London is never boring but it can be so chaotic and business-oriented that you may want to escape its mess sometimes. It’s been a while since my last stunning trip to Cornwall, last year. My mission to discover the British countryside is very often held back by different things. Above all, I fear I may end up staring at a dull green stretch of grass under a dark rainy sky (it’s true what you hear about rain in the UK).
If you live in UK and want to buy a train ticket at a reasonable price you need to plan your journey weeks in advance. Otherwise, you’re going to pay more than 90 pounds return just for two hours train ride. When the lord does not reward me with the gift of providence, I ask Google to fix my weekend and find me a location in proximity of London that would look like other than a shopping mall for Topshop lovers. But, either because Google is not that smart, or London is self consistent and nothing around is so appealing, the hunting is so difficult!
Brighton and Dover are good options. Once I pushed myself till Southend-on-Sea. Tide was so low that for hundreds of meter it wasn’t possible to spot the sea from the beach but a sweep of wet sand and mud. I had to rename it Southend-NO-sea. My trip in Kent, with the help of the unmerciful weather, was a pretty disappointing experience. My last day out London was not that bad, instead. Not at all. Windsor is just outside the capital, so close that I thought to get off at Heathrow station on the Piccadilly line and then walk. Clearly things went differently. I took a train from Paddington directed to Oxford , I got off at Slough and changed platform to take another train that took me to Windsor in 5 minutes or so. Total journey time, 1 hr.
It was not my first time in Windsor. I went there already to visit the castle: 16 pounds well spent. This time I just wanted to have a quite stroll and good food, enjoy the atmosphere of Eton and take some pictures. Yeah, I managed to achieve all the objectives. Rather deserted, Eton is famous for its prestigious College, which trains the British aristocracy, including princes and princesses Windsor, known for its imposing Castle which is still a residence for the Queen of England, is full of restaurants and cute houses made of white wood. The Thames is still green-brownish but looks much more like river, a real product of nature, as testified by the the multitude of safe and sound swans.
After Google, comes Tripadvisor. Mirror mirror on the Tripadvisor wall, what restaurant in the land of Windsor is the tastiest of all? Tripadvisor replies Hungry Eye . It turned out to be a good answer, this time. Food served in this small Nepalese restaurant is seriously delicious. The Dahi Bhanta, oven roasted aubergine pulp marinated in yogurt and spices, was superb. Over all a good day out. My colleagues say that beyond the motorway M25, it’s a different world and different rules apply. They may be right, luckily.