Sunday, 15 April 2018

At The Coaching Inn

Over Easter, I had a whole week off work and the PhD.  I didn't want to be near a computer, and threw myself into a big Spring Clean instead, as well as catching up with some friends and family.  As part of my break, I had a few days away with an old university friend.  We stayed in a hotel near Newbury in England, and wanted it to be a restorative time for both of us, as we've both had a few stressors to contend with in the last year.  This meant we spent our time on long country walks, swimming in the hotel pool, and eating lovely meals.

On the Saturday, Linda and I had spent a good few hours on a walk, starting in a nature reserve and taking us along a canal, through woods, over a common (that was a former military base) and back again.  It was supposed to be a 6.5 mile walk but we had another mile or two to and from the start/finish and our hotel, so my legs were certainly feeling it by the end!  We decided to freshen up before heading out for a well-deserved pub lunch at The Swan Inn.  This beautiful pub is a former coaching inn from the 16th century.  It was idyllic.  Our table overlooked a pretty little stream running through the gardens, and we sipped G&Ts while we watched two boys leaping over it to see if they'd fall in (they didn't).  The food was excellent, prices were reasonable and the staff were lovely.  I highly recommend it if you're in the Newbury area (perhaps visiting Highclere Castle, of Downton Abbey fame).

I hadn't packed a 16th century costume to go with the surroundings, so I made do with matching the black and white exterior in this Pearl Lowe for Peacocks dress.  It was based on a vintage original in her personal collection, and I think the details are just lovely, and stretch far above the cheap and cheerful Peacocks price range.  I bought mine off Ebay, as it had sold out when it was released some years ago.  These dresses do pop up every now and again, so do keep an eye out if you fancy one.

The Coaching Inn

The Coaching Inn @porcelinasworld

The Coaching Inn @porcelinasworld

The Coaching Inn @porcelinasworld

The Coaching Inn @porcelinasworld
Wearing: Pearl Lowe for Peacocks dress, via Ebay.  Pointed flats, George at Asda.  Faux Chanel bag, via charity shop.  Primark sunglasses.  Photos by Linda, thank you!

Most of my weekend was spent in a pink waterproof jacket to be honest though!  As well as our long walk that day, we also walked to Watership Down (yes it does exist!) on the Sunday, and although short of rabbits, there were many lambs bouncing along in the fields.  It did indeed recharge my batteries, which is just as well as the level of work and PhD I have over the next few weeks is best described as an 'onslaught'.  My next break is already planned in anticipation of this - under three weeks until Spain!! (Note to self: buy some fake tan.  This is the first time my legs have been out of tights/trousers since the trip to Petworth over 5 months ago!)

The Coaching InnClockwise from top left: Reeds at the canal; Watership Down; village house; on the canal swing bridge.

What do you do to recharge your batteries?  I'd love to hear your tips!

Linking up with: #iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayPassion for FashionFancy Friday


  1. Beautiful costume and photos. I like retro style.

  2. A few days away does the trick! And to be outdoors. Spain sounds good, we all could use a bit of sun don't we.

  3. Looks like a lovely getaway. Exercise is always a good idea to clear out the brain cobwebs.

    Your dress is perfect for the setting.

    Watership Down is one of my all time favourite books.

    I loved the photo on your IG of the sheep.


  4. Welcome home! What a gorgeous place, I bet it did you the world of good. I'm glad you're rested and ready for the onslaught!
    Goodness me, you're brave with the bare legs! xxx

  5. Even we've had some Spring weather here, I haven't been brave enough to go bear-legged. My legs are so pale they're almost translucent, and I don't want to give people a fright ;-) That Pearl Lowe dress is gorgeous and matches that stunning black and white inn perfectly! Your pink raincoat is perfect to tackle a long walk in not-so-perfect (I seriously need a new one, as mine is in boring black), and imagine Watership Down really existing! A perfect weekend away to recharge your batteries. Mine are in need of recharging as well, so we've booked a long weekend away. Only two weeks to go ... xxx

  6. Beautiful outfit and lovely photos.

  7. What a perfect little getaway! I'm seriously swooning over that black and white striped exterior. Your looks fabulous against it, and I love that it has so many pretty vintage details at a "cheap and cheerful" price, as you put it.
    Lately I've been turning to video games a lot to recharge. I've fallen in love with a game called Portal, which is a great puzzle game. It's nice sometimes to do something with a defined end point and definable correct answers - so little in life is like that!

  8. Good luck with the hard work to come - you can do it! So nice to get away for little breaks like this, we have our only break planned for late next month and even though it’s only going to be 3 days I’ve been looking forward to it all year!! Hopefully I won’t have to spend the whole time in waterproofs but who knows in this country... xx

  9. What a lovely place to visit - it looks idyllic, and a great place to get away from it all. So surprising that Peacocks have never got Pearl Lowe back to do another range, as her stuff seemed to sell like gangbusters and is still sought after. That dress really suits you.

    To recharge my batteries, I need to get away from the electronics - no phone, no computer, and no PlayStation. I love my PlayStation but while I forget most other things when I'm on it, I don't put it away with the same sense of wellbeing I get from gardening or making things. Doing something slow, with my hands, that cannot be rushed, is the best recharger.

  10. Oh wow it looks like it was "recharge" time and a well deserved one !
    Love the black and white backdrop with the black dress.

  11. I know Newbury very well as it's not far from where I grew up, although I generally used to hang out in the town rather than walking around the countryside. The Pearl Lowe dress really suits you and that was quite the perfect spot to take the photos in front of the pub exterior.

    I'm thinking about having a spray tan before we go to Seville but I've never had one before and really don't want to end up orange! I hope you have a fabulous time when you head to Spain. xx

  12. Your outfit is fabulous! And I am absolutely dying to visit Highclere!!

    I am a desert gal myself, and going out there always helps me recharge. I love how quiet it is out there.


  13. Ah, such a cute dress ~ I love the lace, ribbon and button detail! And those cute cottages! Oh, I just love traditional architecture!

    bonita of Lavender & Twill


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