I don’t like Saturday’s. That is, I don’t like them when I am at work, which is most Saturdays, but this particular Saturday has been a good one because I haven’t been there! Instead Husband and I spent the day enjoying the spring sunshine in Shropshire. Having relatives living in this lovely county meant that I began visiting as a child and continued to do so with my own children. And now that my daughter has very sensibly chosen to make her home in such a charming place, I’ve reason to keep on coming! The growth of said children over the years can be charted through a variety of photographs that show them standing on Abraham Darby III’s famous cast iron bridge in (the unsurprisingly named) Ironbridge.
Work on this iconic structure, which spans the River Severn, began in 1777 and the bridge now forms the centrepiece of The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust which operates no less than ten different museums. More of this tomorrow.
Ironbridge village centre is pretty, compact and comprises several restaurants and a small selection of individual shops, including one selling specialist whisky – the curiously named Moonshine & Fuggles. Since husband has a penchant for a good single malt, (preferably of the Islay variety), of course, we ventured in. Twenty minutes later we ventured out again, now possessors of an eighteen year old Oban -a little less smokey than an Islay but falling short of the sweetness of the Highland varieties. Do I sound as if I know what I’m talking about here? Don’t be fooled – I can’t stand the stuff in any form, but after years of living with someone who most definitely does, I have picked up a fair bit of the lingo!
After an obligatory coffee stop, we wandered along to the Merrythought teddy bear museum where the company has been making traditional, jointed, mohair bears since 1930. Despite a few difficult years when cheap, imported bears swamped the market, Merrythought survived and is now the only British Teddy bear company still making its bears solely in Britain. I still have my own, given to me as a new baby and imaginatively referred to as ‘Big Ted’.
Lunch was a poor affair; we got it wrong. Never having been to a Tex-Mex restaurant and having been assured that the food in the Chimichanga restaurant chain was pretty good, we decided to try it. Full marks for excellent service and a charming waitress, but the food just didn’t pass muster. It’s not that it was actually bad and we weren’t expecting gourmet cuisine but it lacked the heat we’d hoped for, bordering on bland. Lesson learned; we’ll stick to our preferred bistro style independents, or a good pub meal in future.