Friday, 6 September 2013

Old friends III...

One of C's pics, of some free apples and other fruit.
Last week was one of trying to do stuff before the school holidays finished. Inspired by their Spanish holiday, our friends invited us next door for tapas. Lovely to sit out late into the evening - we haven't done it nearly enough this year, even tho' the weather has been ideal. Two very large glasses of wine for me - unheard of normally, but it was very good wine! And yes, I suffered later...

On Saturday morning the house was invaded by family for a few hours, so lots of chat and catching up. C spent most of the time playing with his nephew in the garden, leaving all the women indoors putting the world to rights! Just when we'd waved them all off in the afternoon, some old friends who missed the Misanthropicnic/Myopicnic arrived for the rest of the weekend, bringing fruit from their garden and some gorgeous purple flowers - which are now standing in front of our lovely Ruth Nicol painting (bought on the never-never and on the optimistic assumption that we would one day have a wall big enough for it!).

We stayed up way past everyone's bedtime, as is the way with good friends, especially when you don't see each other very often. Next day we all went off to gather some yellow plums and some delicious apples we've discovered nearby, the wee one swinging the foraging stick as she skipped along, or leaning on it and hobbling like a cheerful elderly gnome! The green apples on our own big old tree are plentiful but better for cooking, although they do make surprisingly sweet juice, so it's lovely to find some that we can eat straight from the tree.

Then a trip to Lavenham for lunch where we discovered Munnings Tea Room, in a crooked orange house on the High Street. 

C and I had been here before when it was the Crooked House gallery, but although it still sells bits and bobs - a vintage/antique mix - it now has a few little tables draped in layer upon layer of white lace, adorned with silver teapots and pretty crockery. Totally over the top, but lovely!

One of Duncan's pics.
It's quite pricey,  but portions are generous - I had soup and a cheese scone, but the scone was enormous, and came with some great chutney, and a slab of cheese that would have fed a family of mice right through from Christmas to New Year, with enough for any unexpected guests. C's cream tea was equally, bonkersly humungous - look at the butter dish bowl! Everyone else felt equally well fed by the end of it, and we'll definitely go back again - might have to lose a few lbs first, to justify it!

I was fleetingly reminded of Dennis Severs' house in Spitalfields, which is also well worth a visit. I went with a friend many years ago and we managed to spook each other in the basement kitchen there because of all the ghostly 'noises off'; the clippity-clop of horses hooves outside, the whispers and giggles, and the echo of footsteps disappearing around the corner. Munnings Tea Room also has the feel of a real home - of being in someone's front room. The loo feels like the family bathroom, and up the steep and lurching stairs the huge four poster bed in one of the rooms looks like it could easily be slept in once the tea room is closed - there is even a telly disguised beneath a lacy tablecloth in one room. But there are price tags on everything, so it can't really be used as someone's home, can it?

Afterwards, off to the Market Place and a quick look round there (OH! A robin just flew into the window behind the computer - but after a quick shake down, perched on the wood pile, it has flown off again unhurt  - OH! And now a blue tit clinging to/gone from the ivy! Heavens to Betsy, it's all go round here!) As I was saying, a quick look round the Market Place at the ancient and characterful buildings, including the Little Hall and the Guildhall, which even on a grey day are very impressive.


Lavenham has a fair few quirky and independent shops - including antiques stores, wool shops, and art galleries. C had to buy the wee yin a Peacock feather, of course, to go with the gold crown she'd been wearing all day - earlier, the waiter at the tea room greeted her from across the room with a deferential, 'Ah -  royalty'. Very sweet!

Homeward bound, and a fond farewell to the Terrible Trio. It's always good to share days like these with friends - it reminds us why we moved to this part of the world, even if we miss seeing our dear old friends as often as we used to do. Come back soon, guys! xx

No comments: