“Our Husbands Don’t Know We’re Here With This Man”



Continuing internet problems mean that I am still two days behind with this post.

After a good night’s sleep we began the day with an excellent breakfast cooked by Mr Watts. We enjoyed the bonus of our host’s conversation whilst he cooked our meal and served us. He provided  some of the information posted yesterday. We also exchanged details of knee problems. This is a regular topic for those of a certain age.

We were set up for the day with orange juice; cereals of our choice; a fry-up consisting of two eggs, two rashers of bacon, tomatoes and beans; toast and marmalade, and a large pot of tea.

Afterwards we set off by what we thought would be the pretty route to Melton Mowbray. In fact this contained numerous complex junctions and sometimes unclear signage. We determined to return by the M1.


One advantage we did discover was the, even on this dull day, pretty village of Rockingham,

The Barn Tea Rooms

and The Barn Tea Rooms,

Clematis Nellie Moser

outside which clematis Nellie Moser bloomed.

The Barn Tea Rooms

We enjoyed a coffee and a break in the delightful interior,

The Barn Tea Rooms

where one woman quipped that the husbands of her and her companion didn’t know that they were “here with this man”,

Jackie in The Barn Tea Rooms

so I made sure that none but Jackie appeared in the photographs.

Our object in arriving soon after midday at Jasmine House in Sherrard Street, Melton Mowbray was to check out the location and parking potential for this evening’s meal. The town centre boasted a confusing one-way system, so this had been a good idea.

We then went on a driveabout. Our first discovery was the


Sibsey Trader




On the other side of the door to which

Inside windmill

visitors find a flour-covered notice. The bell you are invited to ring is attached to the blue rope.

Inside windmill

We couldn’t shift the rope, but were able to enter and look around the ground floor;

Inside windmill

and watch the ground flour descend the chute which indicated that Nigel was upstairs working.

The current six sailed mill was built in 1877 to replace a large postmill that had stood slightly to the west of it. During the mid 1950s it was abandoned to decay. until restoration began in the early 1970s. Ten years later English Heritage returned it to full working order. Today it is producing a vast range of stone ground flours continuing the ancient craft of traditional wind milling.

Windmill sails

One of the old sails lies beside the restored building.

The White Lion

Our next stop was at The White Lion pub in Whissendine,

Nutcracker Christmas decoration

where the Christmas decorations

Nutcracker Christmas decoration

featured a Nutcracker theme. The publican is a member of the Magic Circle who widely entertains a multitude of groups.

Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppie

Back at Melton Mowbray we wandered around for a while, visiting Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe,

Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppie window

the windows of which enticed Jackie to make a purchase.

Louisa, Errol, Jessica, and Imogen arrived at Jasmine House on time and we enjoyed a splendid Chinese meal, excellent service and wonderful company. As always the grandchildren were delightful, especially in their joyful appreciation of their presents. Naturally their mother had given us first rate advice. It hadn’t taken long to decide that it was OK to open the gifts this evening.

We experienced a smooth journey back to Watts Lodge in Bicester.








  1. Now you’ve done it! Pork pie is my favourite food on earth – the only thing that comes anywhere near here is Pate en croûte but really seeing Melton Mowbray has got me very desperate to get my paws on the real thing!!!

  2. It looks like a delightful day from breakfast through dinner, Derrick. (And your room looks very pleasant, too.) The tea room looks delightful, and I laughed at the woman’s remark. That windmill is so cool–a real working flour mill!

  3. Thank you Derrick for the gorgeous tour, there was so much to like about your photos today, especially The Barn Café and the old Windmill …

  4. I love windmills! It is good that there are still some around the country producing good quality flour. We get our bread flour from a local watermill. I liked your linked phrases with ‘ground floor/ground flour’. Melton Mowbray pork pies – yum!

  5. Rockingham is indeed a pretty village.

    What a large, well built windmill. It’s interesting to see a working flour mill.

  6. In my days hitch-hiking, one driver was a tour-guide for Rockingham Castle (of which the only reference I knew then was the pop band Lord Rockingham’s XI [geddit??!], which has no actual connection at all)
    During the journey, I probably got the whole spiel (so maybe I don’t need to visit?!) Rumour has it that King Stephen – the one who, in the schoolchild’s “howler”, lost his jewels in the laundry 😉 – buried his hoard at Rockingham. In the 1980s (while this driver was operating), if you came to dinner at the Castle, even as a friend, the current owners would supply you with a spade, and your reimbursement for the meal was to dig up a portion of the grounds, in the hope of unearthing it! I’m not sure if these incumbents are still alive, or if the tradition has been passed on, or even if it’s still necessary (if, say, the treasure was found, or the whole site has by now been totally gone over).
    I bet HG would be more thorough!

  7. That;s Whissendine mill – we used their flour on the farm. This is Sibsey – noted for its sails and being in Lincolnshire. 😉

    I applaud your choice in women and pies but hope Jackie keeps you away from the navigating!

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