Southampton and Beaulieu Abbey
Trip Start May 04, 2007
16Trip End May 21, 2007
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We started the day fairly leisurely, for our recent standards. We slept in, getting some additional needed rest, then met in the lobby around 10am to check out. The Riveria was a fair second home for a couple of days, but the limited internet and the close location of our rooms to the dance floor has made us happy that we are returning to the Anglo Swiss.
We traveled in a taxi over to the Anglo Swiss. It was too early to check in, so we left our bags in the luggage room and planned for the day. It was raining and cloudy, so walking somewhere was out of the question. Louise had offered to take us out, so we called her up. She was gracious to help us out, so we met her in the lobby around 12:30 and headed out. We were looking to do a bit of shopping (what else do you do on a rainy Sunday afternoon?), so she recommended she drive us out to Southampton, the closest large mall and shopping center. We climbed into her car and headed off.
We parked in the garage adjacent to West Quay (pronouced "key") Mall and followed the escalator up to the stores. The mall, like a mall in the States on a weekend, was packed with people. We wandered around a little until we spied a Morris Cornish Pasties outlet in the food court. Louise told us that cornish pasties are like "hot pockets" of meat and potatoes, with a ridge along the edge of the pasty. They were eaten by miners with dirty hands; they could hold it along the ridge, eat the rest and toss the ridge.
Marks & Spencer, a large department and food store (part of the "British" experience is buying underwear at Marks & Spencer; and John Lewis, another department store. We went to John Lewis to find a "brown betty", a signature British teapot made of red clay. We found out that John Lewis didn't carry them anymore; apparently the supplier had gone under. I already have one, but Tory was interested so we'll keep looking.
Beulieu Abbey, a site we were hoping to explore. There was no around, so we wandered around on our own. Most of the Abbey itself is gone, but the rock pile remains of the walls and supports remain, showing the layout. All that remains intact is the Domus, the living quarters now a museum (it was closed); and the Refectory, once where the monks ate and now a Parish Church (closed as well). We wandered the grounds and found a large garden that included a long bower, arching overhead with white and blue lilacs handing down. We also came across a small lake with an island, with a large manor house up the way.
Palace House, a large estate home (open to the public) owned by the Montagu family. The home is an expanded former gatehouse of the Abbey. Another treasure we just stumbled upon. Because it was lightly raining, there was no once else around so explored leisurely, although I did get a bit wet.
Zorba, Greek and Cypriot place we'd past in our earlier wanderings. It was a small place, with only a few customers, but nicely decorated. Julie and I ordered the Greek Meze, which allowed us to sample 20 different appetizers, main dishes and deserts. I cannot possibly name the dishes; I can say I sampled each enjoyed nearly all. I finished full again, but the atmosphere and the companionship was wonderful. We finally had to call for a check, as we have at most places. Dinner has become an all-evening experience, which makes it more of an adventure and less of a refueling. It's a more relaxed approach to dining that I appreciate.
Back at the hotel, we blogged for a while and finally crawled off to bed.