Mr. N and I recently headed to the west of England to Somerset for a very English wedding. Having seen Four Weddings and A Funeral far too many times, at any moment, I expected Hugh Grant to bumble his way onto the scene.
Unlike American weddings, most English weddings start with a trip to the local pub for a drink (or two). In this case, the pub was the Plough in the tiny village of Wrington. The pub was completely overwhelmed by the amount of people who descended upon it. The wedding guests were well turned out and the selection of hats did not disappoint.
From the pub, it was a short walk to the beautiful 14th century All Saints Church. The church and yard is steeped in history. One claim to fame is that philosopher John Locke was borne nearby and had been christened in the church.
Although the vicar was apologetic that the stained glass was relatively modern, most of the rest of the church was true to its 14th century origins. The detailed stone and wood work is simply stunning.
The chancery (the wood screen that separates the sanctuary from the nave) is a later addition from the 15th century.
The reception was in a marquee in the fields of the bride’s godmother’s farmhouse a few miles away set amidst the rolling hills of the Mendips. The bride and groom made a grand entrance by helicopter! I love the red of the helicopter against the lush green background and blue sky.
The picturesque house was similarly built in the 14th century and set in a beautifully landscaped English garden. The house is said to be where Charles II rested after he lost the final battle of the English Civil War, the Battle of Worcester, in 1651. Over the centuries, it has alternated between being a small manor house and a working farmhouse.
The bride had spent her childhood summers at this house, playing with cousins and riding horses. Her godmother had also grown up at the house probably doing pretty much the same thing. The house has such a warm, time-worn, lived-in and loved appearance that I was immediately enchanted.
The family dogs roamed around the wedding reception looking adorable.
I enjoyed my sojourn into the Merchant-Ivory world of the English countryside. I think it’s a great way for children to spend their summers away from the urban hustle and bustle. As for me, my Iphone had patchy reception and I simply wouldn’t be able to cope!!
How about you? Can you see yourself spending weekends and summers in the countryside?