Through the grapevine

Journal

Through the grapevine

Last weekend we went on a trip into the countryside to visit Wroxeter Roman Vineyard – a treat that Fliss had bought me for valentines day last year, but we hadn’t managed to organise a date to go on until recently.

We stayed in the small village of Brosley, just east of Shrewsbury, in a hotel/inn which can only be described as… unusual. The rooms had just been refurbished, in fact – the whole place was being refurbished, except for the rustic looking dining area inside the front door. Our room was nicely themed with roman looking items, a nod to the ancient heritage of the place, and the bed was large and comfortable. But, from the large cat who appeared to be the only one in charge when we arrived, to the 1981 published book on Nude and Glamour Photography which sat on the bookshelf in our room, the place was just plain weird!

Brosley itself was a bit of a one horse town, but did sport Indian, Thai, and Chineese restraunts and several pubs on the high street. We managed to do a lap of the central village area in about a 20 minute walk on Saturday evening, before calling it quits and returning to the hotel with a stash of junk food to see us through the evening.

On the Sunday morning we had some hours to kill before the wine tasting, so we decided to drive into Birmingham for a bit of a shopping expedition. With a some help from Kieran via sms we managed to find the dilapidated shopping centre which housed an American Sports store I wanted to have a look in. I’d seen a feature on the store on TV a couple of years ago, but unfortunately the shop and the building looked to have been closed on a permanant basis since then. With nothing much else to do in that area we were beginning to give up hope that there was a decent shopping centre in Birmingham, however a short drive further into the centre of the city revealed The Bull Ring.

As far as modern shopping centre’s go, the Bull Ring was awesome – amazingly modern and with outlets for virtually everything. I managed to contain myself and only spent about ?100; due to a sale in one shop I managed to get four t-shirts and a pair of trousers for ?39 – bargain!

We actually ran a bit late in Birmingham, and had to high-tail it back to Brosley with just enough time for me to grab a shower and get changed before the taxi arrived and took us to the vineyard.

The “tour” itself was very compact to say the least, although in their defence there wasn’t much to show, as the vines don’t bloom until towards the end of May. The owner of the vinyard was a nice chap who told a good yarn, and explained the process of wine making very well – it tuned out to be very interesting stuff, and even included a bit of a history lesson on the area. Once the outdoor bit had finished, our group went inside and got to sample a few of the vineyards’ wares, plus a tasty meal of roman pie and fresh salad, followed by some stupendously calorific desert.

We were given a free bottle of white wine to go with the bottles of white and pink that we bought. It’s not as if we felt obliged to buy it, either – the wine was genuinely tasty stuff.

The trip made for a pleasant weekend away, although without the shopping in Birmingham it would have proved pretty expensive just for the three hours at the vineyard, so I couldn’t say it was something you should go out of your way to visit. If you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods, though, I can recommend it – especially later in the summer months when there would be more to see.