We first housesat for homeowners Lisa-Jane and John in April 2015 and when the opportunity arose for us to spend additional time in Winchester with Poppy we happily packed our bags. Sadly, today is our final day with this lovely girl, but we're SO grateful for our time with her.
We arrived in Winchester on March 29 (two nights before our housesit was to begin) and stayed at the Winchester Royal Hotel.
The weather wasn't the greatest (cold and rainy), so we opted to dine in the hotel's Garden Restaurant. The food, service and setting was so delightful, delicious and memorable that we followed suit the next evening.
Our housesit began on Saturday and after a lovely quiet weekend with Poppy we attended an organ recital featuring organist Peter King at Winchester Cathedral.
Not only did we get to sit in the choir (the seats were terribly uncomfortable, by the way!) but...
...as we were seated directly opposite the organ we not only heard every note but felt its full power as the sound waves resonated and shook the cathedral's interior. It was awesome! Check out the video below or go to YouTube.
When the clouds finally departed mid week (the sun shone on John's birthday) we took full advantage and headed out to see the sites. But first on the agenda was John and Poppy's morning walk.
As she did each day on our previous visit she led the way to show John the neighbourhood. That often included nearby fields and at times both returned with a bit of mud...but they both assured me it was well worth each glorious, mushy step!
Next, it was our turn to do a little exploration and via bus #3 we headed downtown.
|King Alfred - http://www.visitwinchester.co.uk/king-alfred-great|
The one thing we both wanted to do was return to the Hospital of St. Cross and we wasted no time in walking there.
I wrote a fairly lengthy post about the Hospital in April 2015 (click HERE) and won't repeat its history, but I did take more photographs...
I stopped just short of the entrance to the church and took the next video.
What is interesting about this eagle lectern is the head is actually that of a parrot.
Next stop was the Master's Garden.
In my original post my final sentence read "Just one friendly word of advice...remember to ask the porter for your Wayfarer's Dole." This tradition began with Henry of Blois, stating the hospital was required to provide a loaf of bread and bottle of wine to travellers. Known as the 'dole" this has been whittled down to a piece of bread and glass of beer. While we savoured our dole we chatted with the porter who was quite informative and risqué as she told us some of "the naughty bits" about the history of the hospital that most folks fail to mention! Makes one wonder if she tests the quality of the beer throughout the day before offering it to travellers!
The mural on the wall below bears the names of the Parliamentary representatives of Hampshire from 1283 during the reign of Edward I to 1868 and the reign of Queen Victoria.
Our final stop was the Chesil Rectory Restaurant where we celebrated John's birthday. Built in 1425-50 one has to be careful when entering as the floor is about two feet below street level.
We both selected "Cobley Wood Farm Lamb, Charred Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Spring Onion, Fresh Wild Garlic, Cockle Jus" and a side order of roasted potatoes. Delicious.
Thank you again to Lisa-Jane and John for inviting us back to Winchester. We enjoyed every minute and are especially glad to have spent more time with Miss Poppy! We'll miss her.
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