Disaster struck briefly this morning when I chipped a corner off my molar on the muesli I was eating! I’ll have to enjoy my upcoming gourmand experiences on 31.75 teeth.
After a leisurely start I packed my car and glided reluctantly out of the Cotswolds, taking the back roads and skimming the top of Toddington to reach Worcestershire in no time at all.
Because I had a day before me I thought I’d explore the Malvern Hills area, little realising that my B&B for the night was right there!
I started with Little Malvern – spying what must be Little Malvern Priory amongst the trees.
It being 10am the first consideration was a coffee and so I followed my nose but found myself frustrated. I googled ‘Malvern’ and ‘coffee’ and was given directions to St Ann’s Well cafe. That looked promising!
The road grew increasingly narrower and bendier and at one stage a very tight left turn saw me propelling my small car up a dirt driveway into private property. A lengthy 20 pt turn later and I rejoined the route but it still lead me to a dirt goat track of a road that I feared my ability to return from.
So I headed downhill into the town proper:
Steep streets, a huge cathedral-type building that turned out to be a school, a priory, but no parking. I eventually found a pay and display and walked into the main street, tempted to go to the Cafe Nero.
But no! After all this effort it needed to be local – so I sweated uphill and around a corner to a place called Rebecca’s Cafe (I think).
It was certainly quirky and unique:
Dead flowers in front window, crotcheted bacon and eggs on a plate, tupperware-type containers with the blurred outlines of home made cakes. Too late to back out now – and being only the second customer – I ordered a piece of Victoria Sponge and a big latte. I listened in vain for the sound of coffee beans grinding – and was unsurprised when a latte of filtered coffee and frothed milk accompanied my cake. Sigh. I’m sure the tea and scones are excellent.
Anyhoo, I set off on a bit of an explore – into the priory grounds:
There I read some gravestones – always interesting to me – coming from a country where we don’t have any prior to early 1800s.
I then returned to the car, found a Waitrose supermarket, purchased some salads and fruit and drove towards the Little Malvern Priory to have a picnic lunch in the carpark.
Small note: Why is it so hard to find a cafe in UK that sells salads along with pastry and bread items? They do an excellent job with the salads at supermarkets but never in a sit down place.
I was the only car in the park, so after lunch I took myself across the road to peruse the priory. A line of gravestones straddled the pathway – from centuries past to the current day. The most poignant being:
Ahead the cool entrance to the 11th century priory loomed.
I made my way inside, feeling pleasantly surprised by the welcome signs, open doors, and headphones with recorded message about the building. It is an active church, an invitation to make use of the kitchen to make tea or use the toilets prominently displayed. Inside the heavy wooden door the chapel is lofty and has some splendid Medieval stained glass windows – featuring Henry V.
I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
Then I meandered a bit more and finally wound my way to my B&B for the night. This is a comfortable room on ground floor with futon bed. My friendly host, Rumana, welcomed me in to join her and a friend with a cup of tea and homemade cake.
Still feeling the effects of jet lag I had a couple hours nap and set off for dinner at the Nag’s Head – not far away.
My pork medallion’s were tasty and I enjoyed the lively atmosphere around me. I’m now ready for bed again.