We’ve arrived in Nottingham, England, but still eagerly await the appearance of our luggage. The ETA is, as all things are, smack-dab in the middle of the ONE THING WE HAD PLANNED for this day (and week). Total irony. Which, of course, has not been absent on this journey. Not even for one little second.
The luggage then. It was six cases in total, each weighing just shy of the allotted 50 pounds, several nearly bursting to excess. In fact it was a bit of excess, if I am frank. That is why I was, in my innermost heart, secretly relieved that we we did not have to haul those beasts through the airport and to the rental car lot, especially after a 17-hour journey. Though we did hire a vehicle large enough for the 300 pounds and half-dozen cases, I confess that, after three flights (all delayed, thanks) and lots of time zones, it felt really, really good to chuck my backpack and carryon case into the huge trunk, close the passenger door (left side, mind) behind me and call it good.
So, on to Nottingham. Cue the Robin Hood jokes; everybody knows them. And they’re fun, for sure. Indeed, Sherwood Forest is a lovely and non-fictional spot and there is significant (but waning) evidence of medieval footpaths and trade routes through the area. But the Nottingham we are presently concerned with is the one just east of the University and Nottingham Castle, in a neighbo(u)rhood called Bakersfield, which is close to Carlton Hill. If the names confuse you, don’t worry: it won’t really get easier or any less confusing. But you do sort of get used to it: everything has a name here. Even the camper-van.
Cosmo was parked somewhere else when we arrived at our accommodations so we were not able to bask in his Cosmo-ness until the following day. We passed Cosmo the camper-van en route to the Carlton High Street, which is just a few residential blocks away. The high street is the original Main Street, where all the shops and pubs are located. Our High Street, Carlton High Street, is home to such amenities as Albert’s Fruit and Veg, Tesco, several charity shops and some decent pubs. It is ALSO home to Bonds Fine Foods.
This place deserves a post all to itself, and may someday receive one, but today it will suffice to say that if you have seen GBBO (Great British Bake Off aka Great British Baking Show) you will know what a hand-raised pie is and you will want one. They look like tiny turrets and you feel like you’ve been dropped into the nearest period drama when you see them. The owner/proprieter of Bonds is a third-generation baker. The shop is proud, rightfully proud, of its history and its product. I have only been here three days and already I know that this is a shop that has earned the respect and business of its locals. (Note: they have their own FB page)
In essence, these are the very things we have come to England to discover, and they are not all that different from the things we were seeking on the other side of the pond. The question remains, then, why did we not find them there?