The List

Did you ever see the movie Up? It’s an animation, but the first five minutes or so are so brilliantly done. It’s the story of Carl and Eddie and their life together. But most importantly of their dream to go to Paradise Falls. Well, it’s Ellie’s dream. But Carl’s dream is to fulfil Ellie’s dreams, so it’s a shared dream. Never seen it? You must. I insist. At least the first five minutes…

Mrs P and I don’t have anything quite as glamourous as Paradise Falls on our list. But we have a few ‘must-see’ places to go before we return to Mexico. She wants to see a castle. She’s like to see Windsor or Leeds castles. She’ll probably see Warwick castle. It’s a good ‘un. I want to watch England play at Wembley. There’s only one match left there before the  Euros, against Belgium – I’d best start thinking about that.

But our version of Paradise Falls is Oxford. Not just because it’s cheap and easy to get to from Bournemouth. Not only because of the university and surrounding ancient town. In fact, neither of those are the real attractions. For me, it’s Blenheim Palace. I went there as a kid. I’d like to go again. If you ask me, it’s the finest palace in the land, and this land has a few fine palaces.

For Paola, it’s to visit (and preferably eat!) at Le Manoir. The restaurant is owned by Raymond Blanc, the legendary French chef. She is a fan. A big fan. She is sat reading one of his books as I write this. A visit to Le Manoir, though, is very much Paradise Falls stuff in one regard. We need a little glass jar to start saving our coins. The cheapest eat there is a five course lunch at £75 (MXN 3000) per person. Without coffee, wine, bread or tips. Raymond had better be on duty when we make it there, and he’d best be on form…!

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