The beginning of our trip to England was a bit stressful, but also pretty freaking amazing.
We were racing against time - trying to get out of Houston before Hurricane Harvey hit.
We got to do this from the United Lounge! Since we were flying Business Class, we had access to the lounge in Houston before our flight, so we had a few glasses of champagne and light snacks before boarding.
Once on board, we were treated to lie-flat seats, delicious food and more champagne! It was honestly amazing to eat dinner (and sundae bar!!), go to sleep for 6 hours and then wake up for breakfast and landing. Yay for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card that got us the points to fly Business Class on this trip!
Harvey completely shut down Houston for DAYS, so while we were obviously grateful that we got out, we were WAY happier that my parents and friends were safe.
We landed in the early AM in London and went straight to the United Arrivals Lounge to shower and have a snack. Afterwards, we picked up our rental car and went to Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden. I'll cover this later though when we talk about the "London" section of our trip.
For now, I'll skip ahead to the Cotswolds. We stayed at a cute little place called The Wild Rabbit in Kingham. The food was spectacular - from the bar food, to the breakfast, to the dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant. We had a few issues with the noise level here, but overall, we really enjoyed our stay!
We got the chance to meet up with some friends for lunch at Daylesford Organic on our second day there and it was so great to catch up and explore the area! We checked out the Cotswolds Distillery and popped over to a nearby festival to have some delicious gin and tonics.
After that, we walked around Stow on the Wold and relaxed with a drink at a local pub. We even swug by Bourton on the Water (which was probably our favorite town). We had big dinner plans that evening to eat at the Wild Rabbit's restaurant...made slightly more interesting by the fact that a local festival knocked out all the power to our entire village! We waited it out for about 30 minutes and the generator kicked in, saving the night!
The next morning, Jason and I went back to Daylesford Organic's spa - Bamford - to have some deep tissue massages and relax! We picked up a quick meal from their deli and went out to explore Bibury (Arlington Row) and meander through small villages enroute to Sapperton. That night, we returned to Bourton on the Water to have a picnic dinner at sunset along the water.
The next morning was a bit dreary, but we were headed to moody Wales, so it seemed appropriate. Our destination was Wye Valley to see Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle. Walking around the grounds of the abbey, it wasn't hard to imagine why it became a magnet for romanticists and poets (Wordsworth most famously). It is a beautifully preserved medieval abbey and definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.
Chepstow Castle was constructed by William the Conquerer in the 1060s and when we were arriving, they were cleaning up from a rock concert the night before. Now THAT would have been a fun venue! Luckily the rain held out and we were able to explore before tucking into a pub for some pies and cider.
We had a great 4 days exploring this area of the country. We really loved Wales as well, but just didn't have enough time! We'll be back!
Up Next: Stonehenge and Dorset!