Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Adventures in Stratford Upon Avon

There's one thing that can definitely be stated as truth about Statford Upon Avon during the last weekend. It was cold. Very very cold. So cold that Mrs The Millbrooker and I found ourselves scouring the innumerable branches of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill for extra fleecy layers. Why does Stratford have so many Edinburgh Woollen Mill outlets? Trust me, it has lots. Is it that the average age of visitors to this tourist mecca is roughly in the demographic that finds EWM products attractive?

Anyhow, the headline shot shows Mrs The Millbrooker between shivers outside "New Place", one of the well preserved Shakespearian-age houses that tourists are allowed to go into after parting with a suitable sum of their hard-earned cash. We didn't actually go into this one, but it looked nice from the outside. We did go into this one:

The lattice-framed and very ancient building on the left is The Garrick and it serves very good ale indeed. Just the thing after fending off frostbite during an orientation wander around town.

The house on the right is another of those "you can come in for the right price" places, but it's not open in the depths of winter.

A quick word about entrance fees: I really have no objection at all to paying to get in somewhere; that's the way it works. Eight quid a pop, though, is pushing it a bit in my ever-so-'umble opinion; a better deal is on offer if you buy a combined ticket allowing entry to all of the assorted properties. One of the very few advantages to having a white stick, however, is that in Stratford I'm allowed to go in for half price and Mrs The Millbrooker can go in for nothing as my "carer". Hooray!

So we parted with our paltry sum to look around Shakespeare's birthplace and its attendant exhibition. It was well worth it.

The main event of our weekend away was seeing a production at The Courtyard Theatre of Henry Vth. It was a fantastic experience and I'll jabber on about it incessantly in a future posting when I've stolen a couple of photos from the RSC website. I'll attempt to review it in a calm, detached and professional manner but will probably fail because it was simply great.

There's lots more to write about our adventures in Stratford including meeting up for lunch with the Millbrooker-sis and a portion of her family, but it'll have to wait for another time; I have to set of for work very shortly.

A quick post-script for anyone thinking of staying in Stratford, we're happy to recommend The White Swan Hotel on Rother Street. Lovely food, genuinely spacious rooms, lots of atmosphere and very friendly, helpful staff, Well done them. Here's a link to their website:

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