Yes folks it's another soggy Saturday in the UK - cat-on-your-lap and crumpet weather!!!!! Mandy and I braved the rain to visit the Courts Garden at Holt and the wonderful tea room there run by Jackie and Richard. Jackie's food is truly memorable; all homemade from best ingredients and made with care. Yes, it's a tad expensive but then this is a treat and you're paying for the whole experience and service. Although having to pay to get in as it's a National Trust property (£6 per adult entrance charge) does make a trip there expensive but we're lucky in that Mandy has a pass and we get in free!!!! My view is the National Trust tends to overcharge on everything then whines that visitor numbers are down . . . slashing entrance fees to its many properties across the UK by £2/£3 would bring visits into the range of a lot more families but then what do I know!!!! However, a large field mushroom baked with Stilton cheese served with a little salad and granary bread along with a steak & mushroom pie topped with mash and a side plate of carrots, savoy cabbage and leeks went down a treat along with coffee milkshakes, then we managed to save room for chocolate-orange bread pudding and icecream and hot chocolate fudge cake with icecream AND a second round of milkshakes on the house!!!! Our hosts work very hard and deserve their Winter breaks . . . the season finishes next weekend and they are away to Cyprus then spending a month in Antigua before opening up again in mid-February. I've attached a pic of the house and gardens although it was a grey rainy day and does not do the gardens justice. I SOOOOO wish Big Sis was there too - it's the kind of place she would enjoy and not just for the wonderful food!!!! The gardens have little paths that lead into different "rooms" and have quite a number of old-fashioned apple trees as well as a couple of medlar trees which you don't often see now. The medlar is a quaint little fruit, needing to be almost rotten (bletted) before being edible and has a taste quite unique, although it has been likened to apple sauce. I have made medlar jelly years ago and it is equally good on crumpets or to give flavor to stirfries or casseroles. Big Sis and I are having a stitchalong weekend and of course the UK clocks go back tonight, with the US
Summertime ending next Saturday. Happy stitching everyone and stay snug!!!!!