English Countryside: Hursley & Farley Mount

Friday 18 May 2012
king mead hursley2

I'm guilty of not exploring my backyard. I've been to Paris 3 times last year yet I've barely scratched the surface of the surrounding countryside. Thanks to our busy schedule, Sara, a fellow expat from the US and I haven't had the chance to catch for months. After a flurry of text messages, we happily ditched our kids (yeah, that includes the big boys aka husbands) for a lovely day out. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. The same rule applies to England.

king mead hursley

We decided to check out a pub in Hursley, a small village which is also an important IBM center. Despite its modest size with a population of 800 (in 2005), it was once the country seat for the ruler of England albeit a rather short-lived period when Richard Cromwell, the third son of Oliver Cromwell (the dude who overthrew the Stuart monarchy) succeeded his father.

king mead1

Right. Back to the pub. King's Head is suitably named as such seeing that King Charles I was beheaded thanks to Oliver Cromwell who later was put to death in a similar manner. Ouch. King's Head is a Georgian coaching inn built in 1810 on a busy route with many trade and passenger coaches passing through on their way to Salisbury, Winchester, Southampton, London and West Country. I used to think pubs are old, dark and dingy places with low ceilings and probably come with a couple of ghosts attached. Okay, so I've been to a few haunted pubs and will now avoid like the plague. The King's Head couldn't be more different. Beautifully decorated with wooden interior, it's a cosy place for the family to get together for a meal.

king mead - roast

king mead toffee

My traditional roast beef served with horseradish, buttered cabbage greens and parsnips was scrumptious. I was even more impressed with the sticky toffee pudding which was the best I've ever had. Forgive my shaky hands. I've come to the realization that one should never ever attempt to photograph on an empty stomach.

farley mount2

We did a mini trek up Farley Mount to catch a glimpse of fields laid out like patchwork. We could only gaze in silence and marveled at the picturesque scenery that's stretched out as far as the eye can see. There's even a memorial dedicated to a horse. Get this. The horse is called Beware Chalk Pit. Yup, for jumping into a chalk pit. How appropriate.

farley mount9

farley mount6

farley mount4

P.S. I'm often asked about my camera equipment. This was one of the rare occasions that I did not have my DSLR handy. I managed to dig out hubby's Panasonic Lumix LX3 compact camera and was astounded with the clarity and color of the photos (the countryside). It's no longer available but there's an upgraded version - LX5.


  1. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG YUMS! did you know sticky toffee pudding is my ALL TIME FAVORITE DESSERT!!!!! looks sooo good!

  2. It's so beautiful, I can't take it all in! So glad you got a day to play!

  3. Your backyard is gorgeous! All that greenery! I have the LX5 and I love it! Gotta dig that Leica lens.

    Rowena @ rolala loves
    Enter my Shabby Apple giveaway!

  4. sigh...i would love to move to a village like that and own a small stone cottage with a rose garden....dreams....

  5. And you say you nothing about English history! I have an history degree and I'm so ashamed to admit I didn't know Cromwell's son succeeded him! Doh.
    I have to say, that roast beef looks unbelievably good. When I was a kid, roast beef dinners in pubs were always thick slabs of over cooked chewy beef. Different story nowadays. Looks awesome! What a lovely day you had x

  6. Sounds like you had a lovely time catching up with your friend. Once again, I'm just in awe of your photos especially the ones of Farley Mount. The greenery just looks surreal; how incredibly gorgeous! Thanks for sharing sweetie! :)


  7. It's so beautiful, I wish I could move to a small English town.

  8. Loved this post! And did you know that sticky toffee pudding is one of my hands down favorite desserts? I don't know why nowhere in the US are they able to do it as good as any random neighborhood shop in the UK..

  9. Those photos are gorgeous! Your camera is great, thanks for posting the info about it. I want to get a new camera.

  10. Beautiful photo's. The UK really has amazing landscape. I'm missing my daily tea and cake since I left. The sticky toffee pudding has me licking my lips :) I hope it was nice

    xx Mandi

  11. I understand exactly what you feel.. I came back from Venice this morning and this time I had a different kind of visit. Instead spending all of the time in Venice, we rented a car and hit the countryside.. a different experience all together :) Lovely photos by the way!

    Come see my post today!

  12. i would love to visit this place! and i'm sure my hubby will fall in love.. he's is much more into "country side" :)

    i love Italy but the difference from here and there you can see clearly even with photos - much clean, neat and quiet! i already feel the peace and serenity there!!!!

    take care dear. xoxo, Haus of Gala

  13. So pretty and that food looks ridiculously good!
    - Aliya :)

  14. that is crazily picturesque countryside!! the lumix is a great little camera and if i'm not mistaken shares the same build as the leicas (but not the lens)

  15. Such beautiful photos. Im always such a fan of your photography. I love the Engligh countryside- it's just so beautiful.

  16. Clearly it's the person behind the camera and not the camera itself that leads to all of your wonderful photos :)
    That toffee pudding looks fantastic too!

  17. Oh Wow!!! You are killing me with these photos. This place seems like the most idyllic "country" getaway. Being stuck in L.A. this is such a treat. I don't know what is putting me over the edge, the breathtaking greenery or the pudding! :)

  18. This is like something out of a fairy tale. Those country side shots are what all my dreams are made of... I'm planning to come over and see them in person someday!

  19. How lovely! I grew up in the countryside and hated it with a passion but now I agree there's nothing better to restore yourself.



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