Country living….British style

LOCATION: Housesitting in Meonstoke, Hampshire, England

WEATHER: Partly sunny. High 50

Life is good here in Meonstoke. It is very quiet. I try to imagine who lives in these beautiful old houses. I think some are retirees, but there are also a lot of young families, as I see play things in the yards. Our homeowner drives to Winchester, about 30 minutes away, to catch the train to London for work each day. I think others do this, too. Makes for a long day, but the quality of life here is excellent.

Our house was built in the 1700s, the homeowner told us. It was two buildings, one an inn, that someone merged together years ago. It has beautiful old exposed beams, and a lot of quirky features from an old house. However, it has all the modern conveniences you could hope for. The owners recently updated the kitchen…

The backyard is beautiful, and all fenced in so Buttons can run around…

There are nice flower beds, and raised vegetable gardens. Today, we picked some lettuce and spinach for our salads.

We tried sitting out here with a pint one afernoon, but it is just too chilly…

Today our destination was pub in another village about a mile from here. It is quite popular, as it is known for its good food. We had tried driving here a few days ago, but the car park was full, so today we walked.

The pub is right along the River Meon which also flows next to our backyard.

The pub is called “The Shoe”.

Inside, it is quite cozy, with a fire roaring in the fireplace. The pub makes its own bread,, so the smell hits you (quite pleasantly) as you enter.

We split a shrimp sandwich, made with their homemade bread of the day, and a cup of celeriac soup. Very nice.

The walk home was on a country lane..

DINNER: Pasta with leftover bread from lunch. I had bought a tube of tomato paste (why don’t they sell these in the USA?) to go in to the curry the other night, so used more of the tomato for tonight’s dinner, along with tomatoes from the garden. Side was fresh-picked lettuce and spinach.

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