Friday, March 02, 2012

A trip to St Neots......


After a session updating what I do at the gym today, Jean and I went off on an adventure. To St Neots in Cambridgeshire. It is a very long time since I have been there, I have to say. 20 years or so. And I had forgotten what a pretty place it is. 
 We found parking and wandered through a little courtyard to the main road, passing shops selling flowers - aren't the primulas gorgeous? We were heading for the river we had crossed to enter the town centre, because it looked so lovely. It was slightly misty, and we found our way down to a path along the riverfront, and just loved seeing the houses on the banks - how fortunate the owners are to have such a gorgeous view....
 One of them came out to feed the ducks, swans, birds and other assorted bird life, and the swans posed beautifully for me.

 So we walked slowly through the grass, under the trees which are all starting to bud, and there were mothers with children playing, people walking dogs, men taking photos of swans, couples wandering along the paths..... so much space, so much to see, trees, water and greenery...... peaceful and beautiful.
 The swans and co were very optimistic about food. They were out of luck because we had nothing for them, but they didn't give up hope. And we wandered slowly on to a little cafe. It was great. Typical fresh English food - uncomplicated and wonderful. And very reasonable indeed.  Jean had a bacon sandwich and I had cheese on toast for lunch with really good coffee. Comfort food. Cheap and good.

And then we wandered back across the bridge to the town, and through the shops to the church, and back into a couple of excellent shops where there was much dramatic sighing and wishlist scribbling taking place, before we headed home. A lovely day. It is so good to do something different now and then, and really, there are so many places close by which I should visit more. And explore. But it is fun to do it with a friend. So there was chatter and laughter and just what was needed.

Why St Neots?

Well, you see, a Facebook friend mentioned that she had been to this place.........
 AND it is a factory shop, people! I think this must be the central distribution point for Cath Kidston for England at least, if not the whole country, and we HAD to investigate. Of course we did. Factory shops = bargains, after all!
 I did ask permission to take photos in the shop, and it was granted. I am a blogger, I said. And I am indeed (consider that my mission statement, by the way. I chat. I blog.) So they get some free publicity!
So much to see. We wandered around the whole place before going back to the start and  gathering a few things into the basket. I SO wanted that bag in the photo above - the one hanging on the table on the right - with large flowers on it. It was gorgeous, but I resisted the almost overwhelming urge and just got a couple of small things for Missy and a make-up bag for me. Carrying my make-up to gym in the same plastic ziplock bag I packed it into for air travel over a year ago is ridiculous. I was mortified every time I hauled it out next to those young glamorous things with fancy bags who always perch next to me to do their make-up. And because it was a factory shop, things were reduced. Perfect reasoning, Linds.

It was a lovely shop, and I will be going back. Probably with Becky if we can manage it! From aprons to candles to bowls to bags to nail kits to fabric - they had it all. Key rings. Wallets. Bags - did I mention bags????

It has been a good day.......

5 comments:

Needled Mom said...

What a charming place to visit and what a fun shop to look about. I could spend a lot of time looking at all of those goodies.

Hope you enjoy a great weekend.

Vee said...

Oh I do love to look at Cath Kidston eye candy...those boxes up high decorated that way with wares. Yummy. The patterns, fabrics, and colors are uniquely hers, aren't they! Now since you only get there every couple of decades, I do believe you are entitled to the lovely bag or put it on your Mothering Day wishlist or something. That's coming right up, isn't it?

I had to take a closer look at many of these wonderful photos...loved seeing the swan more closely and all the C.K. store.

Run Quilt Knit Write said...

It sounds wonderful!!

Barbara said...

Often wondered about a visit to St. Neots. I'm sold now I see the Kath Kidson factory shop!

Miss Jenna said...

I can't wait to go!! Thanks for the tip!!!