A week after my decision to become a non drinker, I was in England for my sister’s wedding, staying overnight at ‘The Bull Hotel’ in the very lovely English Cotswold village of Fairford, Gloucestershire. We enjoyed a delicious meal with other wedding guests and I can unreservedly recommend the steak. My resolve to remain a non drinker, though really tested, remained intact. The Bull Hotel, in the centre of the market square in Fairford, is dated around the 15th century when it used to be a Monk’s Chanting house. During recent improvements, a secret tunnel was discovered from the hotel to the 500 year old St. Mary’s Church. The other part of the hotel is thought to have been a 16th century hall for a merchant or trade guild. There are stories of ghosts that have been seen in the older part of the building but fortunately, I slept well and wasn’t disturbed by any bumps in the night. There is a relaxing old worlde atmosphere to this quirky place, I really felt at home and would definately stay there again.
For more about The Bull Hotel, look up www.thebullhotelfairfordco.uk
A stone’s throw from the hotel is the very upmarket Allium Restaurant where the wedding reception was held. Champagne was offered by friendly waitresses as soon as we arrived. I love Champagne, perhaps I could indulge this once. After all, I’ve managed to last a whole week without my usual tipple with my evening meal, far longer than any previous attempts which have lasted no longer than three days. My system is surely cleansed. I am really tempted; just for today. HOLD ON. How easy it was to convince myself. How weak my will. I scold that voice inside my head.
Ok, it replies, let’s just hold the glass for a while. It feels nice doesn’t it. Champagne suits you, all those dancing bubbles, it makes you feel good just looking at it. It’s such a happy drink, maybe you should stick to champagne from now on, it’s probably better for you than wine anyway.
I try to convince myself that I won’t give in, but aware that I could so easily take a sip without even thinking, glass in hand equals automatic reaction to drink. What then? I am on the edge here, I need help. From somewhere unbeknown to my tempting voice, a stronger will emerges and I return the glass of sparkling champagne to the waitress and ask for a glass of water instead. My lovely daughter does the same, she is my strength today. We are in this together. The waitress looks surprised. So am I. She pours water into two clumsy tumblers which we quickly exchange for champagne glasses, and the two of us enjoy a memorable five course meal without any alcohol whatsoever, though reluctantly refusing white wine, red wine, and more champagne, but enjoying the company and happiness that is so evident on this wonderful day, when my little sister got married to David. It was the best week-end I had in a long time and I remember everything about it. Cheers dears