The Latest News here at Well House

July 14th

We have just had the hugely successful Folk Festival a mile down the road at Powells Farm…it gets bigger and with better acts every year. Fairport Convention was one iconic band who played this year along with many great new artists. Our visitors commented on how interesting and varied the food options were. Camping is free but our visitors like to come back to home comforts after a long day. Tomorrow is the legendary Beggars Fair, now in its 26th year…a day of music, food, crafts and street revelry in Romsey. Its like a giant street party and free to attend. All the music venues are free as well and it there is a carnival atmosphere all over town.

 

March 2nd 2018

We are open again for guests…hope to welcome some old faces as well as newcomers to the area. The weather is still patchy down here but daffodils are poking their heads up nevertheless. The forest is greening up and I have spotted deer and rabbits in the garden. Its all slowly coming back to life after an uncharacteristically cold winter…

 

October 8th

Hardy’s cottage and Max Gate
Thomas Hardy, the author and poet lived in Dorset, an easy drive from here. His works are based on his life and experiences in Dorset and Wiltshire and you can feel it is “Hardy Country” as you drive through. Approaching Salisbury you see the spire of the Cathedral rising above the hill as described in “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” when Angel Clare and Tess’s sister observe the time of her execution…
The thatched cottage is his birthplace in lower… Bockhampton and where he spent his formative years. It is Spartan and primitive and yet was a much-loved family home, his siblings choosing to live most of their lives there despite him buying them a “better” house. The brick house is Max Gate,which he designed and had built for himself near Dorchester and was the scene of much entertaining of other famous literary figures and artists…Lawrence, the legendary “Lawrence of Arabia” was one of his best friends..It was a very eccentric household according to letters from visitors. The first wife insisted on having her 2 cats sitting either side of her plate during meals. The 2nd wife had a little Yorkshire terrier that was allowed to roam all over the dinner table trying to get food off the diners plates. No one was could say a word against it but it was generally disliked for its habit of biting peoples ankles, the unfortunate staff included.
These two homes are preserved by the National Trust and make a fascinating day out. You will “see” the scenes described in his novels and probably want to read them again. 

 

 

 

September 1st

Our lovely summer hanging baskets..

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 June 27th

The Romsey Arts Festival is soon to begin with a bigger and better than ever selection of local events. Music, art, drama, crafts, and events for children all going on over a 2 week period from 1st to the 16th July. The annual quilters exhibition in Romsey Abbey is not to be missed, quite extraordinary what these artists create and displayed in such a wonderful setting. So much music of many and varied genres.  Every day there are several events taking place, For information about whats on and where, visit the Romsey Tourist Information Centre or visit www.romseyfestival.org

November 2nd

Worzel Gummidge fans…did you know that the famous TV series was filmed all around here, in the nearby villages of Braishfield, Lockerley and Timsbury, also the coastal town of Lymington? Nor did we, until this year when we were visited by 2 Worzel Gummidge fans. They stayed with us and visited all the filming sites they could find in the area. They were thrilled to find a field near Braishfield which featured in the programme, as they had been trying to find it for 10 years….finally tracked it down with the help of Google Earth. As you can imagine, they had an encyclopaedic knowledge of every episode. It seems there is something of a cult following for Worzel Gummidge and this corner of Hampshire is its hub.

 

 

 

October 26th·

The flip side to this verdant landscape with all the lovely trees is the overwhelming cascade that is the autumn leaf-fall. It has only just started and each day brings an avalanche of leaves not only from ours but from everyone else’s trees all around for miles. I did think of leaving the leaves until they had all come down but after about a week it was difficult to access the house and opening the front door meant a gust of brown leaves splattering the inside of the house.
It is a constant battle against the forces of nature which seem to be trying to smother us in leaves and the wind that undermines attempts to clear them. Like an ant I toil away trying to mop up this tsunami …..

 

 

August 23rd

Grace at work in her studio

Grace at work in her studio

This week it is the annual Open Studio event in Hampshire. Just around the corner from us in Awbridge we found the studio of Grace Meijer, a world-renowned quilter. She has work in exhibitions in Denmark and the United States at the moment and has won recognition and top prizes in international competitions. her quilts are intricate and varied in style, from small wall hangings to commissions covering huge wall spaces. She does quilts for beds as well..Find out more about her by emailing grace@gracequilts.com or just google gracequilts.com. A charming and talented artist. who has been quilting for 30 years.

