After sleeping in we headed out late to explore Nottingham, which was sadly rainy most of the day. I’m sorry I didn’t get pictures of breakfast, Laura and Andy had an enormous variety of delicious foods for us to sample. It was downright luxurious. Best, though, was their own homemade bread with lots of real butter. Mmmmm.
Above is the Sky Mirror, and it must be stunning on clear days with blue skies. As is it was pretty impressive. Next we went to the castle, an ancient structure that I didn’t get any decent pictures of. The grounds allow you views across the river and below you can see this old house set into the cliff, notice the roof of the round room in the corner.
Then it was over to see the statue of, what else?, Robin Hood.
And at this point it was nearly 11 a.m. and we happened to be near the oldest pub in England, Trip to Jerusalem. Here is the base of the hill below the castle, on the way to the pub. I can only imagine what is on the other side of these doors.
Here it is:
“Ye Olde” is actually in the name! It was interesting inside, all the rooms are carved from the stone and they are connected by narrow staircases, making the whole thing feel like a very civilized ant colony. With beer.
Looking up at the ceiling.
Proof that we actually had beers:
Next we wandered into the shopping areas and had a peek inside of Paul Smith. I really liked his perfumes, but was too intimidated to take a picture inside the shop. Just outside are two old red phone boxes, which Laura reports are disappearing.
Next we were off to Nottingham Contemporary art gallery to have a look at their space related exhibits and eat lunch in the cafe there, nice presentation for a humble burger:
The most impressive thing on show at the gallery was this giant space suited man:
You can see the room guard sitting against the back wall just off to the right near the shoe, that black smudge? That’s the guy.
We could walk inside of the giant spaceman, here is Scott and Laura peeking into the helmet area where a pod chair was positioned so you could sit and look up out of visor:
I liked the details, these eyelets must have been made with the rings that go around burners in stoves? Or something?
They had held a futuristic fashion show inside the spaceman, here are a few of the outfits that were on display:
We ended the day with a trip to John Lewis. I tried to be discreet about taking pictures so please excuse the following, but I wanted to show how they sell fabric and yarn right in the store:
Upstairs was yardage of home design weight fabrics, lots of it also came laminated:
Downtown Nottingham was lovely, despite the overcast day. The interior roads are closed to traffic except for transit vehicles, and there are wide areas just for pedestrians. People were walking all around, it was calm and quiet without the sounds of rushing traffic and so nice. I really wish there were more cities in the US that were able to treat the main areas like this. Between all the great shops and the fantastic transportation I’ve decided I’d like to live in Nottingham, though Laura and Andy assure me I’d like Manchester a bit better.
A small traveling version of the London Eye happened to be set up while we were there. (Ok, fine, it’s just a regular ferris wheel, but look! a ferris wheel!):
update: I completely forgot to talk about our trip to the Muji store here. It was fantastic. I was so involved in shopping I completely forgot to get pictures. I bought a travel organizer (I’ve been throwing everything into one barrel shaped bag and, well, it doesn’t work all that well), three ice trays (marbles, spoons and diamonds!), two foaming soap containers which work much better than my very-reused old ones, some office supplies, some of those wooden block city sets (Paris and London) and I narrowly escaped before buying some furniture.
Back at Laura and Andy’s home we were treated to Toad in the Hole with vegetarian sausages, it was delicious. I think they said this was a Jamie Oliver recipe.
And dessert were two puddings we had picked out at Marks and Spencer foods the night before. Spotted Dick! and Sticky Toffee Pudding!
We wound down the day by getting comfy with Daisy:
And eating as many Cadbury Easter chocolates as possible. The creme eggs and mini eggs taste so much better than the ones we get in the US.
Things I Learned the Hard Way
Buy stuff: I wish I had bought much more stuff, especially yardage at John Lewis and chocolates. I thought I was showing restraint in spending and luggage space but there are dozens of things I’m sure I could have found room for. (Not really, we had zero room left in our luggage, but I am good at revising my memories.)
Bedding sizes are not the same:Heartbreakingly!, I learned that the bright and cheery Orla Kiely Stem duvet covers are a good 10 inches too narrow to fit on our kind-sized down comforter as US and UK sizes are different. I’m glad I checked before buying it at John Lewis, it would have been really difficult to return.
Previously: Day One arrival and beating jet lag; Day Two big impressive monuments, unexpected meetings, needing to pee; Day Three The Metro, a museum, and French onion soup; Day Four dogs in paintings, startlingly large arches and towers; Day Five pastries and scoldings; Day Five the bit about the mangosteens; Day Six trains and vegetables
Next up: Day Eight Rain Gods and cake for elevenses