Alice Henly Describes Life In The Picturesque Town
Yale women's crew is currently in Henley-On-Thames, England, preparing for the Henley Royal Regatta. Periodically during the trip, a member of the team will blog about the experience. Today, Alice Henly describes what it's like to stay in Henley.
Henley-On-Thames has the most beautiful stretch of water and exciting racecourse I've ever rowed on. Henley is a small and picturesque town of approximately 10,000 people situated on the banks of the River Thames and surrounded by lush countryside. The compact town is comprised of a town hall, market square (often full of bustling shoppers browsing stalls on market days), and a historic church. After living and training in Henley for almost two weeks now, we're beginning to feel like locals. We frequent the town's finest bakery, The Healthy Deli, and coffee shops in the mornings; stroll through the markets looking at knick-knacks, trying on sunglasses and buying quiches or berries for lunch; and occasionally have tea and scones in the early afternoon at the Henley Tea Rooms by the riverside.
Eleven of us, the varsity eight and two spares, live comfortably in the beautiful old house with the Lake family, which was originally a school house and now serves as a B&B for most of the year. As it's only a five-minute walk from the race course, the Old School House is one of the most sought after places to stay for teams during the Royal Regatta. Each morning Adrian, Pandora and Hermione Lake, our Henley family, welcome us into the kitchen for breakfast after our early morning row. The "Old School House", their home, has become ours too over the past couple of weeks. The Lakes also have a black lab, Louis, and a soft white and brown bunny named Tinker (shortened from Tinkerbell after they found out it was a boy). Louis is a handsome and mellow old dog. Tinker, however, is deceptively crazy and will run up and pee on you at any moment. Just yesterday I was sitting outside reading in the backyard with Tinker nuzzling my foot as I was tentatively patting him when all of a sudden he bit me hard on the leg, drawing blood. Nevertheless, there is no doubt in our minds that we have the best accommodation in Henley and most hospitable host family, which has made our time at Henley all the more enjoyable.