Shortly after it opened, we discovered Daylesford, near Stow and over the last couple of years have left a fair bit of money in their till. Having said that, it is a glorious place, full of yummy food, beautiful people and simply oozes style. Whenever we have friends staying, it's the perfect place to go for breakfast, brunch or tea and I will admit to not being able to drive anywhere near the place without calling in.
So when someone told me that another, similar place had opened up near Chipping Campden, I was curious. I'd actually driven past the sign for Lapstone recently, but didn't know what was there. Anyway, it was a fine day today, so off we went, with the idea of having lunch up there and maybe going to Snowshill Manor or somewhere this afternoon and finding an essential English product to buy sometime during the day.
What a curious place Lapstone turned out to be! First of all, this is no Daylesford, even if, as we thought, the target market is similar. Set in open fields, the barns of an existing farm have been transformed into what could only be described as a shop and cafe, though I felt it aspired to be more. Imagine a garden centre without plants, a farm shop without produce - however stylish the things on sale (and yes, a note on our cafe table stated that everything was for sale) this was simply a gift, garden furniture shop and cafe in a field.
Picking up a brochure or two as we left, we discovered that it is owned by a garden furniture manufacturer, which explains a great deal. I expect it's quite popular with "ladies who lunch", but for us, we'll head for Daylesford again next time. Then we can bring home a wonderful sourdough loaf, a few homemade cookies, some great organic meat and a bottle or two of our favourite ginger beer!
On such a fine day, it was hardly surprising that Snowshill was heaving with people, so we continued down to Broadway and headed towards the source of what we were looking for. However, a parking space was there in front of us in the middle of Broadway, and we couldn't resist a walk in the sunshine.
The wisteria was wonderful, the stone buildings sat comfortably in the warm sunshine and only the tourists were there to spoil the view! We felt the doorman of the Lygon Arms (owned by The Savoy Hotel, London) looked out of place in his tophat and tailcoat, too.
Especially since this was the view he had to look at.
We didn't want an ice cream, either. Neither did we want anything from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the various shops selling a "country lifestyle" in the form of a Cath Kidston teatowel or Nigella mixing bowl. We wouldn't have minded a look around the art shop/gallery with interesting things in the window, but it was closed for lunch - it was 2pm, after all.
Instead, we drove off towards Pershore, for the thing we'd come for, fresh from the source.
Can you believe that yesterday, all that was available in our local supermarket was imported from Peru? How could we not go and find some of the best asparagus to be found anywhere?