Winchester is such a wonderful city. Full of old English charm and beautiful scenery. It’s much like Exeter in a way but it wasn’t bombed heavily in the war so it still remains the same as it was centuries ago. I absolutely love visiting the city. Not only for the old English charm but because my wonderful Aunt and Uncle live there. Lorraine and Dai, the aforementioned Aunt and Uncle live very close to the city centre. About a ten minute walk which is great for popping into town and mooching around.
I arrived in Thursday in the pouring rain which was a little disappointing but it didn’t dampen my spirits. Excuse the pun! Dai picked me up from the train station and we went back to their lovely townhouse. Lunch was served. A delicious bowl of comforting pea and pesto soup and homemade flatbread. Just what I needed after a three hour train journey from home.
We caught up on our news briefly before I had to head out and meet an old school chum that I hadn’t seen for about 15years! I met Erica at the Butter Cross which is an old monument on the High Street and we walked the short distance to Rawberry. A cute cafe that specialises in juices and whole foods. I have written a little post on my experience there which will be out soon.
We chatted for about 2 hours about life and memories. It really was lovely catching up after all these years. Where does the time go? We both promised not to leave it another 15 years before we caught up again.
I walked back through the Cathedral grounds to my aunt and uncles in time for the prosecco to pop! We had a glass of fizz whilst dinner was being prepared. Three delightful courses. My aunt is a wonderful cook and my foodie inspiration in many ways.
Friday was the the most glorious day. Blue skies and sunshine. The complete opposite to yesterday’s miserable cold rain. Lorraine, Dai and myself put on our comfy shoes and decided to go for a walk around the Water Meadows and St Catherine’s Hill. We must have walked about 7 miles in all and it was beautiful.
We returned home just in time for lunch. Lorraine had made a delicious goats cheese and Mediterranean vegetable tart which she served alongside a roasted beetroot salad and delicious green salad with mango and mango dressing. I felt I had deserved my lunch after our walk.
After our Good Friday lunch I put my shoes on again but this time left Lorraine and Dai at home. The weather was too good not to be out so I decided to walk back into the town centre. From Lorraine and Dai’s house it’s only 10 minutes walk to the cathedral. I fancied a hot chocolate so I ventured up the high street to a place that I had found on trip advisor. Caracoli is a very small independent coffee shop. There are a few stores and they are all in Hampshire. All owned by the same team. It was incredibly busy inside so I got my hot chocolate to take away and sat on the cathedral green whilst watching the world go by for half an hour. It was beautiful sitting in the sunshine and soaking up a few rays. The birds were singing in the trees and everyone seemed happy and jolly as they chatted, played or walked past me.
On Good Friday evening we walked the short distance to Rick Stein’s restaurant right in the heart of Winchester. We were greeted very warmly by the head waiter Charlie who made sure we had a wonderful evening. The food and ambiance were pitch perfect. A fantastic way to spend Good Friday. A full review of our evening will follow shortly.
After a good nights sleep I awoke to my final day in Winchester. It’s always sad to leave somewhere where you’ve had a great time but I was looking forward to seeing Steve and the kitty cats. Lorraine and Dai had mentioned a farm shop nearby in Kings Worthy called The Good Life. Whilst we were out walking I had mentioned to them that I would like to take home some local Hampshire souvenirs. Obviously they had to be food related so they recommended a short drive out of Winchester to The Good life. A great little farm shop, garden centre and cafe that stocked lots of interesting foodie delights. I stocked up on some chutney, jam, apple juice and cheese. I can’t wait to try them out. I will post a full review of the farm shop at The Good Life soon. It was the perfect way to spend a blustery morning before I had to go and catch my train home.
I loved every minute of being in Winchester. I know I am slightly biased because I have family there but it truly is a wonderful cathedral city. Very much like Exeter but it still retains alot of its old world charm. The buildings are stunning and there is a photo opportunity around every corner. Steve would have been in his element if he had been able to come. Tourists flock to Winchester for its historical charisma and beauty. Many Londoners weekend there as it’s only an hour on the train into Waterloo station. I highly recommend a visit. Look out for the various Hampshire inspired posts that I have coming up over the next week or so. You might feel inspired to visit!