Sunday 16 October 2016

She was a day tripper

I had a bit of time off work the other week, and there was talk of maybe going away for a few days, but we didn't get our act together, so after careful scrutiny of the weather forecast, I persuaded Q that a day out was in order.

As a driver, I find train trips such a luxury. No traffic, no mystifying one-way systems and no hassle with parking. Plus, it can be quicker. Twenty three whole minutes to Newark-on-Trent, a small market town on the banks of the River Trent, bursting with civil war history. Plus you get to see fields and orchards and woodlands and into people's back gardens. Much better than roads.
That's the ruined Newark Castle there, 12th century if you're interested. I like the fact that it sits within a park, accessible to all, and actually there were quite a few people just sitting there, basking in the early autumn sunshine.

That's a me-made patchwork skirt there, been slowly adding to it for months, thinking it might end up as a bedspread, but I had a rush of blood to the head and decided to make it into a skirt. It looks fine from the front but from the side I look a bit like one of those crocheted dolls who use their skirts to hide the loo roll. Not exactly the look I was aiming for, so it may find itself on a bed yet.
We'd been given some hot tips about where to go for eating and drinking, but the rest of it was free form, just wandering and exploring.
We sat outside for a coffee and it felt positively continental. We both agreed we could be on holiday and rebranded our day out as a mini-break.
There are a few plaques referring to the siege of Newark during the Civil War, but I plumped for this one because it features Charles the First's Queen, Henrietta, who happens to share a birthday with me*. When you get to my age, you want to share photos with someone older than you, and she is. 357 years older to be precise.
*some sources give it as a day earlier, in which case 357 years and 1 day older.
We missed a trick, visiting on practically the only day of the week there is no market. Some days it's a fruit and veg type market, but on others it's a flea market. I'll be going back on flea market day.
There's a big old church just off the Market Square. It asks for donations from people taking photographs, £1 for stills and £2 for videos. Being the well-behaved, law-abiding citizens we are, we did as we were told. I saw a couple of buckets on the floor and put my coins in. Turns out they were the buckets to collect rainfall. Oops.
A carved wooden door within a door, and vintage grafitti on the choristers pews! 
And guess what else there is? Only a vintage shop called Vintage Vixen! I had heard of it before, but had completely forgotten about it, so what a nice surprise. The lady who runs it was lovely and her prices were very reasonable, so we spent a happy half hour rummaging through the rails. I saw a few things which I thought...oh, yes, Mim would like this and ooh, that would be perfect for Curtise. Turns out there were a couple of things which were perfect for me too; a pair of 1980s dungarees and a red dirndl skirt. I've hardly stopped wearing them since I bought them, so I'm sure they'll be coming to a blog post near you soon.
Me-made patchwork skirt, t-shirt, necklace, cardigan and belt charity shopped, earrings and havaiianas gifted

After shopping and a slap up lunch, we took the train back to Nottingham for part 2 of our mini-break, a drinky in the Famous Spiegeltent, (a mobile dance hall) which had popped up in the Market Square. This one was built in 1920 in Belgium and has even hosted Marlene Dietrich.
I had a whole bottle of prosecco to myself (OK, it was an individual serving) and he had a pint while we took photos and sang along to the Blue Danube

Da-da-da, Da-da-da, Da-da-da-da-da. Can't hit the right notes, but I know all the lyrics.

That velvet canopy was so beautiful, and actually the whole interior was really cosy. I could just imagine Ms Dietrich hitting those high low notes.
After all that excitement we went home and had a cheese and wine evening for two. The perfect end to a perfect day.


Fiona said...

I love to let the train take the strain, for all the reasons you mention. I do like a nosey in folks gardens (and houses, if truth be told) Newark looks splendid, as you say, almost continental with sunshine, azure skies and red and white stripy awnings. Your patchwork maxi looks fab from where I'm sitting (I wonder if Henrietta was a needlewoman?) and I'd love a gander at your dirndl and dungarees please. Great to get a glimpse of Q...he looks like one laid-back dude. Xx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

That sounds like a fab day out! Scenery, architecture, nice nosh and wine - perfect. I think you were absolutely right to elevate it to a mini break.

What a nice couple you make. It's a shame you missed the flea market - they are few and far between, I believe. I've never been to Newark so this was a lovely introduction. I loved the ancient graffiti especially. Vintage Vixen looked pretty cool, too.

As for you in your patchwork skirt - you look lovely. Clever you making it yourself - you reminded me of a fairy tale character in your outfit; basket at the ready to gather flowers from an enchanted meadow.

Hope you have a lovely week


Unknown said...

What a lovely day out- marveling at beautiful things and having a wander. I absolutely love your patchwork skirt, how very talented you are! Xxx

Anonymous said...

How lovely to have a spontaneous day out soaking up the autumnal sunshine. it's been so warm here can't believe it's mid October.
The canopy in the Spiegeltent looks amazing : the colour is wonderful . Very Dietrich.

Lynn Holland said...

I like the idea of your day out on a train rather than the car. We need to try that. It did freak me a bit though as I saw the film "The Girl On A Train" last week. Its was spellbinding. Well worth seeing.
I've heard of the Vintage Vixen as well, it looks like a good foraging shop.
The patchwork curtains I started with such enthusiasm have been assigned to the WIP pile. Maybe I could donate them to your skirt haha.

Mim said...

Newark looks fab, even without the Spiegeltent. WITH the spiegeltent... I can just imagine drinking champagne and getting my Marlene on there.

Your skirt looks great. It should be nice and warm, at least - on the radio they said we were due for a cold snap across the UK.

Polyester Princess said...

What a lovely day out, which definitely proves that one-day holidays do exist. I love a train ride, and looking into people's backgardens as well - you see, I am quite nosey too! Fancy there being a shop called Vintage Vixen, can't wait to see your finds. But what tickles me the most is that you can speak of word of Flemish: spiegeltent, indeed! xxx

Miss Magpie said...

Another place I've never been too to add to the list! Nothing like an impromptu day out especially when the weather is lovely.

Ivy Black said...

Train all the way I say and I do get a bit grumpy if I have to drive anywhere!! That looks like a brilliant day trip with loads to see. I do like a church door...I've been touring graveyards (as you do) and have seen a couple of stonking ones. I like old graffiti too.
Vintage Vixen looks rather lush and can't wait to see your

Vix said...

That skirt is ace, we'd be twins if I wore that mad patchwork dress Krista sent me!
Newark (and the pair of you) looks ace. Is that where they have that big antique fair that's often on the BBC? The church is a stunner. Wouldn't mind that door on our house! Had to laugh at you tossing your coins in the rainfall bucket. that'll be a nice surprise for the vicar.
That Famous Spiegeltent is a beauty. that's a tent and a half, isn't it? xxxx

HazelxJoy said...

this all looks and sounds lovely, the Spiegeltent especially - what an amazing looking place!
I did chuckle at the rain buckets though - that's exactly the sort of thing I'd do!