Sunday, November 02, 2014

Weekend with Ralph and Karen

We set of for Matlock quite early for a Saturday - 7.30am. Hopefully that would give us a good journey and get us there for  9.30. We’re staying over until Sunday when we have to get back for the Plumber! (I seem to have single-headedly destroyed the flushing mechanism in the wet-room loo!)

We had a trouble-free journey there and were soon tucking into brekky with Ralph and Karen.

Our plan today was to explore a bit more of the local area. First stop was the rather twee village of Eyam.  I didn’t know much about the place, but it’s famous for at least two significant things - The Plague and the recently opened (by the National Trust) Eyam Hall.

The village was very busy - so busy in fact, it took us a while to find a car-parking space. In the end, I think we parked furthest from where we were going! The Museum was very interesting (it had opened this year) - very unassuming, but packed full of stuff you never thought you needed to know about the Bubonic Plague - fascinating facts and figures, all presented in a easy-to-understand way. They also had a separate exhibition about WW1 and how it impacted on the village.

The Museum
The Eyam Museum

Next stop was Eyam Hall, a recently opened National Trust property (I wondered why we’d not been to it before). It opened in February this year and since that day, had been an instant success - over 41000 visitors so far! If you like your old house not-too-large, and totally original, this is a good place to visit.





Scenes around Eyam Hall

Next stop was Lea Holme - the actual house that the famous industrialist, John Smedley, lived in. Today (and tomorrow) was one of the few days this year, when it was open to the public - and we were given a private tour - fab! - by Chris and Mike (all dressed in period costume).

The House also sported a great collection of old motorbikes called Rudge. Ralph already has one in his loft that was his Dad’s, and some detailed conversations took place between Ralph and Mike, the guy hosting the collection, who was also naturally, a fan!


A Wonderful Collection of old Rudge Motorcycles




Inside Lea Holme
After leaving the House (having all agreed it was a really good experience), we headed back to Ralph and Karen’s for some R and R, before a quick change of clothes in readiness for our evening meal at a local old peoples’ retirement complex! (really!) - St Elphin’s Park (that had originally been a girls’ boarding school).  it had its own restaurant - Audley - open to he public.








Audley Restaurant


The menu was a somewhat limited, so it didn’t take us long to choose. Not long into the meal, the now-familiar custom of waiter-knocks-over-full-glass-of-beer-onto-customer’s-lap played out, (this happened recently when we met up with Paul and Sue too!) and my shirt and trousers were introduced to the life-enriching properties of a Guinness!

Later, soaked and stuffed in equal measure, we finished our meal, paid our bill and headed back to R and K’s apartment. All-in-all, it was an ‘OK’ experience, but the lack of variety on the menu and the almost empty restaurant kind of killed the atmosphere a bit for all of us.

However, taking the day as a whole, It’s been a good one - and a very interesting too! - we’ve packed a lot in (as we always do!). We were all tired but just awake enough to have a good look through some of R and K’s recent holiday pics, before hitting the hay.

Sunday began with alight breakfast and then we packed up our stuff and headed home - a really enjoyable weekend!