Too good not to share

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2014

Along with Salisbury, N.C., there’s a Salisbury, Md., a Salisbury, Alaska, a Salisbury, Mo., and a Salisbury, N.Y. In fact, we’re one of at least 11 Salisburies (and probably more) spread around the country. Across the pond, there’s also our sister city, the Salisbury that lies in the south of England.
All those Salisburies can lead to some confusion, especially in a digitally connected world where a quick search for an email address may throw one off course by a continent or two. So it was that the Salisbury Post recently received the following email. It apparently was intended for the newspaper in our sister city, but the writer’s descriptions are so entertaining, it seemed a shame not to let other readers enjoy it.

Dear sir or madam:
We have returned to the South Coast from a Sunday/Monday stay in Wiltshire, breathless. We turned up at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes today, only to find it was closed on Mondays, apart from staff meetings. The curator, however, allowed us/welcomed us in, switched and had lights switched on for us, gave us literature, explained the layout and permitted us a fascinating hour — for nothing but a voluntary contribution. And with such grace! We were bowled over and popped into a nearby shop to let ourselves be sold four wineglasses by an extremely camp, probably bigoted, possibly snobbish but highly entertaining and amusing shopkeeper, who regaled us for many enjoyable minutes after the purchase had been completed.
We drove south to Salisbury to lunch at The Haunch of Venison. Within five minutes a good-looking young barman had crashed his head into a low beam, burnt his hand while stoking the open fire and utterly charmed us with his manner and helpfulness. We were then served three delicious meals by a delightful lady who was warm, witty, solicitous and totally engaging. Wow! We thought. This is unbelievable hospitality.
I hope that if any of you Moonrakers venture down into Dorset sometime that you will meet a welcome as half as wonderful as we have this weekend. Thank you.
— Guy Wellman
Southbourne, Bournemouth

In a follow-up email, we regretfully informed Mr. Wellman that he’d washed up on the wrong shore but offered assurances a visit to this Salisbury would provide an equally enjoyable experience. We, too, have engaging hosts at museums and historic sites, as well as charming barkeeps and shop owners who are “warm, witty and solicitous” — although we can’t boast of an eatery with such a wonderfully evocative name as “The Haunch of Venison.”