As ever most of our activity takes place at the end of the week and weekend, and both of us were out on Friday; me at a work do and MOH meeting friends for lunch. Him bemoaning the fact that I’d arranged for him to collect some Blackberry Gin made by one of our friends. Thankfully though it was well packed and carefully transported and arrived home in one piece. I arrived home with a couple of sticks of rock, like you do, and after a slow start to the weekend I was impressed at how colour coordinated our Friday night treasures were with their surroundings.
Saturday evening we were back at Gravetye Manor belatedly making use of one of our 110th gifts, and enjoying the seven course tasting menu and wine flight. We’d previously visited at the start of May, just before our birthdays and enjoyed a wander around the kitchen garden, and of course I’d popped into the loos to check them out. We were keen to make use of our gift in a different season, and part of the delay in our return was due to the complete refurbishment of the restaurant which brings it totally up-to-date and gives it a view over the gardens. Not that we saw much of the gardens on this visit, so we’ll have to go back again at some point.
The food was fantastic, and each course and its accompanying wine was carefully explained either by the chefs, including Executive Chef George Blogg on two occasions, the waiters and for the wine the young but very knowledgeable and personable sommelier. Below is the final course of Roasted Acorn Custard, walnut crumble and dark chocolate - and boy, what a course. It was good but my favourite was the Roe Venison with Crown Prince and chestnut, three of my all time favourite foods.
And if you’ve seen me in real life recently, or are about to soon, let me just say I am now addicted to jumpsuits. They’re so easy to wear and so that you get to see me in more than this fantastic one from Laura Ashley, I’ve invested in at least a couple more, which are a little more on the colourful side. Well, there’s only so many necklaces and accessories that I have to give this one a different feel…
Afterwards it was nice to sit and wait for our taxi in the traditional surroundings with a beautiful tree. It’s amazing how filling the tasting menu is, as it looks small when it’s placed in front of you, but oh, the flavour that’s packed in there. The sauce on the venison takes four days, elapsed, to make - so on a completely different level to cooking at home.
Sunday we were keen to get my MIL out of the house, but where to go, that also allowed for a trip around Sainsburys. In the end we headed off to closeby Pots and Pithoi to admire the pots, and more importantly check out the cafe, which wasn’t there when we visited before. We’d previously bought some pots for the garden, and they’re great, but coffee and cake was on the agenda for this visit, and it didn’t disappoint - the crockery was great, and so was the bakewell slice.
Payment was taken in the shop, and that’s where it got dangerous. I was trying not to engage too much with the ceramics, as they’re a bit of a weakness for me, and as MOH will readily tell you I don’t need any more. Well, unless they look like this of course:
Aren’t they great?
I love the patchwork nature of these and took the photo above so I could work on MOH and acquire them as a Christmas present, from him - that’s still a work in progress, but I’m fairly confident. They’re by Carola Van Dyke and there’s also a espresso set which matches, but that seems to be out of stock everywhere, although I’m still on the hunt for those.
Just as we were about to leave MOH spotted some tweed hats, and he can’t resist trying them on, and this was fatal. As by the hats were cushions that matched the ceramics and I was smitten - in fabric, they were even more gorgeous, and we were still in the market for two more cushions. The original plan was to get two grey, relatively plain cushions, to go behind the more colourful cushions we’d already bought. But that plan was quickly shelved, especially as hares and stags are particular favourites of ours.
The choice wasn’t if we should buy them but if we should buy a stag and a hare, or two hares, and if the stag and hare needed to look at each other, or away from each other. Serious stuff, which I think my MIL was most bemused by. But we left with two and our cushion quest is almost complete, so expect a sofa sharing moment in the not too distant future.
And if you find the Beasties Espresso set in stock, let me know - MOH is keen to know where he can buy it from, or at least he will be soon!