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June 8th

June is the best month for visiting the world-famous Rose Gardens at Mottisfont Abbey. They are 3 adjoining walled gardens with the most stunning variety of roses, every colour, scent, variety and in such profusion…it is an overload of the senses. Mottisfont Abbey is a fascinating visit in itself with the spring which was a meeting place in the medieval times…it is mentioned in writings as far back as Saxon times…the name “mottis” means meeting place and “font” refers to the spring. Also the house which was once a priory , then became a private home. It  houses a rare example of Trompe l’oueil painting (trick of the eye)by Rex Whistler, the last commission before his tragic battlefield death in France. The marble walls are actually painted as are some of the curtains. Its National Trust and in June has evening openings in addition to the standard times, to accommodate the extra visitors wanting to see the Rose Garden.  Everything in the garden seems a little late this year so you may get a bit longer to see the roses at their best.

6 May ·

Wellow is the burial place of Florence Nightingale, in the churchyard of 12th century St Margaret of Antioch (seen below but sadly missing its steeple after a storm) She is buried in a family plot with her parents and sister. Her plaque, at her wish, reads only “F.N.” as she had a somewhat Spartan take on life. There is a display about her life in the church. She lived at Embley Park, now a private school, and as a young woman carried out charitable works in the village.  In later years she became a nurse and is famed for her work during the Crimean War and her services to nursing thereafter. Once a year a service dedicated to her life is held in the church. This is held on the anniversary of her death and admirers of her life come from far and wide- one person comes from America every year to mark the event. A lunch is held afterwards in the village hall. The church is walkable from us but you need footwear for crossing a field. Otherwise 5 minutes by car.

Well House Bed and Breakfast's photo.

Jennifer Youard I was fascinated by the ancient artwork preserved on the walls inside, and also thinking of how many people have sat in that church over the ages. A beautiful and peaceful place to visit.

Summer is almost here & there are many great events coming up here in the South, listed are just a few of the best.
1. May24th Barry Manilow appearing at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton
2. Tom Jones on at The Larmer Tree Gardens Festival nr. Salisbury, also on the bill is 70′s group ‘Squeeze’
3. New Forest & Hampshire County Show @ Brockenhurst 29,30 &31st July
4. New Forest Folk Festival, featuring Steeleye Span & many other top folk acts, Aug. 28-31st

5. Southampton Boat Show 12th-21st September

6. Romsey Agricultural Show, probably the best in the South, 1 day only 13th September @ Broadlands House

A cheeky squirrel raiding the bird food…

Well House Bed and Breakfast's photo.

We are open again and guests coming and going as usual. Spring is struggling to get through with the cold snap but it can be heard with all the lovely birdsong. Is it my imagination or are the trees slow to green up this year? Anyway the birds are back and devouring tons of birdseed..it’s hard to keep up with them. Wellow is waking up after a sleepy old winter and camellias are blooming along with the magnolias and daffodils. Riders and walkers are more numerous now and in the field next to us two calves have been born, one black and one brown. Is there anything sweeter than a new calf on its wobbly legs pushing that hopeful wet nose up to you?

The B&B will reopen for business as usual on 1st April when we will have arrived back from New Zealand. Hopefully bringing a bit of the sunshine with us…..Many thanks to our wonderful son who has been looking after the house and all other business in our absence. He really is a star.

 9 January ·

Happy New Year to all…hope you all enjoyed New Years Eve. We watched the fireworks on the River Thames in London (on the box) and weren’t they spectacular. They seem to get more amazing every year…how long can that go on for? Wellow itself was fairly quiet but then that is the joy of living here and that is how the residents want it to stay. A few years back there was a furore in our road after a newcomer asked the council to install streetlights- the council were told firmly that the community did NOT want them! There are one or two streetlights in the centre of the village but for the most part we maintain the rural character of Wellow by having it dark at night. Guests need not worry as we have a collection of torches to borrow if they go out and there are night-lights in the hallways.

October 2015
 The Hampshire Artists Open House event was held recently- mostly its their studios that are open to the public but in many cases this turns out to be the home as well. So much fun and really interesting. We saw several sculptors and painters in Winchester and the next day studio-hopped around Romsey, discovering artists we had not known existed. There were artists showing their work in Wellow itself and all over the New Forest but there is only so much you can physically do in a couple of days. This is an annual event and it also goes on in London, certainly in the Wimbledon/Merton area near to Wimbledon school of Art.
It’s the first year I have been aware of it but will definitely be looking out for it next year.