Beginning Our New Life In Norfolk!

I’m back! After taking the plunge and leaving London in December 2015 to move to the country, we’re now living in our new permanent house in a North Norfolk village. “We” me…

Source: Beginning Our New Life In Norfolk!

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PASS IT ON…………..

I felt I must share this beautiful post from my school friend Gina. I am sure it will touch a cord with so many of us and maybe we will feel able to ‘Pass it on’.

Gina Kirkham

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PASS IT ON

In the early hours of a quiet February morning, just as the sun was appearing over the trees to shine through the window, I held my beautiful and so loved Mum in my arms as I kissed her for the very last time.

Stroking her lovely face I told her that it was time to let go.  She sighed and peacefully slipped away to a place without pain, without sadness and without fear.

She had lost her brave battle with cancer and the world suddenly became a much emptier and lonelier place for me.

Today is that anniversary.  I miss her every single day, she was not only my Mum, she was my best friend, my mentor and my guide.

She was incredibly funny, hugely kind hearted, strong, compassionate, stubborn and at times, excruciatingly frustrating, but she was my Mum. She truly was one in a million…

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Restaurant Review of The Partridge Inn, Wallingford

Saturday 24 January 2015

Dinner at The Partridge Inn in Wallingford

http://www.partridgeinnwallingford.co.uk/

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Bar area as you enter the restaurant. There is a new dresser displaying products from local producers. Matt is keen to encourage use of local produce wherever possible.

We received a warm welcome from the member of staff who took our coats. The fire was lit near the comfy seating in the bar area but we decided to go straight to our table. The menus were presented as we sat down. We decided to have some Prosecco but worth noting they sell small bottles which are equivalent to a glass and a half. They do not serve it by the glass. They do, of course, have full sized bottles! Their wine list contains some interesting choices and will not take you very long to study. A question of quality rather than quantity on the wine list.

My companion had the Smoked Salmon starter which was a generous portion of salmon but it was served with three crackers spread with cream cheese. Not sure if the crackers were sufficient with the quantity of smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese Crackers

Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese Crackers

I chose the Baked Feta which again was a generous portion. Two types of breads served to accompany the baked feta and olives. Tasty dressing on the salad.

Baked Feta with Olives, Salad and Bread

Baked Feta with Olives, Salad and Bread

We both then decided to have the special of the day and in fact it was the reason my companion had decided to dine! The Haggis was served with thin slices of black pudding. The leek and onion combination was tasty and the triple cooked chips were crisp and delicious. The food was served with an onion gravy. Not perhaps the usual combination to be served with haggis but Matt, the Chef, likes to work with his ingredients and develop their flavours which he does with success. I understand that Matt is not a formally trained chef but he is passionate about food. His food perhaps lacks a little finesse but it certainly has bags of flavour. The menu changes regularly depending on the foods he has available so it is likely that Game will be on the menu during the relevant season.

Haggis, Black Pudding, Triple Cooked Chips, Kale, PeasLeeks and Onions

Haggis, Black Pudding, Triple Cooked Chips, Kale, Peas, Leeks and Onions

Now desserts are my thing and Matt has a rather short dessert menu but when he chatted to us afterwards he said the Lemon Posset and Chocolate Brownie proved the regular favourites. He had tried crumbles on the menu but they had not been very popular.

I chose the Local Honey Cheesecake with a shortbread base. Good honey flavour in the cheesecake but not sure the shortbread base worked as it was very soft because of being at the bottom of the dish. Personally I would not choose this again.

Honey Cheesecake with Shortbread Base

Honey Cheesecake with Shortbread Base

My companion had the Lemon Posset and I tried a little and was pleasantly surprised at the good flavour.

Lemon Posset

Lemon Posset

This was the red wine we decided to have to accompany the haggis. At forty pounds a bottle it was not cheap but it was the perfect choice for our food. The wine had been stored in oak barrels for twelve months but had a soft oakiness that complemented the highly seasoned haggis.

Chateau Le Pey Medoc 2012

Chateau Le Pey Medoc 2012

Matt deserves to do well with his restaurant because he understands the food he uses and he works hard to build up relationships with local suppliers. They now have four bedrooms upstairs available to book. Three of the rooms are not en suite but one is. They provide a continental style breakfast but I get the impression that if you talk to Matt he will try to provide what best meets your requirements. They seem to be proving very popular with the business community. Maybe one of the reasons being that WiFi is provided free and the standard of the rooms is pretty high for a fair price!

Wallingford is very fortunate to have a place like The Partridge Inn. Matt took it over about two years ago.  I am sure that if you visit, Matt and his team will look after you very well. This restaurant has no pretensions and the honest approach to food is refreshing in the days of fine dining and the celebrity chef.

Letter written by my Gt Uncle Sub-Lient. RNUR in 1945

I found this letter in my late Father’s archive and I think it warrants sharing so here we go:

Letter from Colombo in 1945

Letter from Colombo in 1945

Jim Haworth Letter 1945 side 1_NEW

This letter was written by my Great Uncle when he was a Sub-Lieut. RNUR in 1945. I think the Air Mail is fascinating with the statement across the top ‘Security – Think – before you write!!’ Uncle Jim studied English at St John’s Oxford and I think you can tell from his writing style. I am amused by his lack of ambition when nowadays so many seem to be ambitious.

Note his reference to an attack of dysentry and being sent to Nuwara Eliya to recover. I have found reference to this area on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuwara_Eliya

I love the discussion about the North versus South. Having been born in Lancashire he then subsequently lived in Essex and Suffolk!

