The countryside really comes alive during the summer and we have found ourselves to be busy virtually every weekend from now until the end of the season. Fortunately there is a slot available for me to make a quick visit to London for a cut and colour with the lovely girls at Mahogany, essential for me to maintain glossy locks. If this weekend is an example then we shall definitely need to pace ourselves. Attire will not be an issue as I have planned my wardrobe in advance to ensure there are no possibilities of being seen in the same pieces twice, except for my exquisite new sequin dress from Matthew Williamson, which deserves several outings.
Friday began with dinner at friends, which was eaten al-fresco under a gazebo from which we could gaze at the stars which all winked at us endlessly. We were fed my favourite summer treat of Gazpacho, with all the bits and bobs to accompany it, a feast of chicken and mushrooms served with a bowl of summer vegetables and all finished off with a summer pudding. Every single thing other than the bread and chicken came from our hostesses garden and all tasted so divine it could have been a banquet fit for the gods. We were introduced to yet more new people who were delightful and other than one man with metallic painted toenails (on grubby feet) all elegantly turned out for an evening of outdoor entertainment. We ate and drank until the early hours and it wasn't until I looked at my watch as I felt a sudden chill and wrapped my Zadig and Voltaire lightweight cashmere cardigan around me, that I realised it was so late, always a good sign.
Saturday morning was spent with some warmed croissants and jam together with steaming cups of tea being consumed on my terrace, with handsome husband and a charming gentleman we met recently who is a genius PR guru who had kindly dropped in to bring some historical research he had carried out on his Grandfather who had been at Pegasus Bridge during D-day, which he thought middle chap might be interested to read (his pet subject). Whilst here he told us about the fabulous Serenata Festival which during its first summer is taking place not too far away from here, and offers a luxurious event for those who love classical music. There is a palatial boutique tented hotel with butler service if required, the coolest kids clubs with babysitting from highly trained staff, and lavish food to be devoured from some of the best eateries here. We were so taken with the idea that we decided to go and check out the venue.
We took smallest and middle chap to join us on our adventure with a flask of tea and a Victorian Sandwich cake. We drove along a couple of A roads and then turned off in the direction of Kimmeridge Bay where the festival is being held. We drove through two tiny old villages and then arrived at the dazzling location of the bay itself. A large sweeping curve of ancient rocks towering above the clear sea where all kinds of amazing water species live. We walked around the curve and sat upon some rocks and I watched as the three men went off for a swim in the sea, soon coming back in for tea and cake. It was a glorious scene and I can see why it has been chosen for the Serenata Festival where we can all listen to the music overlooking the sea, just about as idyllic as one can get.
If this wasn't enough, on Sunday we had been invited to a tea party on the lawn of a magical garden, where all ages mixed together and were treated to firstly a small and impressive musical performance from a wind trio followed by a traditional Punch and Judy show and, my favourite part an enormous selection of cakes, dainty sandwiches and of course scones, clotted cream and jam. As I sat greedily eating my scone, and observing the scene which could have slightly resembled a scene from Alice in Wonderland, a grey haired tall gentleman joined me with his own scone and we chatted about a variety of topics including his time as a sub-mariner. My eldest chap came to join our conversation and he and the delightful gentleman discussed, novels, music, rugby, sailing, cricket and rowing, and spent much time on the subject of sub-marines as this is eldest chaps current area of obsession. Later on during the afternoon as I talked with our hostess, she informed me that the delightful gentleman was the father of a winner of 3 Olympic gold medals. How refreshing to meet a man who really does have something to brag about, and not mention it once, even when the opportunity arose. If this is how my weekends are to pan out then I'm glad to be in England where the tea is strong, the cakes are light, the sea is cool, the sky is clear and the White Rabbit can be seen if you look carefully, running across the green and lush countryside.