Last Sunday we decided to travel to Henley and Marlow for a day trip.
For anyone unfamiliar with this areas nearby the Thames, it is a worthwhile day trip from London with trains leaving from Paddington station.
As most Japanese know, Henley is one of those places quintessentially English that , without failure, every year draw the crowds… especially around the time of its regatta. (Henley’s tradition as a rowing town has generated many champions including Olympic champions. )
The vernacular (local) architecture in this part of the country is a combination of historical layers and materials which include brick, timber, flint stones and lime washes, giving the town a rich textured appearance that is also very appealing to visitors.
With such a rich heritage, the first stop of our journey was, of course, the River and Rowing museum by British Architect David Chipperfield. The building, inspired by local boat houses and barns is well known in the word wide architectural scene for its aesthetic and considerate approach to the context where it sits.
The Building held a variety of exhibitions on varied topics such as water and the importance of managing the river for those living nearby, the rowing heritage of Henley and…
… a mobile installation representing the well-known book “The Wind in the Willows” and its relationship with Henley on its 100th year anniversary.
(All three exhibitions worth visiting with children especially and the ticket can be used more than once all year round)
After visiting the museum, the next item on our list was a walk along the river which was full of beautiful narrow boats. There are two things I have always dreamt about having “when I grow up”: a willow at the bottom of my garden, and a boat to travel around…and it is because of this that for me, a walk along the Thames is so full of happiness.
Narrow boats are an important part of British life as canals and rivers were, for centuries, the arteries that transported goods from north to south and east to west. They can be rented and taken along gorgeous landscapes and stopped in bucolic locations to eat, drink or enjoy the peace and quiet. (some further info here)
At lunch time, my research took us to The three Tuns, a Grade 1 listed building which holds the cutest little pub with a wonderful garden at the rear. It did not disappoint us!
We had not booked a table but we made sure to arrive just before the kitchen opened at 12 in order to snap one of the last tables that were still available at the garden. We order some refreshing drinks and sat happily for a few minutes until the kitchen open.
The menu of the day has a delicious selection of starters, mains and deserts to choose from and here are our choices.
Grilled sardines were the starter of choice for the boys.
Goat cheese souffle with salad for me. (The souffle was so delicious that i have found the recipe for future reference already)
My father in law had monk fish with Kale and roasted potatoes accompanied by a chorizo and onion stew.
My husband and i had a smoked pancetta-wrapped cod on crushed baby potato and a mustard and chives sauce.
All accompanied by the most delicious carrots and broccoli. (The carrots had been steamed with fennel and the flavors of it had left a delicious hint on the carrots which I will test at home)
It was a very lovely lunch in a beautiful setting with friendly and an attentive service… what else would you want?
Photographs by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Text by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
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