Valentine Meal 2020 โฃ

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The Attic Restaurant, Lutterworth


It’s Valentine’s Day!! Usually, either I cook the meal, Ann cooks the meal, or we share cooking duties with David and Valerie and get together as a foursome.

So, with cards, flowers and gifts on display, by way of a change for this special day, the four of us left our kitchens behind and headed off to The Attic Restaurant in Lutterworth for lunch! ๐Ÿ˜. David and Valerie had already eaten there on more than a few occasions, so we knew we were in for a treat!

Apart from the howling gale in the car-park, it turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. The service was spot-on, and the food delicious! We were seated with a great view across the Golf Course and looking at the weather conditions, we agreed we were definitely in the better place! It was still blowing a gale outside and it looked pretty cold too judging by the number of beanies being worn by the brave golfers!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The Menu impressed us! I opted for the Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup followed by the Braised Short Rib of Beef (definitely melt-in-the-mouth!)

Whilst Ann and David managed to muster-up the necessary will-power, Valerie and I succumbed to the temptation of a Pud (just!) – in the shape of White Chocolate and Cranberry Bread & Butter Pudding.

Two hours later, all that was left to do was pay the bill, head home and try not to fall asleep during the journey! ๐Ÿฅฑ We just caught the school traffic as we got nearer to base, but were home just after 3.30pm.

A great restaurant experience! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Happy Valentine’s Day!
โค๏ธ ๐Ÿ’š ๐Ÿงก ๐Ÿ’™

Lunch with Nicki

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Nicki joined us last night and after a lazy(ish) morning today, we headed off to our fave ‘Local’ – The Old Victoria, for lunch.

As usual, the food and service didn’t disappoint! Matthew was off today, but with Joanna running the show, we knew we were in safe hands! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜‹

Yummy! (Obviously)

We were all too full for Dessert though! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

A serious discussion about whether (or not) to squeeze-in Dessert!

We headed home, spent a bit more time working through Nicki’s paperwork before heading out for a walk!

Phew!

Nicki left us just after 5pm, and we spent the rest of the evening catching-up with the TV.

The RSC: King John

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This afternoon was a unique opportunity to see Shakespeare’s rarely performed production of ‘King John’ at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

We met Chris and Gill at theirs and headed over to the Theatre in time for a spot of lunch followed by the performance at 1.30pm. (The lunch incidentally, was superb!)

I wasn’t familiar with this production at all, but any performance that features a live food-fight (warning those in the front-row that they ‘may not escape the fallout‘ gets my vote! ๐Ÿ˜„).

On a more serious note, it’s billed as: ‘a tale of a nation in turmoil that vibrates with modern resonance‘ and tells the story of John’s turbulent reign from 1199 to 1216. Now that sounded like something worth seeing! ๐Ÿ˜

So, what of the production itself? If you like your Shakespeare productions on traditional side, then this most definitely WON’T be the one for you. And unlike many of the Bard’s other works, there’s no well-known characters in this, nor any famous one-liners to hang onto!

But overall, none of this really mattered!

For me, although the plot was difficult to follow (no change there then!) the acting, costumes, lighting, music and stage were all definitely something to remember! Everyone gave an excellent performance, and the very wacky production design didn’t distract at all. In fact, the ‘dad-dancing’ (yes, really!), the additional short dance routines, the fight scenes and the encouraged audience participation, made the aforementioned food-fight feel quite appropriate! And yes, some the audience will have had a cleaning bill! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Quite a lot of blood too! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

In conclusion, a thoroughly engaging production but not one for the traditionalists

and maybe it was just me, but the fact that they brought on two Henry vacuum cleaners to clear up the stage during the interval made me giggle – ‘Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’ perhaps???? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Cambridge-sur-Mer

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Ann and I drove over to Cambridge today. I say ‘drove’ as ‘sailed’ would have been more appropriate I think! – so much rain! ๐Ÿ˜ณ And add to that, the mega-roadworks as they transform the A14, meant slow progress!

Still, we made it in around an-hour-and-ten! ๐Ÿ‘

Gone are the days where I used to drive into the city itself and take pot-luck with parking! It’s all too stressful in 2019, and so, instead, our destination was Trumpington’s Park and Ride!

And whilst Ann then jumped on the bus and headed for the city in full shopping-mode, I took the gentler approach and met up with Sal for Lunch!

Sal and I took the bus to right opposite our destination – Brown’s in Trumpington Street – in fact, it was such a quick journey we arrived too early for lunch! ๐Ÿ™„

Brown’s Coffee area and Bar

A perfect excuse then, to try out their coffee area and begin our catch-up until lunch began at midday!

Twenty minutes later, having no doubt bored Sal rigid with news of our China trip, we then grabbed a table in the restaurant.

We haven’t been here for a while, and we both wondered if the food and service would be as good as we remember it! We needn’t have worried as Brown’s easily maintained its reputation for good-value food that was delicious, together with service that was efficient and friendly! Top marks!!

After our excellent Lunch we wandered back to John Lewis to meet up with Ann, before catching the Park-and-Ride Bus back to where our day began. It was still raining! ๐Ÿ™„

We said our goodbyes in the car-park, and as the weather deteriorated further, we headed off towards the M11 – Sal heading south whilst we headed north!

