Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween and Chrissie

Today Guildford wasn't sure what time of year it is - on the one hand wonderful Halloween cupcakes and on the other all dressed up for Christmas. You would think House of Fraser could have waited a day or so!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn festival at RHS Garden Wisley

 This week it is A Taste of Autumn at RHS Garden Wisley. It is a very popular annual event that attracts crowds of people to sample all sorts of apple and autumn related produce from the great Wisley gardeners as well as the wonderful stall holders that have a presence there.

It all began from the apple tastings that were held every October on the terrace at the front of the Garden. Here lots of people would come and taste slices of apple from the many varieties that are grown in the Wisley orchards. Hopefully the tasters would then buy apple trees for their own gardens, based on the tastings. Over the years this has grown, firstly with a few apple related producers in a marquee on the Seven Acres lawn to the country market style event it is in 2011.

All along the path from the Conservatory Cafe, round the Grass Borders and along the Seven Acres path to the Glasshouse there are tents containing stalls. These are full of local producers from cider and beer makers to jams and spicy sauce makers. In between are the bread people, the sausage producers who have giggly pigs, the nut roaster, the herb and spice nursery, the cheese makers, olive oil and garlic sellers, not to mention the veg growing societies and seed producers.
You can even order a Christmas turkey from the family farmer who is fattening some of his Kelly Bronze turkeys up on the meadows of RHS Garden Hyde Hall. Apparently Delia and other star chefs recommend these.A Taste of Autumn has its own star chef in the person of Peter Osborne who held demonstrations of autumn style food throughout the day and the aromas wafting out of the cookery demonstration marquee were mouthwatering. They have put the recipes up on the Wisley website.

Beyond the producers stalls and the cookery tent is the RHS area where there is a fabulous wagon displaying autumn veg including a lot of colourful pumpkins. Here is where the apple tasting takes place and is always crowded with visitors. After tasting you can move to the tractor and trailer where they are selling bags of apples - hopefully being able to buy your favourite. This year people could vote for their favourite flavour. With the fabulous autumn sunshine, this festival of food is looking to break all sorts of records. We certainly had a wonderful time there.

 Here are just some of the stallholders:

Friday, October 14, 2011

3 Days in May

The three days of the title are in May 1940 when Mr Churchill, the new prime minister of UK, is balancing on a knife edge with some of the war cabinet wanting to negotiate a surrender  via Mussolini  and others claiming it would be better to fight to the death rather than succumb to the horrors of becoming a vassal state to Fascist Germany. With France on the brink of capitulating, what is left of the allied armies are holed up at Dunkirk, with Belgium on the brink of being overrun; and a garrison of British led soldiers is fighting off the Germans at Calais. It seems a hopeless situation, but  Churchill will never surrender, and persuades the ailing Chamberlain to vote against the proposal to surrender thus triggering the Dunkirk evacuation that saved thousands of fighting men to face another day. A pivotal point of WWII, we see how the wily Churchill wins the day that leads to the allies winning the war.
Warren Clarke makes a wonderful Winston Churchill and is well supported by Jeremy Clyde as Lord Halifax, Robert Demeger as Neville Chamberlain and with James Alper as Jock Colville, Churchill's Private Secretary and our narrator. Other members of the cast are Timothy Knightley as Paul Reynaud, the French premier, Michael Sheldon as Clement Attlee, Dicken Ashworth as Arthur Greenwood and Paul Ridley as General Dill.

Ben Brown's 3 Days on May moves to the Trafalgar Studios for a run in the West End from Monday 31st October – Saturday 3rd March 2012. Directed by Alan Strachan, it is a Bill Kenwright Production.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This was the scene at 4.30pm this afternoon at Pyrford Lock. A pair of swans started crossing the road  from right to left - all traffic was halted, but that's OK. As they had just about reached the other side, the car from the right decided to cross the bridge, and one of the swans changed its mind and crossed back again, giving this driver a bit of a turn! As we crossed the bridge, it was still pondering the road and I bet it made another crossing quite soon after.

Monday, October 10, 2011

National Chocolate Week

I made deliciously chocolaty cupcakes to share with friends and neighbours for National Chocolate week!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Dinner at Cau

On Saturday evening we had dinner at Cau in Guildford, which serves delicious steaks. We had several different varieties again, including some thinly sliced tapa de cuadril. This is described as "Cut from the top of the rump, with a belt of delicious crackling running through it, this steak is served the Brazilian way – thinly sliced and flash grilled so it melts in your mouth" in their menu and A declared first class! We also tried one of their clericots, a wine based fruity drink with lots of ice and fruit. Ours was called Patagonia and was Merlot with plums, limes and berries. We all had blackberries in the glass, lots of ice and ruby red liquid. Very refreshing and light.
As you can see we still had room for desserts in which dulce de leche figured prominently. There were four of us, but we duplicated some of the dishes!

Cau Restaurant

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Playboy of the Western World

This evening was spent at the Old Vic after a delicious tea at Le Pain de Quotidian. The play was The Playboy of the Western World, a very Irish play from J M Synge. The actors were all magnificent, once we had 'tuned in' to some of the stronger Irish accents, and the set was amazing as one expects from the Old Vic. An Irish pub that rotated and moved forwards and backwards on the stage as the scene changed. Altogether a wonderful evening out and about in London.