Hope & Gratitude 2017

Tonight we celebrated our H&G with dinner at the Chesil in Winchester. It’s rapidly becoming our celebration restaurant. And while the food is excellent, there’s something quite special about eating in a building that’s been there for 600 years. It was the perfect way to finish off what had been a lovely day.

Mind you, the fact that we’d eaten early and left the house by midday in order to go and listen to a guitarist who won’t be performing at the Maltings for another two weeks, was a tad disappointing. Though that disappointment was tempered by the Craft Fair being on at the Maltings instead.

At first, we were just going to leave, all embarrassed and bereft but Mirinda thought we might as well wander around given we were there anyway. How fortuitous a decision that was. Not only did we manage to find a few Christmas presents but Mirinda also bought me a pig for my birthday.

It’s handmade with layered clay upon layered clay and a little bit of glaze in the bottom mixed in with a smattering of glass. I think it’s incredibly beautiful. It’s the perfect addition to our Hygge table.

My birthday (salt) pig

Having spent too much money we then headed over to the garden centre to spend some more on five lavender plants. They are to go in the new lavender bed that Gardener Dave (and Sam) created last time they were at the house. We also bought some tulips to go between the bushes to give some Spring interest. Though not the same as the other lavenders (I think they’re Munstead) they are strongly scented which will be brilliant come the summer, especially given my office windows look (and smell) out over them.

Forest Lodge, garden centre

It was then back home where Mirinda took the girls for a walk while I worked out the menu for tomorrow’s Return to Hygge Dinner. At Sophie’s on Friday, she showed me her latest acquisition, the Feasts cookbook by Sabrina Ghayour. Flicking through it I realised how much was actually lo-carb (or could be easily adapted). I logged onto Amazon and purchased a copy which arrived today. Dinner tomorrow will be a bit Persian I’m thinking.

Eventually we headed down to Winchester. While there was a bit of roadworks along the A31, it was pretty much all plain sailing and nothing like driving to Bath. I’ll ignore the rather odd left hand turn that Mirinda suddenly decided to take which she then blamed me for, because driving anywhere in Max is always a treat and delight. Even to Bath.

For dinner we both had the taster menu – five courses of beautiful taste sensations – and I had the different wine per course option. I also had a mojito as an aperitif. (This has now become my pre-dinner drink. I blame the Big Easy for leading me down the rum cocktail path.)

Given it was a special celebration dinner, it was also an NCD which means we don’t have to leave off any form of deliciousness. So we ate the artisan bread and tucked into possibly the most wonderful potato concoction I’ve ever put in my mouth. And, of course, there was dessert.

After dinner we booked for our New Year’s dinner. So, for Denise, this is where you’ll be eating on December 31.

Chesil, Winchester
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