Small image of Jim Haworth

Graduation photo 1939 Oxford

Graduation photo 1939 Oxford

Sadly no photos of him in his uniform. He was a delightful man who we miss a great deal. Interestingly both his sons acquired his writing skills.

Review of Celebration Lunch at the Kingham Plough

I wanted somewhere a bit special for lunch to celebrate both my birthday (let’s move on swiftly) and getting together with two dear college friends. We couldn’t believe that it had been thirty four years since leaving college when we qualified as Home Economics Teachers.

The other day I posted on twitter that I wanted somewhere for lunch and suggested a short list of two pubs – The Kingham Plough (http://www.thekinghamplough.co.uk/) at Kingham and the Feathered Nest at Nether Westcote. The Kingham Plough responded very promptly (and in fact I never received any response from the Feathered Nest at all which was a little disappointing) and so a table for three was booked for 1pm today Wednesday 26 November.

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The Kingham Plough. Image courtesy of their website http://www.thekinghamplough.co.uk/

Pam and I arrived early and were greeted by a friendly member of staff who showed us to a table in the bar area. I had booked the restaurant but they seemed happy for us to either stay in the bar or move to the restaurant. The bar ended up the quieter option. I had hoped it would be the warmer option but sadly not. This was my only criticism really that it was rather cold on a damp and dreary day like today. I gather the main fire in the bar is having its chimney swept tomorrow! I would describe the decor as shabby chic. There was an upright piano so I can just imagine jolly sing songs of an evening round the fire – once they have fixed the second fire!

We all decided to dine from the à la carte menu and we even managed three courses each! This was not to be a boozy celebration as two of us were driving and the other one cannot drink alcohol but this meant our attention was fully focused on the food. I am sorry the quality fo photos is rather poor but I was trying to be quick and I used my ancient iPhone 3 camera. No money to buy new phones with this eating out I do!

Starters

Salt cod and ham fritter...

Wendy’s Salt Cod & Ham Hock Caramelised Trotter, Parsley Salad

Hot Mackeral...

Pam’s Hot Smoked Mackerel Celeriac Remoulade, Fried Bread & English Mustard

Egg

Judith’s Crisp Arlington Egg, Watercress Sauce, Chanterelles & English Truffle

Main Courses

Pheasant Wellington...

Pheasant Wellington, Parsnip & Apple Rosti, Parsnip Puree, Caramelised Apples & Curly Kale

This was my main course and apparently the last one left. Interesting flavours but I like a fairly well hung pheasant flavour and I did not quite get the intensity of flavour I had expected. The crispy kale was delicious and I must try this at home as my husband is not a great fan of kale.

Hand beef...

Hanger Steak, Bone Marrow Butter, Onion Rings,Triple Cooked Chips & Daylesford Salad

Pam and Judith had the steak and they said it was tasty.

Desserts

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Judith with the Apple Charlotte and Cinnamon Ice Cream. The heart shaped apple crisp went down very well indeed!

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Wendy’s Hot Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut Marshmallow and Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream. Yes a chocolate dessert for Wendy so no surprise there!

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Pam also chose the Apple Charlotte.

We then finished off the meal with coffee which came with a jug of cold milk and sadly no chocolates!

The bill including 10% gratuity which was added automatically came to just under one hundred and fifty pounds so expensive for lunch for three people (especially as it did not include a bottle of wine!) but it was a special lunch so I was happy to pay it. I was slightly disappointed that Emily did not pop out to say hello which would have made it extra special but she was busy so I didn’t want to ask the team if she was available.

Overall it was an interesting menu with some interesting flavourings but was I disappointed? I would have to say ever so slightly. I would still recommend people to go and try for themselves and it is only a very slight reservation which I find hard to really pin point. I gather the Wild Rabbit has opened up in Kingham too and I was told by a friend there is a connection with Daylesford Organic Farm so I should imagine the pressure will be on.

Thank you to Emily and her team for looking after us today and I hope this amateur review will be taken in the spirit in which it has been compiled. I am not a professional food critic but I do love eating out and enjoy good food. When eating out I like to eat food that is better than the food I can produce and this was the case today.

Life in miniature – Our dolls house furniture from 1960s

I have just unearthed from our loft the collection of furniture that my sister Ann and myself had as children. Our late Father made the dolls house and I gather he stayed up very late to finish it for my sister’s birthday in the early 60s. Sadly we only have a photo of it before it was disposed:

Dolls House made by John H Holden in circa1962

Dolls House made by John H Holden in circa1962

Here are the well worn characters that we played with in our dolls house and you can see from the odd missing foot that they were well used. Note the Mother in the green dress has rather swollen ankles 🙂

Doll's House Characters

Dolls House Characters

Now here was the living room furniture which remains in fairly good condition. I am amused by the fact we had a grand piano for our dolls!

Living room furniture

Living room furniture

The kitchen equipment is extremely dated and it makes you wonder how did our parents/grandparents manage with boilers and a mangle!

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Kitchen and washroom items

Kitchen and washroom items

Bedroom 1 with fabric that has deteriorated over time:

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2 complete with baby in cot:

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 2

Finally we had a lovely pink bathroom but the toilet has been damaged and some of the taps are missing:

Bathroom

Bathroom

We were very fortunate children and many happy hours were spent using our imagination to create stories around our characters in their lovely Dolls House. The label on some of the furniture is Dol Toi.