Phew! What a week! Sore today, strong tomorrow has lasted quite a long time, and I’m still not 100% which is irritating. It didn’t stop me enjoying my week off too much though!
It has been a week of indulgence and excess, and while I enjoyed it, I am also glad to see my kitchen and normal food again!
Mid-week, Matt and I headed across country to stay with his aunt and uncle in Sussex for a few days. The plan was simple – go, relax and enjoy some time with them. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon in their lovely little village, and spent the afternoon chatting away with his uncle while we waited for his aunt to return home from work. When everyone had arrived home, dinner was prepared, and it became apparent that the cooking gene runs in the family. Matt is a good cook, as is his mum, and so it seems, is his uncle. He cooked the most delicious steak and veggies, and washed it down with plenty (too much?) wine. Pudding was home-made tiramisu which was like heaven in a glass dish. Needless to say, we went to bed full and content.
On Thursday, we all went to Hampton Court Palace. I’d said quite a long time ago that it was somewhere I would like to visit, having never been there before. It didn’t disappoint at all. I was surprised to see such a beautiful animal so close to busy roads.
There were free audio guides which worked in conjunction with a small leaflet that guided you through different parts of the palace. Matt and I only managed the Tudor part, and didn’t get anywhere near the newer parts. Matt’s aunt and uncle managed to cover a little bit more ground than us though. I would love to go back and have a look at the parts we didn’t get to see, as well as the gardens which we missed out altogether.
A thoroughly pleasant day was topped off by one of the best Thai meals that I have ever had in a great little restaurant called Good Evening. I’m not normally much of a fish eater, but even I thought the salmon dish was amazing.
Friday was a little slower paced, and we headed to Arundel for the afternoon. The sun shone as we made our way around the various antique shops. I don’t think any of us had a specific purchase in mind, but it was just nice to wander. We didn’t stop at the castle, as we arrived a little too late to have a proper look around. On Friday evening, we were joined by Matt’s aunt’s niece and fiancé, who had made the 7 hour trek down from Manchester. Dinner was at the Rose and Crown. I think my experience here was marred a little bit by my neck, as it had become increasingly painful during the day, so I didn’t enjoy the meal as much. I also had food envy of Matt’s aunt’s meal.
I have never been to the theatre before, which Matt’s aunt and uncle thought was a travesty. So on Saturday, ticket had been booked for a musical in London. We made the train by the skin of our teeth. I enjoyed playing tourist, watching the sites of Battersea, the Shard, the Thames and the Eye as we made our way in to London Victoria. Matt’s uncle, despite having worked in the City for years, has only set foot on the Underground twice before. I was amazed, as I have always travelled on the Underground when I have visited London. We travelled in the means that I am accustomed to, and headed towards the Tower of London, as Matt’s aunt and I wanted to see the ceramic poppies.
It is so sad that each poppy represents a fallen soldier, and that despite the large amount of poppies already there, it isn’t yet finished.
Back on the Tube, we zoomed over to Regent’s Park for the Open Air Theatre. This was a real highlight of the weekend. The production was Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. The weather was perfect, the show was moving and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I’ve said to Matt that I would like to go and see something else there one day.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfectly timed – within 5 minutes of leaving the theatre, the heavens opened. We made a swift exit towards London Zoo and headed towards the Feng Shang Princess for dinner. It’s an interesting little restaurant, but I can honestly say that I have had much better Chinese food elsewhere.
I wish I had a little more time to have spent in London, but Matt and I have said we’ll try to spend a couple of days there during our next holiday.
We really enjoyed our few days away, but it is nice to be back to normal.