Thursday, June 5, 2008

England and Belgium Trip Report, part IV.

From 2000-2002 my husband's twin brother, Charles, and his family lived as expats in Windsor, England. We visited them each year during Spring Break. The first two years we left the girls at home and took Will with us. The third year Dorothy Anna (Dots) joined us as well. At the time she was 4 and Will was 10. What follows is taken from the texts of emails I sent home while we were there.

Friday, 15 March

Will rode the bus with Margaret's children to the International School of Brussels and attended 4th grade classes as a guest. Margaret took Robert, Dorothy Anna and me shopping and sightseeing. We went to the Conrad Hotel on Avenue Louise, where President Bush stayed on his visit to Brussels last month (I found it up to my standards but falling short of the level of service and comfort we'd experienced at Chez Margaret!). Next door to the Conrad is Surneel's Toy Store, where we stopped and bought some gifts as well as some rewards and bribes for our little travelers.

(Dots checking out the beautiful pastries - always an eye for sweets!)

We then drove out to Waterloo (about 20 miles from town), stopping to see the American Women's Club and to visit some shops. Robert enjoyed seeing the field where Napolean was defeated, and Dorothy Anna liked the Smart Car Tower, a multi-story glass building displaying these tiny Belgian cars (less than 3 metres long, they can fit horizontally into a parallel parking space); Robert commented that the Smart Car Tower looked like a case for Matchbox cars.

We retrieved Will from school (he gave ISB a grade of A+), said our good-byes and boarded the Eurostar back to London.

(Will clearly was not ready to leave!)

We took a taxi from Waterloo Station to Paddington (no more underground with luggage for me, especially at rush hour on a Friday afternoon), where we caught a train to Slough. We arrived at Charles and Patti's house, via a taxi from the station, at about 7:00.

That evening Patti had engaged a sitter and made reservations for us at Great Foster's in Egham. Great Foster's is a beautiful English manor house which was built in 1550 and was once used by King Henry VIII as a hunting lodge. In modern times it serves as a hotel and restaurant.

(This was the front door! I'm not very tall, and I had to stoop to enter.)

We dined in an elegant paneled room with a roaring fire ablaze in a Jacobean fireplace. Our meal was delicious. Charles and I had duck, Robert a linguini dish and Patti tenderloins of beef (she declared that if she were to acquire Mad Cow Disease, it would not be for naught as her entree was divine).

We retired to the lounge for coffee and after-dinner drinks and then wandered the house, reading displays on its history and perusing pictures of its famous guests.

1 comment:

Alice Band said...

We must be following each other around! My family and I went to Brussels and ate at Chez Leon at EAster time. How funny!