Saturday, November 19, 2011

Long Weekend in Long’s Park Castle – Saturday

After a good night’s sleep and a beautiful sun-rise, we’re ready to take on the world – well, the City of Bath anyway!

But first of all, breakfast: Toast, home-made jams, Scrambled egg, tea, coffee, juices – a perfect start to the day.

Then it was off to Bath. The journey started well enough but we soon got caught up in the Saturday traffic. And not being able to find the Park-and-Ride didn’t help our situation, and we sat in a long queue into Bath for ages!

Finally, we managed to find a car-park close to the shops. Then in was off in search of lipstick and hair grips for Ann (for the wedding!) – mission accomplished in no time. What turned out to be more tricky was finding somewhere for a coffee. Plenty of places, but all packed-out. We gave up and decided to head back to base.

On the way back, we stopped off at Farleigh Hungerford Castle,  an English Heritage property.

Farleigh Hungerford Castle
What an interesting place – complete with a family crypt!
Twenty minutes later, we were back at the Castle, starving, and not helped by us watching The Hairy Bikers on TV Smile - Coronation Chicken and Apple Charlotte.

Rosi and Penny got back next, and we soon started to get into the preparations for tonight’s feast. On the menu tonight would be a full roast Pork, Beef and virtually every vegetable imaginable. Table layed – check, all veg prepared – check, meat seasoned and prepared – check. The challenge was to be able to effectively use the Aga – something which none of us were used to.

Not long after, the others got back – some of them had had trouble getting into Bath just like us. With everyone now back and raring to eat, preparations continued in between watching Strictly on TV.

Although the Aga proved a bit of a challenge (we had to cheat slightly and use the oven in our room and the two microwaves), everything was ready and after some superb carving by Bob, the finishing touch, we sat down to sample our wares. We were bang on time as it turned out – 8pm – and what a spread!!!!

We ate and ate and ate – and we drank too! I even tried some of the fruit gin and fruit vodka concoctions of Rosi’s – something I normally steer clear of. Even Ann tried the vodka variation! All delicious, of course, but I predict a heavy head tomorrow morning.

Two hours later, it was all hands to the kitchen, as the massive clear-up operation began. Never had so many gathered in such a small space! The compact nature of the kitchen and the sheer volume of washing-up gave way to a well-organised frenzy of washing, drying and stacking. The single dish-washer helped but it couldn’t cope with the amount of crockery and cutlery – a triumph of man over machinery!

It was now 10.45 and we were flagging at that point. Whilst the others went on to play Balderdash, we opted for the less challenging environment of a duvet!!!

It’s our last full-day tomorrow and I think we’ll do Laycock.

zzzzzzzzz.......