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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Birthday Surprises

Although birthdays are always fun I wasn't particularly enamoured to be getting a year older this year.

Step forward M who made it his personal mission to make sure I had a brilliant birthday. My birthday was on Friday, and M presented me with this card on Thursday night complete with riddle to solve as to where we would be going. I couldn't believe how thoughtful he had been!

Before you read on, can you guess where we were off to?

I'm completely hopeless with a) writing poems and b) solving riddles (so he certainly won't be expecting the same when it's his birthday), but eventually I worked out that we would be off to Winchester.

I'll break down our visit into several posts, but first I have to focus on our wonderful accommodation, the Wykeham Arms.

M tells me that he tried Airbnb, but apparently accommodation in Winchester was thin on the ground. Instead he went for a recommendation from his boss, Mathew.

The Wykeham arms is a traditional pub with rooms and a restaurant, two minutes walk from the stunning Winchester Cathedral.

As you can see from the photos, it's beautifully decorated and very luxurious.

My favourite aspect was the bathroom. I had no less than 3 baths in my over night stay there. I must own a roll top bath!

Downstairs you'll find probably the most quintessentially English inn that you're ever likely to find. Every surface: wall, ceiling and floors are crammed with trinkets - amazing poems, brass cups, pictures and photos and an incredible assortment of curios.

Our evening drink was at a table fashioned from 2 old school desks and we spent most of our time wandering around looking at the various things.

Me writing with an imaginary pen
Fast forward to breakfast the following morning: a large selection of continental items followed by a full English. If you ever visit you must try their apricot compote with greek yogurt. The best breakfast ever.

I had the best birthday ever for lots of reasons, but having the Wykeham Arms as our lodgings certainly contributed to this fact. If you're ever in Winchester, promise me you'll pop in even if it's just for a drink. It really has to be seen to be believed.

Post two to follow shortly...

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