Keeping in tune with the theme of the trip, Caroline and I woke up late YET AGAIN. I think we’re actually getting half an hour to an hour later every time. I’m blaming the people in our hostel room for this, who have otherwise been non-threatening but tend to randomly turn on all the lights and wake everyone up in the middle of the night.
Anyway, we tried to make up for the lost time as best as we could. Our plan for the day was to head out to Alton/Chawton and tour the Jane Austen’s House Museum. [It’s about £20 round-trip and an hour and twenty minutes each way.]
Although I love London, smaller towns like Alton and Chawton have a very different feel to them that I just adore. There’s a bit of a bite to the air, everything is clean, and the people are absurdly friendly.
Everything surrounding us was quaint and adorable. I kept randomly stopping to take pictures of things, as evidenced by these random pictures of things.
Our plan was to get to Alton and Chawton early and enjoy the day there. We ended up reaching the Jane Austen’s House Museum at about 4:00, and since it closes a 4:30, we decided to just peruse the grounds for free rather than pay for a ticket for the actual interior.
Although it was mildly disappointing, there’s nothing preventing me from visiting again [at a normal hour this time] and the rooms that were available to see for free were actually really neat.
After a lightning speed, cram-for-your-final-in-fifteen-minutes type tour, we bought some post cards and headed out to eat.
Our other grand plan for the day was to have tea at a tea shop across the street, but it turned out to be closed, so we switched gears and headed into the pub next door.
This turned out to be the greatest snap decision of the trip, and possibly our lives?
We were in there for four hours, so it was kind of a blur, but it started out something like this:
Walked in. Saw a menu and made a beeline for it, only to be informed that food wasn’t served until 6. My stomach was at this point only mildly uncomfortable, so we ordered some tea and decided to just wait it out, seeing as it would be just as much time, if not more, to head back to London to eat. [The thought of finding a different place in town did not cross our minds.]
At one point, there were about four dogs in the pub at once. This isn’t really relevant to the story, just a beautiful fact.
We suffered through an hour and twenty minutes’ wait, looking at food on Instagram and thinking about food and talking about food. At precisely 6, we pretty much shot out of our seats to order. [We had everything planned out exactly.]
I mean, let’s be real–nobody would expect much from a random, slightly pricey place directly across from a tourist destination in a tiny town in England. I was too hungry to care.
When my steak and ale pie came out, I was delighted. It was hot, meaty, and delicious, with that perfect blending of textures that makes for a good pie. It was hearty, but not too much so, and I finished it in about fifteen minutes. Caroline had the freshest plate of fish and chips I’ve ever laid eyes on, and both of our servings were massive.
That in itself would have made the entire trip out to Alton worth it, but then we decided to go ahead and get dessert.
I ordered the fruit crumble of the day, which turned out to be strawberry. It was delicious and photogenic, but Caroline ordered an orange brioche butter & bread pudding.
The minute I tasted a bite, I knew I had to have more. We ordered a second plate of what I’m pretty sure is the world’s most delicious dessert to share, and by the end, I was so stuffed I could barely stand upright. Worth it.
Whoever spread the malicious lie that traditional British food is terrible should be ashamed of themselves. Very ashamed. [I know it was you, France.]
To sum it up, here’s my quote from the day: “If I lived in this country, I would also look like Henry the VIII.”
I’ve created a portfolio for my photography, since I take a million pictures every time I step outside and can never feature everything I want to here! If you’re interested, go ahead and check it out.