On Saturday morning we awoke bright and early to some not-so-bright skies and some of that all-too-English drizzly rain. Regardless, we had breakfast, got dressed and got on with our countryfied plans. First up: blackberry picking.
The blackberry bushes (is that what they’re called?) were randomly scattered around a golf course, so as well as avoiding nettles and spikes, we also had to avoid golf balls and the wrath of angry golfers. We were also slightly hampered by the fact that a lot of the blackberries weren’t actually at all ripe – bit early in the season. This all sounds like we had an awful time, but actually it was great fun scrambling in the wilderness and we even managed to gather quite a big collection of perfect berries.
By the time we’d collected enough and left them in the kitchen to soak, we were feeling distinctly hungry. We’d vaguely planned a long bike ride to a pub for lunch, but we decided we couldn’t face it in the rain (and that we required food more or less immediately), and instead headed to one of Nicole’s Southwold favourites, The Lord Nelson. She told us it is one of the town’s most popular pubs, and judging by how busy it was she was right. We squeezed ourselves into a table by the window and ordered an array of pub favourites: a burger for me, Ploughman’s for Mae, and some sort of sandwich (I forget which – oops) for Nicole. I didn’t take any pictures, but they were all very good, and my burger was super filling – always a winner.
After lunch, we had a bit of time to kill and the weather was still too gross to do any outside activities. Instead, we settled ourselves back at the house with Nicole’s impressive array of board games. We taught Mae the ways of Perudo, and tried out a new game, “Worst Case Scenario,” which was probably more educational than really fun but was quite entertaining anyway. And now I know how best to shelter from a forest fire!
We got so carried away with our games that we almost forgot to leave to a) go to Waitrose and b) pick up Sophie, but we just about managed it and whizzed around buying supplies before grabbing her from the station and heading home. We wouldn’t have been us if we didn’t find some way to host a dinner party, so we had invited Nicole’s three friends from school over and set about preparing a feast. We went for one of our old favourites, one pan chicken (a recipe we have adapted from several different versions) followed by apple and blackberry crumble made with, you guessed it, the blackberries we’d picked in the morning.
Sorry for the slightly gross picture of raw chicken…I was too carried away with the excitement of it all to take a picture post-cooking!
Anyway, food prepared we set the table and sat down with a jug or two of Pimms while we waited for the boys.
Dinner went down very well amongst the boys and we all had a great time – so much so, in fact, that the boys abandoned their plans to drive home in favour of some mojitos and a game of Articulate. This was followed by a late-night trip to the beach hut, where two of the boys bravely ventured into the sea while the rest of us watched (and laughed). Eventually, we returned to the house, where we all stayed up till the early hours before eventually retreating to bed. Seriously, is there anything better than a good old dinner party?!