Remember that cottage we stayed in in Suffolk at the start of August? Well one of the attractions might well have been that it was attached to a vineyard. Maybe. Well, it definitely made it stand out on the bookings website, that and part of the welcome bundle was a bottle of wine from the vineyard. Sadly that didn't work out for us as our hosts upgraded us to a bottle of champagne as the dishwasher was out of action, which was a bit of a shame, but then again... champagne!
In the house information the owners expressly invited guests to look around the vineyard and to picnic there. And when we bumped into them one morning - they lived next door - they repeated the invitation, and so, as it's not everyday you get the opportunity to picnic in a vineyard we did.
Not only did the owners encourage this, they provided some fold-up chairs, picnic-ware - including plastic glasses - and a hamper. They really meant it. So after a cycle into Framlingham in the morning, we packed our picnic and headed into the vineyard. We knew there was an old oak tree in the middle, which is where the vineyard takes its name, but little else.
This was our view as we entered the vineyard.
It wasn't long before we found the large old oak tree and spent time admiring its gnarly-ness before choosing the perfect picnic spot. It's funny isn't it, how we all do that. Looking for a spot that's not too slopey, no unexpected bumps and where we think we'll get the most warmth from the sun, that was now hiding.
Perfect spot chosen. The view approved and so the chairs were unpacked. And out came the food. In the distance we could see rabbits hopping through the vineyards, and their quick movements kept catching our eyes. We'd brought a bottle along from the house, but resisted opening it until the sun came out for long enough.
And we waited. But as you can see from the photos the clouds were thick and all promise of the sun disappeared. So cutting our losses - and having lasted it out long enough (another British thing I think?) we packed up, explored the vineyards and headed back to the cottage for a nice warm drink.
My post yesterday reminded me of this abandoned picnic and an alarming increase in us preferring a hot drink to alcohol. I'm hoping this isn't a trend and a result of our optimism. Optimism that the sun will be out, the weather will be warmer and such like.
But it's not everyday you get the chance to picnic on a vineyard is it, so it was worth trying. Hopefully you've had warmer, boozier picnics than my attempts this summer - please let me know where your best picnic was, I'm curious now...