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The Crown Inn

If I had to create the perfect English country inn it would manifest as the Crown Inn in Bishops Waltham England.   Our home away from home during our stay in Hampshire England was  located at the head of the High St. in Bishops Waltham.  The location was convenient to all the shops lining High St. which included, an upscale coffee shop for morning lattes and locals watching, to a grocer selling produce and products from the nearby farms.   Also directly behind the inn were the ruins to the famous Bishops Waltham Palace, a medieval monastery that was, pre Henry VIII, one of the largest in Europe.

The Crown Inn was comfortable in every possible way, the bed was heaven and the bathroom facilities were excellent including the standard British towel warmer.

We enjoyed a full breakfast each morning in the wonderful pub on the main floor, antiques abound in each and every room.  The tables were set with the most wonderful Staffordshire calico plates in every single color !

Jane Austen House

Ever since my  childhood I have been a fan of Miss Jane Austen.  Her works of romantic fiction have taken  me again and again to a time of gentleman and ladies, and the practise of "polite society".  During our recent trip to England we were very lucky to be within a thirty minute drive to her childhood home.  Jane wrote some of her greatest works in this very house in Alton in the county of Hampshire.  Those  included,  Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, North Anger Abbey, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park.

1st Edition

In 1945 the Jane Austen Society managed to have the house purchased and turned into a museum.   The rooms on show include the drawing room, and parlor where Jane wrote on the small round table. Upstairs is her bedroom with the patchwork quilt she made with her mother and sister Cassandra.  There is even a shawl on display with Jane's own needle work trimming the edges.

Foscari Palace Hotel Venice

My trip to Venice was truly life changing.  Yes many people say that, but mine really was.  Traveling alone for the first time placed something permanent in my soul and in my brain.  It seems that now when I think of destinations the sky is the limit. I did learn that finding the right hotel also helps with logistics when traveling alone.

If you are looking for a mid range price on the Grand Canal this hotel has all the amenities and amazing views.  Foscari Palace is located in the Canneragio neighborhood of Venice on the Grand Canal, just across from the Rialto market.

This gem of a boutique hotel is just off the  Strada Nova, a thoroughfare that spans from Canneragio neighborhood to the Jewish Ghetto.  The Strada Nova has many cafe's, restaurants, local shops, and a passagiata (evening stroll) will find you rubbing elbows with local Venetians.

Henry Emmett

Henry Emmett, my 2nd great grandfather, was born in Bishops Waltham England in 1849.  He was the third child and second son of Henry Emmet and Sarah Hatch.  Henry's family historically worked as hired farm hands on local estates, and were given housing by the land owners as part of their employment.  The land in the photo above was worked by Henry's father and possibly himself in the mid to late 1800's.

 I was fortunate enough to travel to Henry's hometown of Bishops Waltham and do a little time traveling  into the past.  After spending a week in this lovely region I realized several important things about myself.  I understand so much better now just why I love to till the soil and make things grow, its in my blood !  Oh, and my fascination with Jane Austen ? my love of all things English country, the rolling hills and pastures, the country lanes and turnstiles ? well she was living not very  far away from Henry's parents when they were young.  All the imagery in her writing was the visual that I took in as I traveled around Hampshire.

Hampshire England

In mid July my husband and I traveled to the enchanting countryside of Hampshire England.  I was doing a bit of research on my ancestors from that region, so we booked a room at a country inn and found ourselves smack dab in the middle of heaven.

The village of Bishops Waltham was a charming place to stay and held a strong connection to my families history.  The village was a quaint and thriving  place, with a population just over 6500 residents.  The High St. in town had everything we could need, from a small grocer carrying local produce and products, to an up scale coffee shop that seemed to be the center of activity every morning of the week.

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