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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Best Kept Secrets of Paradise Circus

As well as the "Hall of Hate" (although there's not been much use for that recently) I think I'm going to compile a "Best Kept Secrets" list - just so that I don't forget the most amazing hidden away experiences we discover on our travels.

The weekend before last, Lando C and I needed to get a hotel for the night near Oxford. With it being Bank Holiday weekend in the Cotswolds though, it soon became an impossible task. We'd already scraped a top class Blue Audi backing out of a tiny but full B&B car park in Witney that was only accessible via a narrow tunnel too small for a Mini Cooper let alone our Big Red Van.

Just as we began to think it would be better to drive the 2 and a half hours back up the M40 to our own bed instead, we soon discovered a beautiful Inn hidden away just down the road in Hailey. We could see a courtyard surrounded by rooms from the ample car park outside the restaurant and it looked awesome.

To cut a long story short - there sadly weren't any rooms available here either. Well there would have been had a honeymoon couple not broken the bed in the superior room the night before. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to see Lando C in action, I offered up his DIY services to fix the bed so we didn't have to journey further. The owners (Kim-Marie and Rod) agreed and gave us a free night's accommodation in exchange for some of the big Canadian's handywork.

The Bird in the Hand, Hailey, Oxfordshire

Not only was the welcome warm but the room was also amazing. Whirlpool bath, king size bed, "Tea and Coffee Making Facilities". Lando C did a fab job reinforcing the effect of someone's elses night of passion.

And that night we ate like kings. I'd been dreaming of seafood and a fish dinner all day and had almost given up hope. To our surprise we were offered a platter of Oysters to start, the most incredible Dover Sole filleted at our table by the owner, and some kind of desert that I can't remember because by that time I'd drank way too much red wine. It was just divine!
Lando C and I wondered if we'd perhaps died in some freak accident involving a Blue Audi and we were wafting on another ethereal plane of existence where all your wildest dreams come true. We booked the room again that night so we could enjoy it all over again, minus the goose chase and woodwork.

Bird in the Hand, Hailey, Oxfordshire - you are the first to be inducted into the Paradise Circus Best Kept Secrets list. Well done!


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