relax for a change. We had an afternoon tea for two but it was enough for all of us.
We had had a big lunch so this was just a nice top up. The only thing I didn’t share with anyone was my scone. I could eat a whole one even on a full stomach!
It was late afternoon by the time we left the tea rooms. We headed back to the river for a 40-minute boat ride.We discovered more of the town, as we passed buildings and places of interest.Shivam listened intently to the pre-recorded tour on the handy gadget. Shalini and I enjoyed looking at the houses which had gardens backing on to the river.
How lucky they are to have that stunning view of the water whenever they want.We rode past The Boathouse and saw many people in rowing boats and motor boats, which fascinated Shivam. He said he wants to come back another day so we can hire a private boat.All in all, we had a lovely day and there are still so many things to see and experience. We’ve promised the kids we will come back soon.
Read more Ordinary Moments.