Out to lunch

I can see that if I am to keep my posts up to date on this holiday I shall have to work a bit harder. Today has been grey but still warm. We are promised rain tonight and tomorrow. So Cousin and I took the dogs out for a walk around five after I got home from a day of social activity. Good dogs both, walking well on their respective leads, allowed to stop and sniff, but not to eat any finds in the verges. As so often in the countryside some of the locals are unappreciative of the beauty of their surroundings. Meals from fast food joints are discarded, probably from car windows, and litter the verges and hedgerows. There are empty cans, polystyrene boxes, greasy paper bags. Hideous to you and me, but to Poppy a positive cornucopia of gourmet possibility. She is, after all, a Labrador, a breed not known for persnickety appetites. One of these mornings I mean to time how long it takes her to eat her meal. I would put it at something less than thirty seconds.
Poppy and Cousin stopped at the fungi, and Westie Boy and I continued up the last and steepest hill. Our goal, before we turned round was Angela’s blue hydrangea bush, but as passed along the road a volley of barks came from a white dog on the doorstep. The dog looked very much like Angela’s daughter’s Akita. The daughter lives next door to Angela, and every time we pass without this dog throwing itself against the door snarling and baring its teeth against the glass is a welcome moment. Maybe it wasn’t the Akita. Westie Boy and I didn’t stay around to find out. We quietly turned round and made our way back whence we had come. When the barking ceased and there was no sound of dog claws on the road behind us, I breathed easily once more.
We caught up with Cousin and Poppy near Cousin’s son’s house. The moment Westie Boy spotted her on the road ahead of us his ears pricked up and he increased his pace so the distance between us and Cousin narrowed in a trice.

Actually Cousin has two sons. The younger is in Australia and he and his wife have just had a baby. I saw young Henry on FaceTime this morning. This morning for us, this evening for them. I also saw their dog Maggie being dressed in her pyjamas against the cold of the winter night.
Earlier my friend Jo and I had enjoyed lunch at Ardtara, a country house hotel not far away. The building used to be the family home of some of Jo’s relatives. I’d rung in advance to say I was vegan and had been told it wasn’t a problem. Our waitress read out my options. Or rather she tried to. The chef had written the choices in a hand that was almost unintelligible.


apparently one of those squiggles says ‘mushrooms’. I chose the risotto with the fresh peas and broad beans. Jo had the Flaxman’s lunch. Afterwards we looked about the house and grounds. The housekeeper kindly showed us two rooms that were unoccupied. I rather fell in love with the little summerhouse.


Green tiles




I think I could cope with staying there for a slow weekend.


6 thoughts on “Out to lunch

  1. Celeriac paparadelle? Sounds interesting. Not a clue on the menu item below. Good choice on taking the option most readable. Hope it was an excellent lunch. Speaking of which, did you see the report where researchers have found the hoovering gene in Labradors? Not all of them, and not all of the Goldens (my sister might disagree) have it.

    • Lunch was lovely. I think the risotto was the best option as it had veg that was picked fresh from the garden – I hope Ardtara’s garden. I had more fresh peas and broad beans later from Cousin’s garden. I don’t know about the hoovering gene, but I do know Poppy didn’t help my cousin with the hoovering last night. Can you give me a link to the piece please?

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