What a truly splendid birthday weekend. I was treated to lunch with my family. This is the first photo I took with my new little camera.
All the pictures I took for this blog were with my new little camera and I am pleased with it. It’s a Canon Ixus 220HS which is so tiny I can’t believe it takes any photos at all, never mind a good one. Good zoom on it too.
The weather was perfect so we ate in the garden of the The Goudhurst Inn. I really like this place. The venue is lovely, the staff friendly and attentive and the food seems to be consistently good. I had a seafood platter. This was large enough to have shared with someone. It had a pot of prawns, smoked mackerel, gravadlax and a fabulous smoked haddock fish pie.
The gravadlax was particularly good. While we were enjoying our lunch Linda and Peter joined us for a drink which was a lovely surprise. It was my birthday so I was allowed some sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice-cream.
After meeting my sister Abi at Dad’s, where we stopped for a cuppa, we set off for Ye Olde Bell in Hurley.
We checked in to this amazing old building which was built in the 16th Century.
The black bench has been built in to the wall.
The rooms though are quite modern. This was our room – luckily the photo was taken as soon as we got there and before we began getting ready . The stye was rustic modern with Farrow and Ball muted colours. Very tasteful.
The bathroom was basic but good quality fixtures, fittings and lovely Aesop products.
We were in Hurley for the joint 40th birthday of my cousin Daniel and his wife Katie. The party had an 80s theme so we decided to go as Madonna. Yes, all 3 of us. We were going for the black lace and crimped hair look. Gosh, crimping takes a long time!
But I must say,and no offence to the men in our lives, it is so much more fun getting ready with girlies. We had plenty of Prossecco to keep us going and laughed and giggled for the 2-3 hours it took to get ready. It was brilliant. Well, having my eye glued shut and a false eyelash stuck on my eyeball was not a highlight but we got there in the end. Finally, all crimped and ready to rock!
We were greeted by our lovely hostess, who was managing to stay upright on roller skates. Love the pink wig Katie and those are the longest eyelashes I have ever seen! Katie, cousin Hannah and some of the others went for the neon roller disco look.
here’s the birthday boy, my cousin Daniel looking far more seedy than his normal good-looking self.
Fancy dress is so much fun at a party when everyone participates and it’s certainly an ice-breaker. It gave everyone an opportunity to release their inner medallion man. This is my Devon family – I can actually remember my cousins, Miranda and Edwina, when they looked like this, aged about 16
The party was held in a wonderful old barn called Monks Barn which is available for hire for parties and events such as weddings. In fact it is where Daniel and Katie had their wedding reception. It is a stunning building and you can see glimpses of it in these photos of my mad family.
Well, you are all amazing but we did all look quite bonkers last night.
Thanks to the men for looking after the children so we could party
Today we woke up just in time for breakfast at Ye Olde Bell. We all love this hotel. The rooms and spaces in between are absolutely gorgeous.
Still laughing – we just didn’t stop.
This was quite possibly the very best breakfast any of us have ever had.
I could stay in this hotel for a week and eat nothing but breakfast, gradually working my way through their wonderful menu. So much of it was home made, or “inn made” as they called it, such as this wonderful granola and mini muffin.
The eggs Benedict was perfectly cooked
After our amazing breakfast we strolled round their beautiful garden.
Ooh goody, a vegetable garden!
I have vegetable garden envy.
And greenhouse envy.
We took some time to sit and stare.
I would love to take some of these home and whizz them up in to a smoothie.
We strolled down the road to Hurley Bed and Breakfast which is run by Daniel and Katie and where my Kent family were staying. If you want to get away from it all and stay in a charming B&B, run by the most wonderful hosts then book yourself a room. Hurley is located between Windsor and Henley-On-Thames. A 5 minute stroll from the B&B takes you to a very pretty part of the Thames.
It was utterly delightful, strolling along the towpath in the sunshine. You can walk from here to Marlow which I will do one day but we couldn’t today as we had to get back. We crossed over the Thames at the Hurley lock.
The morning after the night before – all back to normal. Thank you Daniel and Katie for such a wonderful party. And happy birthday to you both.
Back at home James and I made supper. Using carrots from the garden and celery, I made a coleslaw. Carrot and celery coleslaw works very well – I recommend it.
Which we ate with BBQ chicken, sweetcorn, tomatoes and potatoes, both from the garden.
I had a wonderful birthday weekend and now it’s time to get back on that diet and be healthier. Detox starts tomorrow!