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Sunday, 24 February 2008

The Birthday Treat.

We arrived at the Inn at Whitewell, in the Trough of Bowland Lancashire, to a very warm reception. It was bitterly cold outside but on entering the Inn we were immediately warmed by the blazing log fires, a large pot of coffee together with, warm home made scones and clotted cream, accompanied by a Cognac, (for medicinal purposes only)!
Our room was delightful, furnished with a large Four Poster Bed and a roaring Peat Fire. The room has spectacular views of The River Hoddle, which is surrounded by glorious rambling hills, and edged by The Forest of Bowland.
Charles Bowman is the owner and his ancestors date as far back as the 15th Century. One of the ancestors was a Bowman at the Battle of Agincourt, it is believed that his bows were made from the wood of a local yew tree.
After 'sprucing ourselves up', we wandered down to dinner. What delights awaited us! We decided to eat in one of the many cosy rooms spread around the bar area, each room complete with a huge roaring log fire.
DT dashed to the bar, with indecent haste, I may add, to order his favourite ale, Blonde Witch, which, for some unfathomable reason, he calls it 'Blonde Bitch' and then looks at me with a mischievious glint in his eye. Bearing in mind, I am indeed a 'Blonde', I wonder, "whatever can he mean"? He thinks this is all very funny and has a jolly good chuckle to himself. Oh well, he is actually, quite funny, often unwittingly so. I settled for a Gin and Tonic.
We dined on sweet juicy scallops followed by venison in a wild berry sauce for DT, and duckling breast in a red wine jus for me. To complete our feast we had creme brulee. I have to confess, when having three courses, I usually get quite full half way through the second, so, I usually, surreptitiously, slide what I can't eat on to DT's plate.
It was a wonderful evening, recalling times with our parents, three darling daughters, friends and family. Sadly the parents have all died now, so, we are officially the 'Oldies' although I don't feel 'that' old.
Eventually we toddled off to our lovely warm room and settled down for a good night`s snooze. The temperature outside, was minus 4 degrees, so the peat fire was more than welcoming.
We awakened in the morning to the thickest hoare frost I can ever remember. The trees looked enchanting and part of the river was frozen over. Every thing was quiet and still. A Winter wonderland indeed !
Breakfast consisted of porridge, poached haddock with poached egg for me, and the full English Breakfast for DT. All was going well until, I again, surreptitiously, slid half of the poached haddock onto DT`s plate, when he announced in a rather loud voice to a very quiet breakfast room, to quote, " You know Darling, I think I`ve reached an age when I really should eat less". He is a joy to cook for and appreciates good food. Being of medium height and quite stocky, he takes some filling, a bit like a Rugby Prop Forward but minus the cauliflower ears and bent nose.
Well, you can imagine my reaction by this public statement, after all he`d dispatched in the past 24 hours. I dissolved into helpless fits of giggles, which were accompanied by puzzled looks from the other very quiet diners, the more they looked, the more I laughed. "What have I said, he enquired innocently", "Nothing Darling", I replied, not wishing to hurt his feelings. I just wondered who he was trying to convince? He really is such a "Sweetie".
After all that food, we decided to have a walk in our 'Winter Wonderland', so we set off to a delightful little village called Wray to walk along the river. As we walked , the sun came breaking through the mist, causing the frost on the trees to glisten. It is a long time since I've experienced such gorgeous Winter weather. Magic!
We spent another evening at the Inn, again enjoying the ambience and eating more delicious food. This was a lovely Birthday treat and I returned home refreshed and Happy.

Shaky and Silver Linings.