Saturday, 3 March 2018


Part one - Friday, Saturday and Sunday 23,24,25 February 2018

Our weekend started here!!  After a hearty homemade soup with dear friends at the Sawmill Cafe in Stratford, a truly fabulous performance by School21 students of Les Mis - moving, inspiring and wonderful
Let's pause for a rousing chorus ....
Then good beer and good company at the Secret Weapon followed by bed and breakfast at our usual lovely Dalston gaff!


And we were on our way west out of London.  First gastro stop a great little find - The Tin Kitchen up on a hill in High Wycombe.  Fabulous brunch to fuel us and off into the sunny Chiltern Hills - red kites soaring overhead too many to number.
Collected the fifth member of our little crew, meandered through the sunny Oxfordshire lanes and went for a little leg stretch in the lovely unspoilt and unpopulated Warburg Nature Reserve
with lots of beautiful bare trees playing with the winter sun
Checked in at our Sonning hotel, the Great House, then off for our fabulous evening meal at the Wellington Arms, Baughurst.  And what an amazing landmark-eve treat that was for the birthday boy!!

Sunday - the Big Day dawns

And it's Happy Birthday to You ......... breakfast brunch and another big 'O' birthday conquered!!
lots of pressies to open
and a winter's amble beside the mighty Thames
and maybe time for a blast of that old song family Waugh used to march along to on country walks when we were little:

We had the three men - if only we'd had that boat!!
Next it was over to Henley on Thames to see the David Chipperfield's lovely River and Rowing Museum where we indulged in an afternoon tea (yes, food again!!)
and a spot of Wind in the Willows jollity
whilst hankering after a boathouse on the river!
The sun shone and it was just the happiest of happy birthdays.

Then, as the afternoon drew in it was time for the big birthday surprise  .......
A Swim and Dine package at the oh so wonderful and newly renovated Thames Lido in Reading - what a treat
We were given fluffy towels, bathrobes and flip flops and there we were, February 2018, one of the coldest winters for years, lounging OUTDOORS in the hot tub and braving the beautiful clear waters of the swimming pool, with the odd hot respite in the sauna - and it was totally fabulous and luxurious and special.

And there was more to follow - a sumptuous and delicious 5 course taster dinner in the fabulous restaurant spanning the edges of the pool
It was nothing short of magical
And here's the special birthday boy once again - the proof of a happy day is in the pudding as they say!! ha ha.  And of course in the smile.

HaPpY hApPy BiRtHdAy DeAr MiKe   X x X x X

and the celebrations continue in Marshes and Mud - read on if you dare!

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