If your travels should take you to Britain this week and you happen to be in the village of Taunton in Somerset on Friday, here's an opportunity to see Queen Elizabeth II in a close-up encounter at Taunton's Castle Hotel. She'll be strolling past the hotel precisely at noon, and managing director Christopher Chapman is building grandstand seats for his guests. To mark the 35th year of her reign, 35 white doves will be released as she passes. At the same time, maids dressed in 1700s period costume will sprinkle flower petals in the queen's path. A special luncheon for hotel guests is planned following the procession. To make reservations call Scott Calder toll-free at (800) 223-5581 in New York. To book a room for a visit later this year, contact Calder or write to the Castle Hotel, Taunton TA1-1NF, England.
For readers who called to ask for more information on the Page 1 article on freighter travel last Sunday, contact George Henck, Freighter World Cruises Inc., 180 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena, Calif. 91101 or telephone (818) 449-3106. He has all the answers. Handles bookings for cruises to practically any port you can name in the world. And as he was quoted in the article, he can get you aboard a freighter almost on a moment's notice--just so long as you aren't particular about where you're going. That's my dream: a slow boat to some distant destination with no time frame.
Meanwhile, due to an unusually heavy response from travelers, the remainder of the column is devoted today to our reader recommendations.
Ireland--Mrs. P. Dunne, Los Angeles: "Would like to share this B&B, which is in the old aristocratic style with log fires, tiger skins and antlers in the hall. Dining table groaning with old silver. Rate 12 (about $19 U.S.). Dinner extra if requested. Write: Mrs. L. Blosse-Lynch, Partry House, County Mayo."
Ireland--Grace and Ray Barbera, Woodland Hills: "Mrs. R. Gibbons, a lovely woman, runs this B&B, Joyville House, 24 St. Alphonsus Road, Drumconora, Dublin 9. Clean rooms, great breakfasts, Irish bread recipes and good conversation. Rate $11 each."
Scotland--Phyllis Schuman, Murrieta Hot Springs, Calif.: "For a lovely B&B write to Mrs. H. MacDonald, Lewiston, Drumnadroohit, Scotland. Lovely room and breakfast, and friendly, helpful landlady. Rates 20 for two."
France--MacDonald Harris, Newport Beach: Recommends Restaurant Atrium, 5 Impasse du Palement, 84100 Orange, France. "In a quiet cul-de-sac, serves meals in the courtyard in season. We had prix fix for about $12.75. Wine about $11. Specializes in seafood. Service and decor excellent. Also Au Coin du Feu in Vence, 3 Impasse Cinitiere-Vieux. Only four tables. They also serve outdoors in season. The 85-franc menu (prix fix) is the best we've found in France. Run by Raphael Marin and his wife. Prepares best kind of modified nouvelle cuisine and prices are a bargain."
Wales--Stephen Duncan, West Covina: "Resting on the bank of the Bristol Channel in the south of Wales is a peaceful Welsh village called Pencoed. The Maerdy Hotel offers full B&B at 24 single, 34 double. The hotel is first-class, well-staffed. Stephanie is a gracious hostess. Address: Maerdy Hotel, Coychurch Road, Pencoed, Mid-Glamorgan, South Wales CF355NA."
Italy--James R. Bray, Santa Barbara: Recommends Ristorante da Marco, Via Roma, 22 p.t., Rapallo, Italy. "Full fish dinner, pasta, salad, dessert, wine and mineral water served by owner and her nephew. $19.52 for two."
Germany--Warren K. Stobaugh, Redlands, Calif.: "A B&B we recommend is Kohncke's Hotel, 2901 Wiefelstede 2, Metjendorf Flugplatz, Oldenburg, West Germany. Clean, quiet inn in a suburb for 64 Deutsch marks (about $33 U.S.) last July. Dinner is also reasonable. The cook chews out her husband, the bartender, if you don't give her 45 minutes to do the baked potatoes."
Germany--Dick M. Blue, Camarillo: "Discovered a great little hotel just a few miles east of Frankfurt. Contact Johanna Seubert at the Hotel Aschaffenburger Hof, 20 Wisenburger Str., 8750 Aschaffenburg, West Germany. We paid about $75 a night. The area around Aschaffenburg is filled with history."
Switzerland--Ed Honeck, Orange: "Can highly recommend a B&B in an immaculate 200-year-old home surrounded by gorgeous Swiss Alps. Available year round. $35 per person per day, $50 per couple day per day. Write to Berti Kuehnen-Hobi, Schweizerhaus, 8750 Glarus, Switzerland."
Australia--Ralph F. Bernays, Oceanside: "Just returned from Brisbane, Queensland, and have a tip: Avoid cashing traveler's checks in the Australian National Bank as they make a charge of $5 Australian (about $3.75) for the transaction. The Westpac Banking Corp., with many branches in Australia including the bank at the Sydney Airport, makes no charge. In Brisbane the Camelot Motel, 40 Astor Terrace, was delightful. Rate is about $38.50 U.S. for a double room with kitchen, pool and spa. Suggest reservations."