Sometimes it is nice to discover new places in your neighbourhood and slightly beyond and last Thursday was one of those days. My neighbour Jo and I went out to an area of countryside that borders Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. I don’t drive so she kindly drove us around and originally the couple of hours trip was just going to be to the Tall Trees plant nursery and tea rooms. You know how I love a cup of tea.The Tall Trees tea room was ok but nothing to get overly excited about, except if you are a buyer of fresh English and exotic tea leaves and coffee beans from around the world. They have a very good selection all housed in large jars. We had some Assam tea and a bit of cake for me and Jo purchased some coffee beans. A pretty peacock squawked a lot and I took a photo. The plant nursery looked a bit run down and there were masses of weeds under the display trays. I all looked a bit uncared for to be honest. The tea was nice and the coffee cake had a good coffee bean crunch to it. The machinery below is a coffee roasting machine.
Moving on we travelled a few miles up the road to the village of Lowdham and mulled around the tiny bookshop and got offered a free coffee as part of their service which we declined. It is a sweet little bookshop and even runs writing and reading festivals throughout the year and has attracted major authors in the past.
There were young children coming out of school as we left the bookshop and drove off to a pub in Colston Bassett. It is a very pleasant drive through the English Wolds of south Nottinghamshire but sadly the pub was closed when we got there. Shame because I was gasping for a lovely pint of Abbott’s Ale. Undaunted, we crossed the road, past the old Colston Bassett Market Cross (a National Trust property) and on to the old Post Office that is now a deli, gift shop and tea shop. The renovation of the old dilapidated Post Office was beautiful and a treat for the eyes and stomach. They sell a variety of cheeses and cooked and cured meats and one of the cheeses is the famous Colston Bassett creamy Blue Stilton cheese. Have a look at their beautiful website for a much more in depth virtual taste of this scrummy cheese.
Cheese, I should never have mentioned cheese, now I can’t get the actor Peter Sallis’s voice out of my head. “More cheese, Gromitt? Smashin’ bit of cheese.” Although I think Wallace’s favourite is Wensleydale if I’m not mistaken.