‘Hmmm, how to find a cottage in Lincolnshire…’

I thought to myself in August whilst sat in front of a computer, recovering from an operation prior (See More: Cochlear Implant Journey). My good friend, Jennifer, wanted to organise our traditional cottage weekend again after the success of hers back in February this year.

I opened Google and randomly put in ‘cottage holiday Lincolnshire’ and clicked on the first link…might as well clicked ‘I’m feeling Lucky’ and lo and behold! The cottage that is to be! The awesomeness of the cottage is based in Stragglethorpe, just 6 miles east away from Newark and looking through the website, it looks amazing. The cottage was aptly called The Stables.

The cottage is owned by a really friendly couple who seems to be britishness personified. Upon knocking on their door to enquire about a local firework display, they invited us into their kitchen only to find all their walls filled with memories of their life! A friendly dog came to us for a pat from us and there’s nothing like seeing a dog wagging their tail to get you smiling!

So a group of friends and I went to this cottage last weekend for one aim….RELAX! Of course, it was the beginning of November and the nights are now drawing in. So we had visions of being sat in plump chairs next to the roaring fire where all of us would get our guitars out and singing kumb bah ya…ok that didn’t happen. But knowing it was cold, I packed perhaps over zealously, my entire collection of jumpers and waterproofs in case we got stranded in rural Lincolnshire. But I needn’t have worried…the place had underfloor heating! It was so nice to feel warmth on the underside of your feet but I did feel a slight disappointment that I couldn’t whip out my slippers, which I had started wearing at home a few days prior. I just love my slippers! But underfloor heating went further….there was a thermostat in each room so you could have a tropical room or an arctic room hehe!

After settling in and catching up with each other for a bottle of buck’s fizz…why not…to celebrate Jennifer’s new job, I started cooking my new signature dish: Chicken blankets with broccoli and carrot mash with roasted parsnips and peppers. Yummy! Overseeing a violent game of monopoly, it really goes to show how Monopoly brings out the worst in people…I even have a friend who I jokingly but perhaps not at times…the Monopoly Thug. She even threatened me with a plate once after I objected to her move once and since then I have refused to play with her.

What can I say about Stragglethorpe in Lincolnshire? Well first of all, get the name right! After failing to find the postcode for the place for some friends who were visiting for the day, I just told them that the place was called Scragglesthrope…oops. It wasn’t until they rang me from Nottingham and said that they followed their Sat-Nav that they knew they didn’t arrive at the right place!

Luckily, after supplying them with the right spelling, they were only 40 mins away by car. Phew!

Stragglethorpe is a lovely rural place where you couldn’t possibly be surprised if you saw farm animals saunter through the gardens and munch on your windscreen wipers…that didn’t happen. But it could have! But with a massive tree turning autumnal wonderfully, it gave the place a hugely majestic feel that all is right with the world. You could sit outside with a steaming mug of (YORKSHIRE) tea in the clear yet brisk weather and marvel at the rays hitting the yellow, orange and red coloured leaves. Stragglethorpe really is rural, there’s no tesco’s express around the corner and you do have to drive 5 miles in order to find a shop. It did feel nice to be cut off and be in a place with only a few houses around. I’ve had a tough few weeks so it was good to chillax with some great mates.

Lincolnshire

I do honestly believe that to get the best of Britain you need to visit a National Trust Property. So we went to the grounds of Belton House to trudge through the fallen leaves and run amok through the maze they had there. I instructed Jennifer to close her eyes and I directed her with my hands to the centre of the maze and see if she could get out herself on her own. She did. Drat!

Belton House, Lincolnshire

Later that day, we went to the next village, after a scrumptious meal of Chilli Con Carne cooked by Catherine and Jennifer, called Branton Broughton for their local firework display seeing as it was BONFIRE NIGHT!

Andy kept laughing at my environmental friendly torch in which I had to wind it up for a minute to get half an hour lifght…however, I must have broken it as it wouldn’t turn on unless I wound it at the same time…so 20 mins each way of winding! By the time we got there the fireworks was about to start. Arming ourselves with glowsticks, we oooh and ahhhhed all the way through the rays of colours throughout the sky whilst enjoying a cheeky drink of mulled wine! The day was highlighted by the quote Alice gave when upon finding out that entry to the firework would be cheaper in a family, she looked at Jennifer and declared ‘I wouldn’t mind being a lesbian if it meant money off!’ Not quite, Alice!

But like in the saying ‘Time flies when you’re having fun.’ Our time straggling in Lincolnshire came to an end and with a heavy heart we loaded the car back up and drove away looking back, muttering to ourselves that we will be back…until we screamed when a pheasant flew out in front of the car! Phew, we had narrowly survived thanks to my braking!

 

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