The Perfect Tree

There’s a tree I see maybe twice a year in Ilmington in the Cotswolds. To my mind it has a certain symmetry that I find visually most appealing. It’s in the centre of the village opposite The Howard Arms. (We were there on our honeymoon last week, but we didn’t tell them!) There’s a certain majesty about it no matter the time of year, but in the autumn it has a special beauty surrounded by an abundance of perfectly formed, shiny conkers .

Howard Arms, Ilmington, Cotswolds.
(A great place to stay with an excellent menu)

The Cotswold ritual usually involves trips to Broadway, Chipping Campden and Stow on the Wold for afternoon tea, coffee whatever depending on the time of day. Maybe a quick trip to Warwick or a drive down the Fosse Way. There’s a certain comfort in visiting familiar places and with these visits it’s the horse chestnut tree that signals the start of the holiday. There’s always a feeling of reassurance that all is right with the world if the tree is still there to welcome us.

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