So, I duly presented myself at Paddington at the appointed hour and after a pretty miserable hour standing on the train, we were overjoyed to get a seat - near the toilet! Whey hey! But all this dissipated when by 8pm, we found ourselves in the middle of a very picturesque village around here...
And in particular, at the Colwall Park Hotel. What a beautiful Arts and Crafts building. Things were hopeful! It was literally two minutes stumble from the railway station for which we were very grateful.
Mr HH was chuffed too when he spotted the gorgeous cosy, snug "Lantern Bar" inside. I'm sure he didn't know about that when he booked our trip?
Ah, sigh, relax and feel very happy to discover some essential hydrating fluid and some pretty blooms in our room...
After a lovely dinner, a comfy night and an early start, present opening, on Saturday, we decided to go exploring so we jumped on the local train and headed for the infamous black and white town...
Yes, the picturesque Ludlow. That's the well-known Feathers Hotel up there. I'd like to tell you I have lots of other pretty pictures of the streets to show you and set the scene but errm, I don't! I do have pictures of shops though. We like shops, especially these sorts of shops...
We couldn't believe it when we stepped inside this shop, it was like stepping back in time.
Anything you could want for restoring your period house, you will find here.
All very beautifully displayed, as you can see.
Upstairs was dedicated to period-style gentlemen's clothing, suitably styled with vintage props.
Bit of an eclectic photo this but one of my little games I like to play when I am out and about is spotting the perfect shop in which to have my dreamy tea room/gift shop! Here was my choice in Ludlow.
A bit naughtily, I've been saving this bit until last, even though we dived in there first! How could we not visit the marvellous Zani's? It's even suitably positioned on your way into the town from the railway station so it's impossible not to step inside.
Looks promising, doesn't it?
In we go then. Feast they eyes!
Three floors of goodies all very prettily displayed.
All well priced.
All things you feel you really neeeeed...
Here is the lovely Kirstie's section, we had a bit of a natter, Kirstie and I, a fellow crafter. What beautiful things. We did not come away empty handed!
But then you knew we wouldn't, didn't you! Behold the booty!
As soon as we walked into Zani's. I spotted this fabric, basically just being priced up, in the nice lady assistant's hand. I (probably very ungraciously) dived on the lot!
The pink stripe and the white checked fabrics are Jane Churchill but very vintage looking and perfectly pretty, I think. The other two are vintage, the blue one is French (has French writing on the selvedge). Ooh la la, fabric love!
These buttons came from a dinky little collectables shop across the road from Zani's, "Where's Joey".
Also taking place in Ludlow, was a flea market. Oh joy! This is organised by the lady who owns Zani's (the Zani Lady?) I picked up some pretty vintage Christmas cards and the enamelled bird brooch.
We also had an amazing find in there. A whole stash (ten) of the Eileen Soper prints which accompany the Enid Blyton nature series for a mere £1 each. If you've been reading my blog for a bit, you will know we are quite a fan of these and have many around our home. Sorry, forgot to photograph those.
How about these? Both of these were from Zani's. The shade will go in the dining room at the cottage (probably) and was from Kirstie's section, the tin was from what I think was Louise's section (of Louise Loves).
I also treated myself to these as I have a "thing" for crowns at the moment. They've taken residence here at home in our "posh" sitting room.
I also loved a certain china cabinet but without the car, had no way of getting it home. Trust me, we were quiet a sight getting on the train home with all of our goodies as it was!
Lastly, this may not be exciting eye candy but I was very pleased indeed to lay my hands on a few more woollen blankets. Hmm, I certainly have plans for those!
Thank you, Mr HH, you're a star. It's not often I am surprised, I can tell you! Thank you also to my friends out there who were kind enough to send me happy birthday wishes and even goodies. I feel very special indeed to have made your acquaintance. Now, that's my birthday done for this year, when's it Christmas?! Talking of Christmas, you know what I'm doing tomorrow, don't you? Oooh, it's tooo exciting. Come back and see, won't you please?