Photos are a mixture from both my stays at Stoberry House.
All too soon it was time for our last breakfast at Stobbery House before departing for our homeward journey. After saying goodbye to our hostess and husband we set off to Bristol to visit SS Great Britain.
It being Easter weekend, there was a bit of queue to purchase tickets. Mr C queued and sent mum and I off to browse around the shop, which was also crowded (especially by the book section). I noticed a colouring book which I couldn’t resist purchasing after we had enjoyed the tour of the ship.
We enjoyed the tour of SS Great Britain, mum kept exclaiming how awful it would have been to travel on that ship, which made me think that in those days it would be an adventure to travel on that ship.
After our tour of the ship we continued on our journey home stopping off at the Michael Wood services for lunch. The lunch options were not great so we opted for a sandwich from Waitrose, which we enjoyed eating in the car before continuing on our journey home.
We arranged with our hostess to have breakfast early so that we could attend the Eucharist service on Easter morning in Wells Cathedral. Our hostess was also hoping to attend the service with her husband (who was not normally home for Easter). When we arrived for breakfast we found that in addition to the fruit platter three Lindt chocolate bunnies had also been placed on the table. After breakfast Mr C dropped mum and I off by the Cathedral so that we could find some seats whilst he parked the car.
Everyone in the congregation was very welcoming. The service, led by the Bishop of Taunton, was moving and uplifting; she gave a sermon on life and death using personal accounts of family deaths and the more recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt. At one point in the service, just as the choir responded to the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer, I noticed that, high up in the Cathedral, the figure of Christ on the Cross was fully illuminated by the sun and bright rays of fanned light streaming through a window across the scissor arches where the figure of Christ is situated.
When the service had finished we left through the main doors of the Cathedral which are normally closed and shook hands with the Bishop as we made our way into the Cathedral precinct. At this point Mr C informed me of something that I had completely missed whilst the service was taking place. Whilst the Eucharist was taking place two of the other guests from the B&B had entered the Cathedral through one of the side doors hoping to visit as tourists!!!
Mum and I went for a cup of tea in the Cathedral cafe whilst Mr C went to fetch my camera and his bag from the boot of his car. When these had been retrieved Mr C joined us for a cup of tea and once we had been suitably refreshed we made our way to the Bishops Palace Garden to see the palace, gardens and chapel. The morning sun was lovely and sunny but there was a chilly wind. When we had finished exploring the Bishops Palace Garden we had lunch in the Cathedral cafe before setting off on a scenic drive through the Chedder Gorge ending up in Wookey Hole where we indulged in ‘naughty’ ice cream.
After this bit of naughtiness we headed back to Stobbery House so that we could enjoy the parts of the gardens we didn’t view yesterday before it was time to freshen up before dinner. As we wandered round the lower garden Monty accompanied us for a short while before he disappeared further afield.
We dined in Rugatino’s which is an Italian restaurant attached to the Ancient Gatehouse Hotel. The food was good and the service was excellent. As we made our way back to Stobbery House we once again encountered sheep in the road before we could enjoy one last nightcap ahead of our journey home the next morning.
After a good nights sleep we made our way downstairs for breakfast. Once in the breakfast room we found that a table for three had been set up in a prime location for stunning views over the garden towards Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Tor. The breakfast was every bit as superb as it was on our previous visit last July.
Over breakfast we, with a little help from the lady who served breakfast, we decided on our first port of call for the day; Montacute House. We arrived just as the house opened and decided to go into the house straight away. This proved to be a good choice, we missed the later queues for entry to the house and the inside the house was relatively quiet and easy to get around and appreciate. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Long Gallery which is claimed to be the longest in England.
When we had finished viewing the house, we spent time in the gardens and grounds. By the time we had finished it was time for lunch. The food options were a bit limited but once again we beat the rush and found a table so we could sit and enjoy our choices. After lunch we called in briefly at the shop and then considered our options for what to do next. There was another National Trust property nearby but were minded to do something completely different. After a little bit of research via maps and Google we decided on Kilver Court Gardens which is just 6 miles outside Wells. The garden sounded small but interesting. When we arrived there, the entrance didn’t look promising, but we bought a ticket and went into the garden. We were pleasantly surprised to find that garden, although small, was quite delightful.
After the garden visit we browsed around a bric a brac store that had some interesting gift ideas before heading back to Stoberry House. We started to explore the garden at Stobbery but the windy weather deterred us from exploring it to its full extent. We retreated to the warmth of Stobbery House where I had a nice relaxing bath and got ready for our evening meal in Goodfellows. The meal was excellent. I chose pollock with pancetta, soya beans and mixed mushrooms on a bed of mashed potato – it was delicious.
After the meal as we drove up the road from the bottom of the property to Stobbery House we were once again delayed by sheep lying across the road. We could see their breath as they exhaled in the cool night air. After some gentle persuasion, the sheep moved to the grassy area to the side of the road allowing us make our way up to Stobbery House where we enjoyed a nightcap before retiring for a good night’s sleep.
We set off for Wells just after 10am, considering it was bank holiday Friday we had a good journey with the SatNav recalculating better routes if it detected a delay. We arrived at the Book Barn just outside Bristol in time for lunch as we had planned. Mum didn’t know our destination and as we approached the Book Barn she saw a sign advertising a place with 1 million books and exclaimed ‘look Mr C, this is just the place for you’. We said nothing and as we turned the corner she was amused to find that that was our lunch destination. The vegetarian menu is all home cooked. I chose pea, feta and herb pate which was delicious. After browsing around the books all of which cost £1 we continued on our way to Wells.
When we arrived in Wells Mr C dropped mum and I off outside the Cathedral and went to park the car at Stobbery House where we were staying for the weekend. Mum and I could hear music coming from within the Cathedral which meant that the Good Friday Easter Vigil hadn’t quite finished. We made our way to the Cathedral shop where we waited for Mr C to catch us up. When he arrived we went into the Cathedral and as we made our way around we were treated to beautiful music performed by Bath Camerata who were practicing for a concert that that evening.
When we had finished in the Cathedral mum and I waited nearby whilst Mr C went to fetch the car. In that time two men fell over in the street near to us, luckily neither of them were hurt unlike mum who had fallen over a couple of days before we went away and given herself a black eye!! We made our way to Stoberry House where Frances welcomed us, showed us to our rooms and provided afternoon tea and cakes. By strange co-incidence the room that Mr C had booked for mum was right next to ours. Whilst we were chatting to Frances she told us that her delightful cat Monty who showed us round the garden on our last visit had been very ill. He had had stones in his urethra and it was touch and go for a time. Luckily he made it but he is still recovering from the ordeal.
Whilst we were in our room getting ready for dinner I checked out the colouring book and the picture that I had started to colour last time we stayed in the room. To my (pleasant) surprise I found the picture was almost but not quite completed!
We dined in Liberty where the service was rather quirky but the food was good. The town was quiet for a Friday evening so we made our way back to Stobbery House for a chat and a glass of wine from the honesty bar before it was time to make our way to bed. As we drove up the road from the bottom of the property we were delayed by sheep lying across the road.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Luke 11:9 (KJV)