As we were all coming from different parts of the country in different vehicles (although we did do a lot of car sharing – go us being all ecologically minded) we decided to meet up at the motorway service station at Stafford (not least because they have a Wimpy, and one of the ladies who came with us has a
Hoping that I managed to get all my embarrassing moments over for the weekend we got back in our cars and trooped off to check into the hotel. I have a secret confession here. I’m totally in love with hotel showers!! They’re always serious power showers with tonnes of hot water and I just love them. The first thing I did on checking in was get my toiletry bag out and head to the shower and I can tell you, it was heavenly. No small people interruptions, no worrying that I had to go collect someone from somewhere, or feed someone, or change a nappy or do anything other than lounge under that stream of steamy hot water for as long as I wanted. Bliss!
When I’d finally prised myself out of there we got our ye olde Mediaeval glad rags on and headed down to the hotel reception to wait for the taxis. We had a few funny looks from fellow guests, but as the hotel is only 2 miles from the castle and the banquets are a regular feature they see this kind of thing a lot I think.
Here’s a couple of shots of us milling around on the foyer:
One of all of us (that we managed to snag the nice chap off reception into taking us (as oppose to the woman on reception who was a right moody cow with a face like a bull dog chewing a wasp while we were checking in).
(I’m in the bronze-coloured dress kneeling down at the front (right hand side))
Once we got to the castle there was a little tour of the Kingmaker’s exhibit (scarily realistic wax works!) and then into the great hall for a 5 course feast with entertainment from a musical trio (Brandy wine Bridge) who led us all in rousing chorus of drinking songs and a small show by the castle magician (who also performed magic tricks at the table whilst we were eating).
A couple more pics from in the banquet hall:
The Bride to Be!!
On our way out we harangued one of the stewards into taking a photo of all of us on a set of stone steps in the castle grounds but we only gave him three cameras so I haven’t seen that one yet (until someone emails me a copy!).
Once we got back to the hotel the evening was completed by the Bride to Be’s arrival in the hotel reception (she was in the taxi after us)……with a plastic cone. Jules and I went to University together and a standing joke amongst our friends was that no evening out was complete unless you appropriated a traffic cone from somewhere. Once she had that we could all go to bed happy :)
I was limited to only a few glasses of wine with all the drugs I’ve been taking for my sciatica, which meant I was up and alive nice and early the following day and back on the road home before 10am. We all had a fabulous night and we’re certainly going to try to do it again some time.
Sunday was my FILs birthday so we went out for lunch to celebrate that and then Gracie had (another) birthday party to attend so that took up most of the rest of the day. A couple of hours watching High School Musical 2 for the first time (a blessed relief from HSM1 I have to say) and that was the weekend pretty much whizzed by. All this activity has meant I haven’t had change to crack on with anything crafty this weekend, but I have high hopes for getting some stuff done this week. I can see the lighter evenings beginning to creep in and it’s lifting my spirits for summer evening crafting to come. Joy!