When I came to England on my last trip, I planned it so I could attend Royal Ascot. And I was fortunate enough to be a guest in the Royal Enclosure, it was a wonderful day out. This time I wanted to go to another ‘society’ event the Henley Royal Regatta.

I hopped on the train early Wednesday and headed out on my latest countryside adventure. The train was packed and it was SO hot and sticky. The man across from me some how dropped one of his cell phones and spent most of the trip wiggling around, trying to look under his seat to find it. Between him and the woman next to me who kept sniffing and clearing her throat I wanted to scream. We had to switch trains – being outside and cool again was welcome but the next train was even busier, thankfully only a short trip.  It’s about a 10 minute walk from the train station to the actual event site – and a pretty one at that. My first impression of Henley-on-Thames was a very good one. By the time I had gotten to the race site it had started to rain – that fun rain you only get in England – like someone turned on a tap and there is no way you aren’t going to get wet. It didn’t last too long – as I took my seat in the Stewards Enclosure it had stopped. I actually thought more people would be at the race, I know it was opening day but still. I managed to snag a seat right in the front row along the river. While it was a great view – I did think to myself I probably shouldn’t be sitting there because one wrong move and then next thing you know *ploop* I’m in the water. It made me even more nervous when a group came and sat behind me and the little girl kept pushing on my seat. I watched a few races go by before I popped in to the tented area for some lunch. Not going to lie, I was pretty bored. I definitely prefer horse racing. But I hung around for a while longer, after all I had wanted to come to this event.

After about another half hour or so I decided to actually go in to the town and have a look around. After walking around and going in to different shops, checking out the beautiful architecture and admiring the decorated streets I kind of fell in love with Henley. Everyone was so nice and it’s just all around a beautiful place to be. I’d like to come back when the Regatta isn’t on and see what it’s like then. Henley is now up there with Windsor on my ‘favourite places in England’ list.

It was still early in the afternoon so before I got the train back to London, I went and had a pint at a wonderful pub called The Argyll – they have a great courtyard in the back. It was much warmer by then, I just sat there and listened to the birds chirping.   That was until a large family with many screaming children came and sat down, it kind of ruined my moment haha.

I was sipping my drink, updating my travel diary when the song ‘All By Myself’ by Celine Dion came on. I thought to myself how fitting, as I am all by myself and this is a song from Bridget Jones’s Diary. I’ve now come to realize I’m turning into Bridget Jones. Not exactly something a girl wants to admit but the similarities are striking. I wrote down that ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could meet a nice, handsome British man’ and if that was going to happen ‘he better hurry up.’

I finished my pint and walked back to the train station – I made it just in time. The man on the platform was waving me on! I sprinted and with one great leap made it through the doors just as they were closing. It wasn’t long into the ride that my pint decided to kick in. I didn’t see a sign on the train that led me to believe there was a toilet so I got off a Slough just to go to the bathroom. So – yah – the Slough train station… it’s… nice. Of course then I had to wait for another train to come and was going to get back to the city much later than expected. Funny though – when I did get on that next train – there was a toilet.

I switched out of my fancy dress and fascinator, that had been giving me a horrible headache, as soon as I got back to the hotel. It was jeans and a t-shirt and down to the hotel bar to watch Andy Murray in the quarter finals at Wimbledon. Not a big tennis fan but it was really hard not to get swept up in it all and cheer for Andy. I was minding my own business when a young man, dressed in a nice suit came around the corner and asked if he could sit beside me. I of course happily obliged. After a few minutes I decided to talk to the handsome stranger – why not right? I think I caught him off guard because when he answered, he seemed nervous haha I guess the strange girl who all of a sudden decided to start talking to him was frightening. It got better though  and soon we were more involved in our conversation then watching the match. I offered to buy him a drink, he laughed and said he was just about to buy me one.  He seemed like a genuinely nice person. He works at the bank just down the road from the Strand Palace and he just happened to come in for an after work drink. After  We sat there for a very long time chatting, it was great! But eventually he said he had to go as his brother was waiting for him.  But he asked for my email address and promised to keep in touch, two kisses on the cheek and he was off. I will admit, I was a bit smitten. He was handsome and nice and really fun. He reminded me a bit of a young Hugh Grant – think Four Weddings and a Funeral.

I went and had a (very) late dinner in the hotel. By the time I went back up to my room and turned on my computer, I had an email from him! I felt like a school girl haha! It was very exciting. He just said it was nice to meet me and hope I had enjoyed my dinner. He said we should meet up again before I go home. I replied and said it was great to meet him as well and I’d love to get together again and that I was free the next two nights before I went home. I went to sleep with an awfully big smile on my face. When I said hurry up, I didn’t think he’d show up within a matter of hours. I have to start writing more demands down from now on.

Advertisements