Book Review: Go Slow England: Special Local Places to Eat, Stay & Savor
Farms, inns, bed & breakfasts of all sorts dot Go Slow England, a collection of insights written into the best Slow places to stay in the English countryside. Rapturously reviewed by the authors, these houses and halls and campgrounds are tied together more by how enchanted and out-of-the-way they appear than by commonalities in how the owners run their business. Still, the reviews of each place sometimes seem to have been written by an owner's rapturous aunt and one can't help but be seduced. Take off for some verdant shire where I can spend all day wandering past poets' houses and picturesque ponds before coming back to a converted manor for an organic dinner? Who wouldn't want that?Taking it SlowThe Slow Movement can be eco-friendly and organic in that it embraces walking over driving, farming and local foods over factory production, and taking one's time, but "green" and "Slow" are far from perfect synonyms. In the book the tag Slow marks a number of locations ranging from Cumbrian castles to Cornish tipis and how green they are varies widely. Some places have compost heaps, recycled insulation, and energy-efficient bulbs; others boast tree houses or follies. General support for local farming and homegrown meals and reclaiming materials is common however, and while being Slow does not mean that every location is a paragon of conservation, most are working towards or have achieved admirable levels of sustainability. The book's close-up of how quiet and eco-friendly each B&B; and farm is ensures the reader has all the information she needs to make a well-informed choice before booking a room.
Emulate or EmigrateThose who have ever had the slightest desire to muck it all and open a B&B; must be warned, however, as this book, with its lush green photos and beaming portrait of the Slow, summery lives of innkeepers, is apt to cause envy and/or personal transformation. Anyone considering a trip to England, however, will get not only a smorgasbord of intimate introductions (too many, perhaps, that are all pro and no con) to nearly 50 places to take a guilt-free break, but a vast array of enticing photographs and comprehensive lists of nearby landmarks, pubs, markets, and so on to round out your Slow holiday. There’s even a smattering of recipes to get one’s stomach rumbling for hearty English fare.While the title seems to suggest otherwise, there is no Go Slow series. Yet.Go Slow England is available in paperback October 14th.
For more on slowing down here and abroad: