Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tea and Shopping in Chester

Snow and ice wouldn't stop us from exploring the beautiful old city of Chester in England during our Europe trip...

When last we left off, we were strolling along the city walls near the cathedral...


It was fascinating to read about the history of the walls as we walked along (and listen to it on the app we had downloaded!).  Construction was begun by the Romans, although the walls were later improved by the Anglo-Saxons and others...I love the layer upon layer of history that you find in England!  The past doesn't seem so far away.

Another portion of Chester's history we learned belonged to the medieval cathedral.  I loved this quote (from the year 1200!) on one of the plaques: "...we admire the monks of Chester because they are not wearied by the toil of their joyful yoke.  To the local people they are cheery: to those who come from afar they are jovial, ready to open their hearts to them."

I really loved exploring the walls - apparently you can make a full circuit around the city (it's about 2 miles), but we didn't have time, and anyway it was very icy and windy and cold up there!  I wasn't too sorry to duck back into the main shopping streets...

The show swirling in the air seemed in perfect keeping with the black-and-white architecture!

As it was so chilly outside, naturally we had to stop in plenty of stores to keep warm. ;)  I was very excited to find a Cath Kidston - it's like the British Vera Bradley.  They even had wifi in the store, so I was able to skype with Mama Snob (who also loves Cath!) to figure out what she wanted.  It was pretty funny - there she is at her computer across the ocean, looking at the CK website saying, "Do they have the mug with the British soldiers?" - and there I am at the store in England walking about trying to find it!

Another necessary stop was MARKS AND SPENCER.  We had stopped here briefly the day before, but it was the end of the day right before the store closed - I needed to make a fuller inspection! ;)

This was the Marks and Spencer that was split up and took up both sides of the street - I just loved that.

I didn't take many photos...I was too busy browsing...but I did snap this one because I thought the purple ties were all funny, waving in an imaginary wind!  As I recall I found a few shirts, a pretty new scarf, and some colorful socks - M&S always has such a fun selection of funky socks!

After all that shopping it was time for an afternoon restorative, don't you think?

What a delightful tea tray that is - three pots, one for me, one for my brother, and one with hot water to refresh the other two when they got low!

Loved the emblems on the silver pots as well!

We sat on the ground floor by the windows, but it looked like such a neat old space!  My mom (or rather, my mum!) had been to Chester and thought she'd been to Katie's Tea Rooms - or a tea rooms located where Katie's was.  She remembered sitting in a room upstairs, and as that's where the restrooms were anyway, I went up to look around - there were some really neat old rooms and beams.  If only the walls could talk! :)

Back downstairs enjoying our tea...just lovely!

More shopping, more snow, more beautiful buildings!


I loved the way "the Rows" were set up - with shops on the street level and a second floor of shops above, set a little back under colonnaded walkways.

We had yet to look at one of Chester's most famous symbols - it's clock!


Dusk was gathering as we climbed up on the walls again to walk right under the Eastgate Clock.  It was added at the end of the nineteenth century to celebrate Queen Victoria's jubilee.  That sounded quite recent after the more ancient history we'd been hearing about all day!

One last look over the twilight streets before we turned back to our hotel...

...through the snow!

I saw on the news that night that the Duchess of Cambridge had been up in the North in the snow that day as well - although, alas, not in Chester.  I didn't have any royalty sightings on that trip, but I did have just a few more days of England adventuring left...more Emma in Europe coming up next Thursday!


  1. As a Cestrian (someone from Chester), and a massive Disney fan I just wanted to say thank you for your reflective and meaningful musings. I recently spent four weeks at Disneyworld and your insights proved invaluable. Loving your work!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment - that's wonderful to hear!