Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Beetle and Wedge - Moulsford 22 June

Internet service has been a bit scratchy so haven't been able to update the blog. So I'll give an overview of the last couple of days.
Eton Rowing Centre
Well, we didn't stay in Windsor because it is pretty popular and it was race week so hopefully we'll be able to book into a marina on the way back. Bray looked good as we passed it and it does have a good supply of upmarket restaurants with Heston Blumenthal's three (the Fat Duck and 2 pubs) and the Roux brothers restaurant, although having 3 Michelin stars may put it out of our price range. Where we did eventually stay, on the side of the river at Boveney, was also peaceful and quiet. It was near the Eton rowing course and not far from the township of Dorney.
Sweetpea growing on the towpath
Towpath wildflower
Each evening after we moor up, and provided the weather is fine, we go for a stroll along the tow path. It is peaceful and relaxing with the river on one side and, in most cases, wildlife and plants on the other. There are many flowers out at the moment and what we consider to be domesticated plants in Australia are clearly wildflowers here.

Mr Whippy Riverside
George and Dragon Pub

Marlow suspension bridge at sunset
After a good nights sleep we decided that Cookham would be our destination for the night but once again we were thwarted. It seems that timing is key in these popular little towns. Arrive too early and last night's moorers haven't left and arrive too late and all the available spots are taken. In this case we were too early so we continued on to the lovely town of Marlow, where we timed our arrival perfectly. By the time 3pm came around all the mooring spots for a boat of our size were full.
The history of Marlow dates back to William the conqueror although most of the buildings in town appear to be 16th and 17 century. The suspension bridge was built in 1832 and is really only designed for one way traffic. After a relaxing stroll through the village we decided to have dinner at Chequers. Another advantage of mooring by the centre of a town is that you may be able to access things that you wouldn't expect. For example Mr Whippy was in the park right next to our boat so we just needed to step off the boat to order our soft serve. We possibly could have even been a little cheeky and asked for delivery service !!
Henley Womens regatta
Henley on Thames was next on our agenda. By now we had started timing our arrival and departure to hopefully set us up with a good mooring right in the town centre. What we hadn't counted on was the fact that this is regatta season and this weekend was the women's rowing regatta in Henley.  There were rowers, boats and people everywhere so we were quite surprised to find a spot on the edge of town near the rowing museum. This is also a lovely town with a really good ambience, lots of quaint little shops and plenty of places to eat and drink. Unfortunately, given the fact that there were lots of people in town for the regatta, mooring near the town wasn't so quiet and at one stage during the night a boat sped past us with such a strong wake that the boat rocked wildly. The guy in the boat next to ours told us that it knocked him out of bed!
Angel Pub Henley
We set off on Saturday with the aim of staying in a marina so that we could refill the water tank and do some washing. Cruising up the Thames there are so many lovely houses and properties that have waterside frontages. They also come with a pretty price tag! The Thames and Kennet marina in Reading is a great marina with first class facilities with many pontoons specifically for narrowboats and Dutch barges. It has it's own "pub" and social club. We only stayed the night but could see that it would be a great place to leave your boat. The only downside is that it is quite a way from public transport so a car would be necessary.
Waterside property
Which brings us to today where we had plans to moor at Goring and catch up with friends. Unfortunately, being a lovely sunny day, a lot of people were out for the day in their pleasure boats and had taken up all the available moorings. We finally asked a lockkeeper at Cleeve for some suggestions and he told us about the Beetle and Wedge hotel at Moulsford where you could moor for free provided you ate there. At that is what we did. We had a great meal and Kevin discovered Tutts Clump Cider

No comments:

Post a Comment