Friday, 19 May 2006

Hay-on-Wye weekend

We came back on Monday from being away since last Friday in Hay on Wye. It was wonderful! actually I felt more rested after 4 days in Hay than I did after a week in Scotland, but that was to do with the in laws, and another story entirely!

We stayed at the Red Lion Hotel at Bredwardine, which is just over the border into Herefordshire. A lovely 17th Century hotel, set in the country, serving lovely food, we had Gammon on the first night and the meal was delicious! The hotel also provided fishing on the River Wye to residents, so Stuart spent Saturday wading and fishing the Wye, even during the horrid downpour of rain and thunder, whilst I was in Hay at the bookshops. Alas, didn't catch anything, although he does assure me that he almost did.

I spent a lovely day in Hay, meeting with four of the Birmingham Book Crossers, Gill, Liz, Ali & Fritzi, meeting at 11am at Kilverts for a coffee, before starting the mammoth task of visiting the bookshops. The tourist information centre produce a small paper tifolding sheet of bookshops, and there are 30 bookshops in Hay, 3 auctions & bookbinders and 4 bookshops near Hay.
Together we did about 4 bookshops, although the girls carried on after I left them at 5pm and I did another one, (a biggie) on Sunday and the rest on Monday with Stuart.

I resolved myself that even though I have enough books in the house to read for the next 20 years, exlcuding all the book rings that arrive, I would still buy more books. Its compulsive, but there are more unhealthy addictions! Despite, every bookshop bursting to the seems with books, on shelves, stairs, on the floor, I did actually only buy 8 books. This was because there were so many to choose from. Here are my 8: The Castle Bookshop
The Love Letter by Cathleen Schine - 30p
More than a year in time by Jane Lassen - 50p
Stitches in Times by Barbara Michael - 50p
The Genealogists Guide by Geoffrey B Berrow - 50p
Social Register Boston (USA) 1968 by the Social Reg Association - 50p

A kiss from Maddelena by Christopher Castellani - £1.00

Broad Street Book Centre
Fly Fishing by Stephen Windsor - £5.00

Cinema Bookshop
Heavenly Date & Flirtations by Alexander McCall Smith - £1.47

Oxfam shop at Hay
Fish Tales by Billee Chapman Pincher - £1.79

The Castle Bookshop was wonderful - set in the grounds of Hay Castle, this is a rather novel (no pun intended!) way of displaying some books, which have a fairly small value, but are a super way of using the space. The bookshelves are in the open, well most of them. If you climb the steps to the actual bookshop, there are about 10 bookcases all with open access, but with overhead cover. The open access bookshelves are open round the clock, and there is an honesty box to pay for purchases.

On Saturday evening we ate at the Pandy Inn at Dorstone. Which declared itself the oldest inn in Herefordshire. I can certainly recommend the Steak & Wild Mushroom Pie - it was delicious!. On the way back to the hotel stopping to have a look at Bredwardine Church.
On Sunday, we started the day at Brecon, then headed in completely the other direction to Bromyard the other side of Hereford. Whilst not an obvious choice for those on holiday, it is the birth place, according to the 1901 Census of Stuart's paternal great grandmother.
As we were so near, it seemed a shame not to visit and see the chuch and have a quick wander round. We did head back to Hay, and consumed a lovely ice cream from Shepherds, ice cream parlour. We ate on Sunday evening at a lovely resturant outside of Hereford, called The Bay Horse on the Kings Acre Road. The meal and the venue were delightful, and are highly recommended.

Monday once more, I headed for the bookshops. We managed to complete the rest and left to return home late afternoon.

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