Far have I travelled to see thou fairest of trees, the greenest of these
Long have I hungered to taste thee flakiest of fish, thee whitest of flakes
Much have I longed to hear those English words unfettered by foreign tongue
To return to the green lands of England, to be unbridled once again

Chilling out down by the river, Richmond Upon Thames

So our >2000 km journey by car began with a cool dawn drive from Brussels to Calais. In less than 2 hours, we found ourselves hugging caffè lattes and nibbling brioche at the Eurotunnel’s cafe, excitedly awaiting our call to drive onto the Channel Tunnel’s shuttle train. In my opinion, this is the most pleasurable and economical way to arrive in the UK, so long as you’re happy to drive on the left-hand side!

On this occasion, before heading straight to London, we decided to take a more unusual motorway break at Leeds Castle in Kent. We enjoyed our lunch in very pleasurable grounds amongst the peacocks… the castle itself is interesting for the decorative arts, particularly the animal and botanical illustrations collected by the aristos.

A more atmospheric motorway stop after exiting Folkestone Channel Tunnel…… Leeds Castle, Kent

JK sheltering under giant rhubarb-like plants at Leeds Castle in Kent

“Oh don’t fuss!” says Queenie

Decorative arts

Shameless copy of Tiepolo or just a gracious subtle influence?

A fine time was had for a few weeks in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. How I love this place, transforming each year anew with plenty to say, to show off and promenade by the river.

Restaurants, boutiques, wine bars, farmers markets, world food markets… a foodie’s paradise, day and night! I enjoyed my sister’s cooking most of all, with fond memories of her BBQ haddock wraps served at candlelight in the garden, and the fresh fish-finger and salad lunch followed by a nice glass of Rubis wine.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

Walk by the river before sun sets

Richmond architecture

Le chat le plus chic de Richmond

Many places to chill out down by the river

Riverside windows…

A Richmond resident

Benches by the river, their messages of love never lost

Ma mère par la lumière de la nuit

Ma soeur par la lumière de la nuit

Moi par la lumière de la nuit

More Richmond architecture

A Richmond resident

And of course, a visit to Richmond would not be without a trot across the waters to Twickers, where await the beautiful sea nymphs!

Reaching out…

Sea nymphs from Italy

Heading north, we spent time visiting relatives in Yorkshire and relaxing at the De Vere Urban Resort in Headingley, Leeds. Time not quite on our side, we at least found the butterflies at Roundhay Park!

Roundhay Park, Yorkshire

An inquisitive friend at Tropical World, Yorkshire

A friendly handshake at Tropical World

A Lesser Mouse Lemur, endangered in Madagascar but this one is safe in Yorkshire

JK with aunty’s new puddie

Originally published: Saturday, August 31st, 2013 at 02:29 in Living matter, Monologues

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2 Responses to “How green thou art…”

  1. SvenL says:

    Nice pictures Jus!

    And your post sounds as a hymn for England 🙂 You clearly missed homeland after all these years, which I can understand. Finally being able to speak English with native English in return must have felt like ‘aaahhhh’ 🙂

    Good you all had a great journey!
    x

    • Thanks S! Must be the “camera angels” again because I’m not a talented photographer 😉

      And if you’re interested, now is the time to visit the UK – strong Euro, and British folks seem more chilled and happier than ever (not quite like the Ecstasy era, but getting there…!) and its seems very very green these days with lush trees everywhere!

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