Another one of my old Smitten by Britain posts but again a lovely place to visit!
In the middle of England tucked away amongst the farms and horse riding schools is a little Market Town called Melton Mowbray. The townsfolk are a mixture of Farmers, members of the Hunt and some City people who have managed to escape from Leicester, the nearest big City. There are a few shops, some amazingly cute Tea Rooms and some typically English sights that are integral to life here:
The Church and The Great British pub! Almost every village and Town has at least one at the heart of it. Alongside another sight that is fast disappearing from English Streets......an old fashioned red telephone box mainly being put out of service by the technology of the pesky mobile phone!!
Melton is the home of the Pork Pie.......a meat pie made of chopped pork and pork jelly all enclosed in delicious pastry. It may sound disgusting but it is truly a delight to eat, usually cold and as a snack! Pork pies were first popular with fox hunters in the 19th Century and nowadays only pies that are made here can carry the Melton Mowbray brand! They (surprisingly!!) sell them here:
The town is also famous as one of the homes of Stilton Cheese.....no wonder they like to be known as ‘The Rural Capital of Food’.
Just up the road from Melton is the Vale of Belvoir which looks a lot like this:
Aaahhhh the glory that is the English Countryside in the Summer. Sat atop a hill and the Crown in the Vale is Belvoir Castle the seat of the Duke of Rutland:
There has been a castle on this spot since the Norman times and the Castle has been under the Ownership of the current Family for more than 500 years!! The castle sits in around 15,000 acres, most of which is open to the public (the Family live in the rest of it....lucky things!!!) The gardens are pretty cool and the current Duchess is in the process of restoring the Secret Valley Garden and the Rustic Summerhouse.
Summer is one of my favourite times of the year to visit the Castle as they usually hold jousting contests about now!!! It’s quite a sight to behold. Knights with big poles everywhere and in my experience the bad Knights are always hotter ;-) If you get a chance to visit this year it’s definitely worthwhile!