This morning we stopped to take a look at the new motorway services which have recently opened on the M4 just outside Gloucester. We have passed the site a number of times over the past year or more, wondering what was being built on such a large area. The whole complex is built into a man made hill gently contoured to the landscape and is like a very modern Hobbit house! I was struck by the tranquility and lack of noise when we got out of the car, even though we were only yards away from the motorway, and inside was just as peaceful, very spacious and stylish. There is a large farm shop selling all kinds of local produce of excellent quality, though it is a bit expensive. Breakfasts seemed very healthy, as did the light lunches but as we were there at 10.30am we couldn't see a lunch menu. It was all a very far cry from the old style motorway service cafes I remember where all I felt safe to order was a cup of tea.
After we had done our weekly shop we came home down the A38 and stopped off at Frampton-on-Severn for lunch at the Bell Inn there. Our son had recommended it and now we know why. The inside has been modernised but is somehow in keeping with the age of the building. I didn't like to take photos outside as there were quite a few people having lunch out there.
I don't quite know what has happened to my pictures but they have loaded in the wrong order. Below is a lovely house just off the village green in Frampton and next to the village shop.
When we got home we found a houseful of offspring who had asked us not to put the double lock on when we went out as youngest daughter had left something behind and wanted to collect it. All fibs! They had to get us out of the way so that our son and son-in-law could unpack and assemble this lovely double garden seat with table for our 60th wedding anniversary. As the actual date is at the end of September they thought we should have it early to be able to enjoy it in this fine summer weather. We can sit in the shade like Derby and Joan!
Back to the Bell Inn at Frampton. This was my lunch - scallops and black pudding with roasted tomatoes on a green salad - delicious and perfect as I can never eat a full meal at lunch time.
This must be one of the most elegant village shops in the country. The whole village is full of wonderful houses from many different eras and in different styles though mainly Georgian.
Here we have the village pond, surrounded by lush plants obscuring the water. In spring, before everything has put on so much growth, it is lovely to see the moorhens with their chicks dashing about.
I love the cricket pavilion and as I was taking this picture I wondered where the pitch was - perhaps behind the pavilion?
I think it is time I christened that new seat and sat out there with a cup of tea.