It’s Morgan day! It’s Morgan day!
But first, pastries.
A quick breakfast at a cafe wouldn’t normally warrant a special mention, but we had breakfast at Gail’s Neo Bankside, in the shadow of the Tate Modern, and had two of the best pastries we’ve ever eaten. A chocolate almond croissant and a blueberry muffin, for what it’s worth. One of those foods that, as you’re eating it, you’re regretting that you won’t get to eat it again.
We took the tube up to Paddington station and then got on a train out to Worchester. It was an extremely comfy ride, which had the added benefit of a young girl next to us narrating her Minecraft game out loud, to a friend she was playing with on FaceTime. We learned so much.
We went straight to our hotel, the Stanbrook Abbey. It’s .. uhh. Nice. More on that later. We only had time to drop our bags and head down to the factory.
The Morgan factory hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years, except that they recently built a little visitors center with a cafe and shop and a small showroom. All their cars are built to order, so the cars they have for sale are all used. Our tour guide, “cousin Nick”, took us on our private tour. We started with some history, where Morgan originally made three wheel runabouts for locals in Malvern and Worchester. We saw how they build their cars, from the mechanical assembly, to hand beating the aluminum, making the wooden frames to hold the panels, stitching all the leather, and finally assembling the cars.
As we moved through the various workshops, we had to keep Kat from running off to apply for a job. It’s basically her dreamland – craftspeople working with basic tools and materials to make rolling art.
After the tour, we met up with James to do the handoff of our car. We got a gorgeous sage green Plus Four with a black interior. We got our routebook, along with a quick introduction to the car. Then we were off for the 3 mile trip back to the abbey.
Drive on the left!
Ok, now, the Abbey. Stanbrook Abbey was a functioning Abbey up through 2009. Now it’s a hotel and event space. It’s surprisingly laid back. The receptionist encouraged us to wander the grounds, and to let them know if we wanted the key to the bellower (uhh, duh.). We explored, then claimed a rooftop deck to kill time until dinner. Kat took a little nap curled up with her yarn.
Tomorrow, we head for Snowdonia, for our first serious drive. Wish us luck!