I’ve been so busy recently that I’ve got rather behind with a load of posts that I wanted to make. I’m on call this weekend, so I’ve got a chance to catch up with some!
A couple of weeks ago, me and The Man managed to make it to the quite frankly rather startling mileston of seven whole years together! Having been so poor for so long, we’ve never really been able to mark these occasions properly, so I made the decision to book us somewhere nice to eat, and after a lot of ‘research’, I decided on The Starr Restaurant With Rooms in Great Dunmow, as the reviews of the food were fantastic, and the idea of not having to go very far to get back ‘home’ was very appealing.
So I booked their most expensive room – on the basis that there was a free-standing bath IN the bedroom, which felt rather decadent!
I’m an Essex Girl, and have often got upset that people don’t realise what gorgeous little villages there are in my home county, and Great Dunmow is a lovely example. The Starr itself is a gorgeous 15th Century buildin, with the rooms just across the courtyard at the back, in what looks to be converted stables.
Our room was lovely – really spacious, all dark oak furniture, a four-poster bed, and that bath.
There was a gorgeous HUGE separate bathroom with a massive shower, and we found a perfect use for the bidet.
I felt extremely happy, relaxed and decadent sipping wine whilst relaxing in a deep bubble-bath, watching the TV whilst chatting to The Man as he lounged across our four-poster bed. It was the perfect pre-dinner setting!
So, then we made our way to the restaurant, which took us at least 2 minutes! We were seated in the tiny little bar area, which was bustling as the restaurant was (unsurprisingly) fully-booked. We had our drinks order taken, and were given some rather scrummy little ‘amuse bouche’, while we perused the menu before being taken to our table, which was in their lovely conservatory area. One was chicken liver pate on little brioche toasts and the other a deep fried crispy potato and cheese concoction. Sound simple but gave us high hopes for what was to come.
This was my starter choice, and was absolutely lovely, the ravioli filling meaty and earthy and the sauce flavoursome but light and velvety – the only very minor criticism I could have had was that the pasta could have done with being oh so very slightly thinner!
The Man was extremely happy with his starter – I’m sure it had a more descriptive name, but it was on the specials board and I can’t remember exactly what it was – it was 2 weeks ago!! but apparently it was totally delish.
The Man’s choice of main (yes Linda, more ‘face’!) – look at the amount of foie gras on there!! The cheeks were fall-apart tender, the foie-gras rich and the sauce unctious. We ordered a side of triple-cooked chips as a side, mainly to go with this (and the staff said this was a favourite combination for the boys) – oh my GOD, if you ever go to The Starr, you HAVE to have the chips, they were wonderful!
How pretty is that? The pork was moist and tender, and very ‘piggy’, the cabbage with smoked bacon was just SLIGHTLY salty, but worked well when eaten with all the other elements. The fidget pie pastry was light, almost melting into nothingness – filled with a lovely porky-appley stew.
The Man went for the cheese board with some smelly cheeses, celery, quince chutney and biscuits and I opted for the chocolate offering. I’m not altogether what was in the little shot glass, it tasted rather like a ‘condensed milk foam’ topped with chocolate. The brownies were happily nutless and the marshmallow coated in a knd of biscuity crumb.
However, by this stage I was starting to feel rather full, and was unable to finish it much to my shame.
I did manage to help The Man with some of the petit-fours though. I had one of the little sponges (the smaller one) and half a chocolate swirly thing, which were just perfect.
And then we went back to our room, finished our wine and had one of the best night’s sleep I have EVER had on the most comfortable bed EVER.
The Starr is lovely, high quality but comfortable with polite but friendly staff – they obviously take a lot of pride in what they do – I highly recommend it.
It was the perfect anniversary
Today is my unniversary. That is, it is the anniversary of the day I first got married – but seeing as we have been divorced for year, it isn’t really an anniversary.
However, it is NINETEEN YEARS since the day I first got married, and this in itself is something worth noting, as that means it is literally half my lifetime ago (yes, i really am that old).
When I think of my first 19 years, the last 19 seem to have dragged by in comparison. or maybe it’s just that so much has happened – after all, I’ve spent 11 of them as a mother, which isn’t exactly easy going. I have got married twice and divorced twice, and spent longer with The Man than I spent with either of my husbands. Oh yes, and I actually properly love him an’ all – although I try not to admit that to his face.
I have had my annoying cat for OVER half my life. actually, the post I linked there is one of the most read on my blog for some reason. people keep searching on ‘London cat lady’ which worries me. and I love that photo of her
In another 19 years I’ll be 57 and that seems REALLY old – although younger than my parents are, and that doesn’t particularly seem to be that old – considering they’re so childish.
I’m not sure whether it’s just because of my ongoing insomnia, but I am feeling a lot older than I am at the moment. I don’t like that – I like feeling younger than my years. I think I just need a few good night’s sleep and then I’ll be fine! Or (more likely) I need a holiday, which I haven’t had for a LONG time. I even tried looking for a holiday for the three of us next summer, and gave up because looking for a holiday was stressing me out!
Anyway – 19 years ago today, I got married. I had a proper meringue dress and a Zandra Rhodes headdress and a blue garter and a gorgeous bridesmaid and a beautiful 1932 Daimler and I sat on my bed before I left my parent’s house and asked God to forgive me for what I was about to do as I knew it was terribly wrong.
He was (and still is) a lovely guy…but he was always just too , I dunno, ‘straight’ for me. Quite proper. Good stock and all that, nice bloke, intelligent, absolutely gorgeous looking but very very ‘straight’. I was a bit too naughty and rebellious for him. Something had to give. He ironed his socks FFS!
I ended up with him because I was running away. But that is another story.
Today, I will ponder over half my life. And then hopefully I will sleep!
Today is apparently the 10th anniversary of the London Eye being operational.
I still haven’t been on it.
That’s right – I live in London, I work in London, I love London, I am often around the Thames, and often walk past it and have never yet been on the London Eye!
The Girl has been on it twice – both times when various family members have been visiting the Great Smoke. But me, never. Even The Man has been on it – but that was before he kne wme.
So, why haven’t I been?
I really have no idea – but i think it’s that age old thing of the fact that it’s there, and (even though it was originally only menat to be there for 5 years) is going to be there for ages yet from what I can make out. So, there’s no great rush to go on it. Also – it’s not cheap! And i’ve seen London from out of a very tall building along the Thames – do I want to pay a lot of money to see it from a different angle?
Maybe when I’m rich (ha ha ha) i’ll give it a bash – but they’ll probably have got rid of it by that time!
Other places in London I haven’t seen are:
- London Aquarium
- Sir John Soane’s Museum (even though I worked in Lincoln’s Inn for 14 years)
- Globe Theatre
- Buckingham Palace
- Madame Tussauds & London Dungeon – haven’t been for about 25 years!
- Royal Observatory, Greenwich
That’s all just off the top of my head – I am sure that there are far far more!