Monday, 11 April 2011

Perdita Roams: Ross On Wye

Oh yes indeedy, and it's neither East Anglia nor Brighton this time. I'm like freakin' Michael Palin these days.

On Saturday the mysterious Lilac Lady and I prepared The Bomber 2 (aka The Silver Bomber, replacement to the beyond-economical-repair Red Bomber) with crampons, sleds, mint cake, dried lemons etc' etc' and set out for the mountainous and perilous climes beyond The Cotswolds, taking an ancient drover's track known as the A40.

I prefer this route because you get a better class of hostelry along the way. No motorway services, instead some top pub meals and the occasional farm shop (the one we stopped at on the way home had zorbing. Not that we partook, but it's useful to know these things).

Our stop on the way up was The Cotswold Gateway - a hotel, pub and cafe - roadside but with seating to the rear. We sat at the front though, as the sunshine was glorious.

The Cotswold Gateway is opposite a Little Chef.
No wonder Little Chef's going bust with this competition!
We went to the cafe rather than the pub itself. The food is 'pub lunch' prices (£5 or so for a sandwich), and seems to come from the same kitchens- slightly more than I usually pay for a sarnie-on-the-hoof (me being a thrifty type), however this was a proper meal: when you order a baguette, you get a full loaf and a generous portion of local cheese. I had an Oxford Blue baguette which was filled with smooth, perfectly ripe cheese, onion jam and salad. So you get what you pay for: it was really, really tasty. Indeed you'd probably spend the same on some dried-out-crud at a Welcome Break.

I love cheese.

It was a lovely break in the journey and this pub is one I will bear in mind when driving this route in future.

We stayed with friends in a wonderful house chock-full of antiques (being antique dealers, as they are) and the most beautiful garden. Perfect for a few glasses of wine and sunshine...

This is what gardens are for!
On the Saturday night, our hosts prepared a really delicious dinner (with a selection of cheeses and some cheesecake after... I'm not obsessed with cheese you know. Well, just a teensy bit) and many more fine wines. Entertainment was provided by a super-cute baby and his toys - including one which we're considering writing in umbrage to The Daily Mail about...

Is that hippo wearing PASTIES? Stripper hippo babytoy outrage??
Ross On Wye is a lovely little market town. I have it from a reputable source that it lacks the 'pace' of London and Brighton (who'da thunk it?) but it makes for a lovely weekend away.

My reliable source noted, from a thrifty-shopping perspective, that it lacks Primark, but all is not lost for the fashionable tight-ass, as there's a Peacocks and one of the best selections of charity shops I have seen in a long time; the perfect balance of price and quality-of-donated-goods. Actually, all was lost for me- I'm still on my shopping ban. So I executed a bit of what we-who-work-wiv-yoof like to call 'negative peer pressure' and got everyone down to the pub. Not that it took much pressure, especially a pub with these wonderful views on a baking hot day...

The Hope & Anchor, Ross On Wye- nice pub.
The Hope & Anchor is a great place for an afternoon soaking up the rays, drinking local cider and people (and pedigree dog- the folk of Ross do love their pups!) watching. It also has an ice-cream kiosk in the riverfront beer garden.

Aanyways, back in Lahndan now, and boiling up some pinto beans and veg for a frugal few days of ration-style dinners. The downside of my cheese excesses at the weekend have been tight waistbands and some incredible cheese-dreams. But so worth it!

Should you want to visit, here's a link to my favourite of the many Ross-On-Wye tourist websites 'Wye Not?'. The information is good, but let's face it I'm also loving that punderful site name.


  1. One of my favourite places in Blighty is Ross on fact, if I was a rich girl, I would buy a house there. We used to go there and to Symond's Yat for days out when I was little 'cos Newport is just up the road.
    I could just do a cider at the Hope and

  2. Hello:
    We have so enjoyed this post which, for us, became a trip down memory lane having lived in Herefordshire - before the big escape to Brighton and Budapest - for over 25 years.
    We are delighted that you enjoyed the weekend and that you found Ross to be of interesting charm. Somehow,for us, in all the years of living close by, the town never really worked; we preferred Hay-on-Wye for eclectisism and Ledbury for the picturesque.

  3. Looks lovely, I am laughing at the hippo pasties! xx

  4. Hi there-it sounds a gorgeous weekend indeed and it certainly looks a stunning and wonderful place to visit, fab photos too!! Have a good week ahead my dear xx

  5. I have never been to these parts ,but do love Brighton.looks like you had a great time.
    LMAO,at hippo pasties.

  6. Sounds like you had a great time. I know it has already been said but I did love the hippo pasties. Fantastic! :-)

  7. I love the look of Ross on Wye I've never been either, might have to have a trip up there!

  8. It looks lovely - never been. Fancy a baguette at that pub though *yum*.

    Ali x

  9. Ross on Wye isn't *too* far away from me and yet I have never been! The Cotswolds and Malverns are absolutely gorgeous though :)

    Maria xxx

  10. It looks wonderful, I need to get out of London more often!

    Love the hippo pasties. I am also obsessed with cheese and that baguette looks delicious.

    I've been told that if you eat unpasteurised Canadian cheddar, which I eat tons of, your body can break down the fat much better than with pasteurised cheese. It seems to be working! xx

  11. This does look lovely, soo very nice now there has been a bit of sunshine too!


Let me know what you think!