A Surprise Feast

Wall flower

Wednesday’s almost here and I’m still brimful from the weekend of family celebrations, games with friends, and incredible food from start to finish.

Friday was marked by the perfect steak at the Angel & Blue Pig. The whole family arrived in Lymington by boat, train, or bike to surprise my dad and celebrate a rather auspicious birthday.

Family walking in to The Pig

Cocktails by the fire

Saturday played host to the best ingredients I’ve ever tasted. We were defiant of the drizzle and arrived at the door of The Pig Hotel after a muddy tour of woods, streams and parkland, to dry by the fire and drink mulberry cocktails.

Bridge and tables photo collage

The Rust family

We ate in a bustling garden room of irresistible dishes (including a burnt cream to die for) and filled up on delicious food and good company. No amount of drizzle can dampen spirits when there’s this much fun to be had.

A Windy Day and a Birthday

Derek and Bryony and Compton Beach, Isle of Wight

Windy days like these are perfect for blustery beach walks after filling up on a birthday brunch. My brother was home from London for the weekend, so we took the excuse to get the family together and celebrate his birthday a few days early.

Driving out to the countryside, it felt like late autumn; the strong winds have made a mess of tidy road edges, and the rapidly stripped leaves reveal creaky old oak. Mum welcomed us with hot coffee, while we caught up on our weeks and stuffed our faces with fried potatoes and bacon.

We had bright sun on our beach walk, and the wind was whipping the waves in to a froth. Something about the wind and crashing waves makes me want to run around and twirl. Food, family and blustery walks are the makings of a good Sunday. And chocolate cake helps too..

Kite surfer on stormy day at Brook Chine

Alec and Wendy on the beach and birthday cake photo collage

A Paris reunion

St Germain coffee photo

Last Thursday I took an early Eurostar, headed for Paris and a girls’ family reunion with my mum and grama. We celebrated our triple birthdays, spanning the summer months, and stretched out our long weekend with plenty of coffee, art and wandering.

Photo collage of Hotel Chopin

Photo collage of Jardin des Plantes

Paris collage of d'orsay tea and lauduree macarons

New discoveries included beautiful gardens at the Jardin des Plantes, tea at the grand old Cafe du Lion of the Musee d’Orsay, and sweet things on the streets of St Germain. We walked our feet off and, when they would take us no further, hitched a ride on a rickshaw.

Paris rickshaw taxi and Wendy walking collage

Paris always offers new delights; an old city that never gets old. We stayed at the Hotel Chopin, which I would recommend to anyone. It has a lovely old shabby feel, with immaculate rooms, and friendly staff.  I hope I’ll be returning some day soon!

Meanwhile, my mum and grama have headed South, to the Loire, while Tom and I head up North, to catch up with friends and explore the Lake District for the first time.  Boots and bikes are packed.  Can’t wait!