Last fall while Los Angeles was still riding a wave of summer weather, David and I flew to London and then took the train into the heart of England, the Cotswolds. The gentle rolling hills were dotted with sleepy limestone villages, and autumn was giving up its fight to old man winter. With rain pummeling our Rover, we drove “on the other side” through the countryside, past towers and fields.
I contacted a local bed and breakfast in Little Compton, The Old School, before our trip and talked with one of the owners, Wendy. The Old School is not a vegan B&B, but I asked if she could accommodate me and my husband for breakfasts. Although she’d never had vegan guests before, she assured us that she’d keep us happy and fed. We arrived long after the sun had gone down in a place where there are no street lamps to light the roads. The stars freckled the black night sky.
The Old School B&B was formerly a Victorian school house, built in the 1800’s. Wendy showed us to our comfortable and immaculate room with soya milk stocked in our in-room refrigerator for our tea. True to her word, we were well fed and happy. For breakfasts we were treated to tomatoes stuffed with herbs and beans, risotto and vegetables, and stuffed Portobello mushrooms on a potato pancake.
During the day David and I would visit little towns like Stow-in-the-Wold, Broadway, Chipping Camden, and Stratford-upon-Avon. We walked a bit of the Cotswold Way, the emerald countryside draped in sheets of rain.
Then in the late afternoon, shivering and damp, we’d venture back to the Old School, where Wendy greeted us with afternoon tea and vegan chocolate cake. The sweet, moist chocolate cake revived me, and with the steaming tea I could feel myself melt into a whole person again. We watched the fire blaze in the drawing room as we chatted with new friends.