It always feels odd returning to a place you spent a lot of time in a long time ago. Some things will have changed, and others seem just the same as you remembered them, giving you the peculiar feeling that life has gone on without you. Which, of course, it has. I had just such a feeling on returning recently to Frome, the Somerset town I grew up in. Well, not so recently now – it was early November I think!
My mum and I started our nostalgic walk with one of Frome’s most celebrated streets, Cheap Street, where no sooner had I stopped to take this photo than we bumped into my very first primary school teacher (I wouldn’t have recognised her, of course, but Ma did straightaway). So that was… weird.
Decorated with jaunty bunting, Cheap Street is famous for the little stream running down the middle, which I remember loving as a child. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it anywhere else.
I suppose one doesn’t really appreciate the beauty of one’s surroundings as a child, so it was nice to look at Cheap Street from the perspective of a more advanced age.
We stopped for lunch at a lovely little place on Stony Street called The Garden Cafe, which is one of numerous vaguely hipster eateries that have sprung up in Frome since the days when I lived there.
I had a fantastic lunch of sauteed mushrooms in a cheese and mustard sauce on toast, and Ma had the soup. I liked the decor in the passageway leading to the entrance of the cafe. I’m sure I’ve never noticed that alleyway before.
While many of the changes I noticed on our wander around Frome were for the better, I was rather dismayed to discover that the bookshop where I used to buy Famous Five books with my pocket money is now a tattoo parlour!
Frome has become a bit of a mecca for lovers of independent shops and cafes in recent years, and picturesque Catherine Hill is where you’ll find many such establishments.
My eyes were immediately drawn to this beautiful florist on account of the delightful dog sitting on its doorstep watching the world go by.
Isn’t he just the most beautiful and well-behaved dog you ever saw? Having since followed Bramble and Wild on Instagram, I’ve discovered that he is a Cocker Spaniel (who looks like a Springer) and his name is Wellington, or Wellie for short. I just love his speckly legs and perfect ears!
This is the view you get when you walk a bit further up Catherine Hill. I’m not sure what lucky person has the rooms with the blue windows.
Remember what I’ve said before about hilly places? Frome is a classic example. Hills add so much character to a place.
I remember walking up this hill many a time as a child.
You know how partial I am to an old sign…
This is another part of Frome not far from Catherine Hill, right by the church where I remember going to orchestra rehearsals and concerts.
You may recognise this street if, like me, you’re a fan of Poldark. It stands in for Truro and on the right was the pub (apparently it was actually a pub once in real life too).
If you’ve never visited Frome before I can definitely recommend it. It’s only about 20 minutes from Bath, so easily doable as a day trip if you’re staying in Bath.