I know today is Halloween, but it just started snowing in Chicago, which feels like Mother Nature’s way of giving me the go-ahead on busting out Justin Bieber’s Christmas album. (Kidding, I already started playing it in August.) All of this snow buzz had me reminiscing this morning about a magical night this past summer in the English countryside with my friend Caitlin.
Several months earlier, I had been sitting in a drab dental office waiting room when a small article in a travel magazine caught my eye. It was about The Wild Rabbit, a cozy inn that had recently opened in the English countryside. The words and pictures painted a picture that was akin to a scene in Nancy Meyer’s “The Holiday.” I ripped it out, brought it home, and made a reservation, but told myself that it probably wasn’t going to be quite as good as the magazine promised.
It was even better. It was one of the best places I’ve ever been in my life.
The inn is located about an hour or so outside of London in the small village of Kingham. There are twelve perfectly appointed rooms, a stunning dining room, and a bar where you might expect to see Jude Law drinking a pint. We read, played Scrabble, drank beer, went for a walk through fields of sheep to their sister business/spa/grocery store/restaurant Daylesford (aka Heaven), and ate steak with bone marrow and horseradish butter. If you’re an Anglophile like me and your fantasy world is a hybrid of Harry Potter and Jane Austen settings, this place is for you.
We were drinking an amazing glass of Sauternes and eating blue cheese after dinner when Christmas music accidentally started playing over their sound system. Drunk and full and happy, we went back to our room, put on The Drifters “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” and danced around the room in our robes.
We never wanted to leave.