The minute someone finds out that I'm from New Zealand, there's usually an excited squeal. Apparently, the country's on nearly everyone's bucket list, thanks to Lord of the Rings. On the other hand, I'm thinking....but but but wait....what about your picture perfect English villages with their neatly pruned gardens and centuries old buildings seeped in history?? Just so you know I've stopped dashing about touching everything and exclaiming "WOW, I'VE JUST TOUCHED SOMETHING 750 YEARS OLD!!" Folks around me would inevitably take a few steps back and snickered. I even arrogantly told my mom who visited me recently that "this building is ONLY 400 years young." While she did the gasped-in-wonder-awestruck-jaw-drop thing, I dragged her off to a truly old church. Beat that. I'm a seasoned U.K dweller now, folks. But I still secretly hyperventilate with a silent Oh Em Geeeeeee.
Lacock is another one of those fairy tale medieval villages within The Cotswolds. Just so you know, BBC's Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince were filmed here. *squeal* We came on the day when they were holding their war festival. Everyone was dressed up in 1930s/1940s costumes while we, in our normal and modern outfits stuck out like a sore thumb. The small picturesque village was practically heaving with visitors. Scores of war memorabilia were on display including armored tanks and jeeps.
We arrived late when people were starting to leave. Lacock seemed like a movie set where we stepped back in time to the 1940s. People carried on playing their roles while we took a stroll down the narrow lanes, completely bowled over by what we were seeing. Nostalgic war songs were sung live at a local pub while many sat and listened as they enjoyed a pint or two. It was an extraordinary event to observe.
We stopped by a nearby teahouse and restaurant, Sign of the Angel for a spot of afternoon tea. The staff there were patient enough to put up with my incessant questions about the 15th century tudor styled building which was once a coach inn. They've retained many original features such as the rustic medieval open fireplace and low wooden overhead beams. We left Lacock feeling like we'd spent a day in a period drama. It was a truly magical experience.