England 2006

July 20, 2006 – Day 7c

Oakleigh House

Here are all of today’s photos

Day 7c: Oakleigh House

Chipping Campden - Market Hall (1)
After Broadway Tower, we head off to Chipping Campden for a bit before going to John and Marianne’s for the afternoon/evening dinner/drink festival!

Chipping Campden is yet *another* “perfect Cotswold village” with shops, cottages, churches, and a really interesting structure in the center of town. The “Market Hall”, built in 1627, was used by local farmers as their fresh produce market. A “medieval Whole Foods Market”, if you will:

Chipping Campden - Market Hall (6)
The cobblestone floors inside were really rough and uneven, and you could tell where heavy carts had been pulled for many many years!

A quick jaunt up High Street (and some more of the ever-present flowers) later… we’re off to John and Marianne’s:

Chipping Campden - high streetChipping Campden - flowers

Oakleigh House sign
Like J&J’s “Woodland Cottage”, John and Marriane’s house has a name, too: “Oakleigh House”

It really is a beautiful house, placed on a multi-acre wooded setting out in the middle of nowhere (this will come into play later):

Oakleigh House (6)Oakleigh House (3)
Oakleigh House (7)

We’re going to be spending the afternoon/evening here eating and drinking… John’s prepared a *LOT* of meat for the grill, and there’s a more-than-ample supply of some fantastic local ales and bitters in the *huge* refrigerator!!!! After a tour about the house, Kathy and Melanie wanted to go see the horses next door. It turns out that it’s a show jumping stable owned by a former member of the Australian Olympic show-jumping team. After John calls to see if it’s okay, Kathy, Mel, Jenny, and I walk up the road to the stables.

Fence and drivewayLittle Charingworth Stud field

Why yes..
Why yes…

Melanie got to see the facilities, including a hedge-lined arena, the horse stables (with horses!), and talk with Bill (the aforementioned Aussie) for a few minutes:

Melanie and her dream arenaMelanie inside Little Charingworth Stud stables (4)
Bill and Melanie

Chef Mark
When we get back, Mark’s started grilling the steaks, pork, chicken, and sausages. Mark is Julian’s younger brother.

He’s a certified pilot who is in the process of interviewing with British Airways for a commercial position!

So, while things are cooking, we relax!

Andrew and Sam chill in the hammockJulian and Melanie play 'Yard Jenga'

Andrew taking target practice
Mark, Andrew, and Julian break out the air rifles for some target practice:

Dinner’s ready… let’s eat!

Dinner time at Oakleigh HouseMarianne sips her wine

Oakleigh House sunset (2)
As the sun sets, we’re all still sitting, drinking, and talking:

And… in a weird coincidence… they had a power outage, so we used the grill to bake the desert! Grilled pie anyone?

Grilled pie%21John serves grilled pie

It’s now dark… we’re all still sitting, drinking, and talking:

But then… out of the darkness… comes a blood curdling scream!

( you’ll just have to wait for the next entry: THE STEPS OF DOOM!)