It was a day-out with a difference today, with our good friends, David and Valerie. The location was known only to them, and all we were told was: “Be ready for 8am, wear outdoor clothes and bring your Wellingtons. Oh.. and your passports”. The reason? to celebrate Ann’s Birthday and mine (well in advance). Lovely thought!
So, initially, we didn’t know where we were heading – it was all part of the Birthday surprise!
And right on cue, after yesterday’s rather gorgeous (but cold) day, we woke to rain, rain and more rain… and it was the freezing-cold type too!
David did the driving – almost a three hour jaunt – as we arrived at Highgrove, home of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. By the time we got there, the weather had brightened-up a bit, but not much. Security was tight, very tight – hence the need for our passports and it also including the complete banning of any recording equipment – so no photos!
David and Valerie had booked one of Highgrove’s last ‘Spring Garden Tours’. We slipped into scruffy-shoes to take-on the mud and puddles and headed for The Orchard entrance.
After a brief wait (with just time for a cuppa), we assembled in the meeting area before being introduced to our Guide for the 75-minute tour around – Robert. By now, the weather turned in our favour and the rain stopped with a brief appearance of the Sun.
Imaginative Garden Design (even in March!)
Robert kept us entertained and educated throughout our tour in a (sometimes) gushing but authoritative way. At this time of year, it was less about colour in the garden, but instead, we were treated to some very imaginative use of wood and bark. Ninety minutes later, it was all over and we had a quick look round the shop before heading back to the car in the direction of Tetbury, where D and V had thoughtfully booked a table for lunch.
And our table-of-choice was the The Ormond at Tetbury – a smallish Cotswold Coaching Inn. It punched well above its weight in terms of its service and food offering – consequently, we left there feeling very satisfied with our Lunch experience!
The journey home wasn’t quite so smooth as going, as we caught a bit of the daily commute (I think we’ve all forgotten how ‘normal’ this used to be in our work-days!! We finally arrived home just after 6pm.
In spite of the below-par weather, we had a great time today with David and Valerie (although it was a pity I couldn’t capture some of the beauty of Highgrove in pictures.
Another memorable day-out. Thanks David and Valerie for your generosity!