Saturday, December 09, 2017

Christmas Dinner at John and Trish’s

Continuing our party-every-Saturday-night-until-Christmas-with-the-neighbours, tonight was Christmas Dinner at John and Trish’s. Exactly a year since last year’s, we knew we were in a for a culinary festive treat with Trish’s traditional Christmas Meal. It was also an opportunity to show-off John and Trish’s shiny new kitchen makeover!

Helping us to do the menu justice were all the usual crew: Tom & Julie, David and Rosi and Paul and Karen. What made tonight somewhat unusual was the threat of some serious snow overnight. And, with that in mind, we abandoned our original plan of leaving slightly earlier (and getting up early tomorrow) in favour of heading straight for a hotel near the airport.

Luckily, we were able to actually book a room ahead of time because when we went online, many of the hotels near Birmingham were already filling-up fast (clearly, others were thinking the same as us) – some were already full! Eventually, we found a room – clearly there was room at the (Holiday) Inn!

Only time will tell whether our overnight stay was a good move, as the snow isn’t forecast until the early hours of Sunday morning. If it does come, it’ll make our anniversary feel even more special (and no doubt, we’ll both feel a little more smug!)

Back to tonight’s feast…

We picked up Paul and Karen just after 6.50 and arrived just before 7pm.

The Table was set, and we kicked off events by a glass of bubbly! The kitchen looked fab and with John working in London today, Trish had clearly been working hard to prepare a full Christmas meal for the 10 of us. By 7.30, following Trish’s strict instructions, we were all seated!

The food, as usual was delicious with empty plates all round in record time!

If there was a stand-out Course, it was the cheese-board – it was massive and took two of the girls to get it to the table! Yum!

By 10.15pm it was time for us to make a move. It would have been great to stay a bit later, but were getting increasingly depressing weather forecast. We said our goodbyes and headed for Birmingham Airport. Luckily, there was no sign of snow and we had a good journey.

Thanks for hosting Trish! We had a great time. Same time next year!?

Fifty-five minutes later, we were negotiating the (very rare) car-parking spaces at the Holiday Inn – Birmingham Airport. Luckily, after a bit of faffing around, we found one, and then headed for Reception. The place was heaving, with people spilling-out of the entrance into the cold night air. There was even people sitting at a table outside drinking  (at –1 degrees!). The Reception Staff apologised for the mayhem and informed us that there was a number of Christmas parties going onto tonight. They were destined to finish at 1am and they politely offered us ear-plugs (that’s a first!).

Room 132 was freezing, but we found a oil-fired heater in the corner! After shaking the wiring, the appliance sprang into life and helped raise the room temperature from about –10 to –1!

Duvet time! Nighty-night!

Update: 7.15, next morning! The snow has arrived with a vengeance. Birmingham Airport has temporarily closed its runways!