We’d all had a great day – Ann bagged some bargains whilst I caught up with Sal, who I haven’t seen in a while. Ducks would have also enjoyed the day! ๐Ÿ˜€

Saxon Mill – The Return

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Today was a welcome return to The Saxon Mill Gastropub in nearby Warwick.
Last time we were here (back in July last year) was for the same reason – Lunch with friends!

The Saxon Mill, Warwick

Leeds, Feeds and Boats

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Leeds

7.50am: A relatively early start today as we planned to catch the 8.51 Train from Peterborough Rail Station heading for its counterpart in Leeds. We’re catching-up with Dennis & Sandra for one of our semi-regular day-outs together.

We’re starting to build up quite a history now, as this will be our seventh get-together, having already enjoyed…

Today, they’ve organised a day in Leeds for us, and we’re planning to visit

…and no doubt, we’ll squeeze in some good food and a few Shandies along the way! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

8.51am: We like Trains that are on time! ๐Ÿ˜Š (hurrah!)

10.21am: Thanks to a squeaky wheel and a speed that suggested our Driver had left the handbrake on for the first 10 miles, we arrived around 6 minutes late. ๐Ÿ˜• (boo!)

We met up with our friends at WH Smiths at Leeds Station and headed for our first stop – The Armouries Museum.

But who wants to walk or grab a traditional Cab, when there’s the Leeds Water-Taxi on offer??

…and it was free too! Brilliant! ๐Ÿ‘

10.35am: With great views along the short route of the re-developed Docklands! ๐Ÿ‘

Ten-minutes later, after enjoying a pitted history of the Dock area from our Driver err Pilot err Captain, we took the short walk to the Museum itself.

Think of everything that comes to mind about what a Museum looks like…

…and then immediately forget it!

Wow!

Design-wise, the layout of the Museum was very unusual – with lots of and housed in acres of space! A great first impression! ๐Ÿ‘

..and did I mention it’s completely free to get in! ๐Ÿ˜

The view to the top from the ground floor

Five floors of virtually everything you could imagine about weapons and armoury – from the first bullet designs to modern warfare. And if that wasn’t enough (and it would have been!) there were various live demonstrations….

11.45am: Our first… (Floor 2)

This was how sword-fights were done back in medieval times. Very convincing choreography and a first-class explanation of the ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘hows’!

With the first Demonstration over, we wandered about the various Galleries. Currently, there’s a special Gallery all about the Victoria Cross (Floor 3). Great stories of courage! ๐Ÿ‘

A very comprehensive Museum!

Next, it was another live Demonstration. This time, Normans v Saxons, with our ‘Saxon’ (David) firing-up the crowd beforehand (I’ve never seen kids so excited! – including us ๐Ÿ˜) Armed with swords, shields and spears they showed us in great detail how these battles were fought.

Time for a trip the Oriental Exhibits. Nicely presented (again!) with plenty to see.

1.45pm: A spot of Lunch is called for. So we headed to the nearby ‘Dock 29‘.

…and what it lacked in customers, atmosphere, product knowledge and cutlery (that’s all!), it made up for with an incomprehensible selection of continuous music. With the tunes clearly aimed at the ‘yoof’, it was a pity then, there were none there. ๐Ÿ˜•

Still, it didn’t matter, we were hungry, and it all went down a treat. Suitably stuffed, we headed back to the Museum. It was clear now that we wouldn’t have time to do anything else today – but that suited us perfectly as the Museum had so much to offer! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

Stand in front of the target – you’ll be safer! ๐Ÿ˜‰

2.45pm: Our penultimate experience at the Museum was the rather excellent ‘Crossbow Range’. Yes, really! On the very top floor, for a paltry 3 groats each, supplied with 8 bolts per person, we were let loose attempting to hit the target. Surely, with our recent experience of archery and rifle shooting at our Warner Weekend would help us?

Err, no! Let’s say, it was fortunate that we didn’t get to keep our targets. I blame the uncalibrated crossbows! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Be afraid, be very afraid!!!

Last experience was another live demonstration. This time, that everyday task: ‘How to prepare for a jousting event’. Again, a first class presentation, expertly delivered!

Don’t call me ‘Lance’!

4.10pm: Wow! It had been a full-on day, in a good way, and the time had passed in a flash. It was great to see Dennis and Sandra again and I reckon this had been one of our best Museum visits ever!

…this had been one of our best Museum visits ever!

4.25pm: As time was tight for 4.45pm, we all walked back to the Station rather than queue for the Water Taxi. Ironically, when we got there, there was a delay in announcing the Platform. After a delayed departure, we were on our way, reflecting on what had been an EXCELLENT day-out. Thanks to our friends Dennis and Sandra for getting it all organised.

6.15pm: We arrived back at Peterborough Station on time and were soon back on the road heading for home.

7.05pm: Shattered! (in a good way!). Time for a cuppa!

For your viewing pleasure, all the photos from today are HERE

Birthday Girl 2019

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It was a welcome return to The Tollemache Arms in Harrington today. We met David, Valerie and little Evie there – where my natural charm with children took a back-seat and reduced Evie to a mega-sulk for most of the meal! Young children and me? It’s NEVER an easy relationship! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Today was to celebrate Ann’s Birthday. Last time we were here, back in January, the food was nothing short of excellent – and today was no exception! ๐Ÿ‘

They must be doing something very right here, because the place was packed – and this was just Monday lunchtime! All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable experience (but maybe not for Evie!) ๐Ÿ˜•

Happy Birthday Ann! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