Sunday, November 25

To Be or Not To Be...

This past weekend my friend and I travelled to Stratford-upon-Avon to get in touch with our Shakespearian side of life! Stratford was an incredibly charming area with Tudor-style buildings and houses dotting the countryside and the village. Plus they had just turned on the Christmas lights the night before we arrived, so the entire town looked so cheerful with the Christmas spirit. They had lights strung everywhere, Christmas trees, Santa’s and all sorts of Christmas decorations hung. 
On Friday evening we knew everything would be closing soon after we arrived so we decided to get a nice dinner and go see a movie instead. We had an incredibly delicious steak dinner that evening with great drinks and appetizers. The restaurant was an old Tudor-building and we ate upstairs in the timbers by candlelight: talk about absolutely perfect! We sat there and talked for hours eating incredible food…oh and for dessert we split a lemon-raspbeery cheesecake and a pear-apple tart. After a great evening we walked to the Picturehouse (yes it’s not the movie theater, cinema, or theater…it was the picturehouse); which was a vintage-style movie theater with assigned seating, food and drinks bar and only three screens!! We saw James Bond: Skyfall (although I’d already seen it) and it was absolutely fantastic- loved it! That evening we returned to the inn we were staying in and got to watch, wait for it- TELEVISION! Yes. Never realized how long I hadn’t watched TV until I was actually watching “Ellen” and “FoodTV”; it was brilliant.
The next morning we started off right by having a full-English breakfast at our Inn. Straight after we headed into town to the Shakespeare Center and Birthplace where we got tickets to tour Shakespeare’s birthplace home. The home was actually extremely nice with adorable Tudor features and lots of room (for back then at least). It was cool seeing so many artifacts from William himself. 
Next we headed to the Nash House, which is the home in which William’s daughter Susannah and her husband Dr. Nash lived in. There was also a Christmas market going on that day and a small elementary school had come to serenade the crowd with Christmas carols: it was so precious! The house was decorated for Christmas, crackling fires in the hearth, and then the sweet angelic voice of children drifted through the house: adorable!
Our next stop was Holy Trinity Church which is where William Shakespeare’s is buried. The Church was gorgeous with beautiful stone work and carving work as usual. It had started to rain at this point and gave a somber mood to the Church; quite fitting actually. Oh, and one cool aspect is that they had a Tudor-dress up section inside of which, of course, we had to dress up! We then made our way down the long aisle towards the front of the Church where Shakespeare and his family is buried: his wife, daughter, and son-in-law all lay. It was surreal to think that one of the world’s greatest writers lay to rest right in front of my feet!!
Finally, we went to the house where William Shakespeare died, or what is left of it actually! It was actually demolished over a hundred years ago by a disgruntled and poor owner of the house, so they are still doing excavation of the area! Afterwards we bummed around town and did some shopping before having afternoon tea at a cozy and apparently, famous, tea room. Tea was quite yummy and definitely warmed us up a bit before we had to brave the rain again to catch a train back to Stoke! It was a great little trip :)