Monday, February 24, 2014

Time for Another English Breakfast?

I’ve only ever stayed in one bed-and-breakfast, and hadn’t known (going into it) breakfast would be served at a communal table. I thought a door in my room that I unlocked and forced open was for a closet, but it turned out to be the door to someone else’s room. It was like crashing in the upstairs spare bedroom of your aunt’s house in the woods (with scents of sausage and baked goods seeping into every crevice of the premises), except I wasn’t at my aunt’s house, I was in the crowded home of a complete stranger, fantasizing about the Holiday Inn.

I sometimes believe in second chances, thus haven’t written bed-and-breakfasts off for good. A friend of an acquaintance runs one called Two Rose Cottages, about an hour away from London. Everything I hear and read about it sounds (as many English people would say) “splendid,” and I would love to spend a night there the next time I’m in the area.

When I was 19, I studied abroad in England, had a blast, and haven’t been back since. I was there very briefly and had such a magical time, so long ago, it all seems like a dream (a friend who I went with remembers it in a similarly happy haze) until I look through dusty old photo albums and see page upon page of proof that it really happened. It wouldn’t be hard to get myself back there this year. I considered going last year, and maybe a couple of years before that, always voting against it in the end.

I used to know someone who adored her undergraduate university to the point where she chose not to stay for grad school because she figured her life as a grad student would be heavier, and didn’t want to create any non-idyllic associations with that school. The more I’ve thought about it (the tweets I get from this English bed-and-breakfast have triggered the thinking), I suppose I understand what she means.


  1. I long for a beautiful bed and breakfast on a long weekend trip. It has to be large enough with thick enough walls that I don't hear my neighbors--I need my own bathroom (not one in the hallway)--and I hope they have something warm for breakfast. I've been to a number in the U.S., but never one in the U.K. I clicked on Two Rose Cottages and the initial picture looked enchanting, but then they announced they were moving in with the cookies! I got off quickly. I did not know you had studied in England. It sounds like you had fun!

  2. It's like going out on a high... I loved England just as much and also had a blast (10 years ago this year!)... I've been back twice already and each time its both amazing and miserable. Amazing to re-live all those experiences - its like a grand walk down memory lane, nostalgia overload. Miserable because you realise that no matter what you did, you can never go back there or get that time back again.

  3. "Splendid..." such a funny word that I would never be able to use without getting slapped by my wife or Azra. So I don't. I also nearly did when I was in Manchester. I just couldn't get used to driving on the other side of the road. But I haven't written walking there off for good. ;)

    1. Why Blue, that's a splendid idea :) *kidding*

    2. How utterly, nay, magnificently splendid, indeed. That said, where's my bourbon?