Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 17, 2013

Exploring Elstow Village in Bedfordshire

Sundays are perfect for exploring tiny little villages in the English countryside so G and I went for a drive in search for cake in Bedfordshire.  After having a lovely dinner at St Helena in Elstow last week we had decided to return to try out the Elstow Tea Gardens.  What I didn’t realise was that Elstow is famous for being the birth place of author John Bunyan, every day is a school day!

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Parking the car at Elstow Abbey we wandered though the church yard…

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…into a secret garden

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There were enough little spots to relax in.

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And plenty of pretty flowers for me to photograph; I love yellow roses and petunias.  If I was a flower, I’m pretty sure I would be a petunia – they look so clumsy, cheerful and crazy!  Me in a nut shell really!  Random question but which flower do you think you would be?

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There was even a blooming big pond with very hungry fish swimming around in the gardens.

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G and I found a little spot to relax in and admire the beautiful rambling garden while not getting blown away in the wind.  It might have been the first day of summer but you still have to dress for every eventuality – Barbour Jacket, Sunglasses and Sun Hat at the ready.  And yes I still drink chocolate milk, I’m a big kid at heart!

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Unfortunately there weren’t too many gluten free options available so I opted for a jacket potato with tuna which came with salad.  I think it was karma that there was no gluten free cake options as I had eaten two pieces the day before!  There are a load of ice cream options on the menu which are gluten free also.

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G on the other hand is a gluten eating monster and opted for the afternoon tea which was very cute.  G’s verdict was that the scones were a tad dry and the sarnies were dry around the edges which is never good – all those posh London afternoon teas have spoiled him! (and also my mummy in New Zealand).  Our bill came to £16 which I thought was pretty reasonable.

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I simply couldn’t resist doing a comparison between these two!

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After waking G up from his lunch time snooze we went for another wander through the church grounds…

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…stopping at the Elstow Village Green where there is a stump of the old Market Cross which denotes that Royal Chartered markets were held at this spot.   And yes it really is just a stump (and my naughty kiwi mind went somewhere dirty…)

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I’ve driven past the sign for the Elstow Moot Hall but never discovered what it was until today – it’s actually a museum and contains items relating to John Bunyan.  Unfortunately the Moot Hall wasn’t open on Sunday (but is open to the public from 1pm – 4pm on Saturday from Easter to the end of September) so I will be back as I want a nosey inside.

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The high street is home to loads of wobbly buildings…

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and I love wobbly buildings as they are generally older than New Zealand which I think is pretty darn cool that England has so many old buildings still standing.

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Yes I really really really love wobbly buildings and thatched cottages until I hit my head on the ceiling!

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If you’re after a more upmarket meal then I highly recommend visiting St Helena in Elstow; a full review to come.

What’s your favourite little village to visit in England?


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