This weekend, we celebrated our sixth anniversary. It also marks one year until we tie the knot, because we’ve chosen to get married on our date-versary!
On Friday night, we hit up Chimichanga for dinner along with friends Tessa & Stos. I swear, we’re singlehandedly keeping the Bath branch in business! I had the rib-eye steak and it was TASTY.
Saturday involved Chris taking me for a surprise fancy meal. We got all dressed up and I took the annual Chris & Pipsqueak photo:
Chris and I then posed for one ourselves while Pips jumped behind the lens:
Off we went! The destination ended up being Castle Combe Manor, which is my dream wedding venue (and, sadly, way out of our budget).
I visited Castle Combe on my very first ever trip to England in 2007! It’s the type of place where rich people land their helicopters out front and pop in for tea.
Our meal was amazing, but I’m getting ahead of myself. We started with a cocktail in the bar. I had a cosmo and Chris had a mojito (surprise, surprise).
Even the coasters were gorgeous.
We decided on the 7 course tasting menu and a bottle of Nyetimber (English Champagne), which has a stupid name but actually rivals French Champagne in taste. We’re converted!
First up was an Amuse Bouche which was frothy, tomatoey and had bits of bacon in the bottom.
Next came scallops, which I didn’t photograph because I hate seafood. An extra course for Chris!
After that we had a duck liver paté which had its own piece of delicious (likely deep-fried) toast to accompany it. There were other little tasty bursts on the plate, too: onions, beetroot, carrot purée and more.
After the paté, there was another fish course (turbot, I think?) which Chris insisted wasn’t a “fishy fish” so that I would try it. It tasted pretty fishy. Another bonus course for Chris!
Next, we had lamb with cauliflower risotto. Those cubes on the left were chocolate, which was …interesting. I don’t think it harmonized, but the lamb was to die for.
Pre-dessert was a sorbet and then dessert was a chocolate ice cream.
Overall, the menu was really light. We didn’t leave absolutely stuffed as many tasting menus tend to do, so it was nice to be able to enjoy our coffee and petit fours.
The brilliant menu was totally upstaged by the pianist, though. He was a young (early 20s?) guy who played Beyoncé, Jay-Z & Alicia Keys, Mumford & Sons, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Bryan Adams and more, all in chilled out arrangements well-suited to the atmosphere. We had so much fun guessing the song that we grabbed his business card before heading home!
Sunday morning, we were feeling a little sluggish. It was a nice enough day, so we decided to go and walk around Lacock – also one of the first places that I visited in England back in 2007!
I love Lacock Abbey, and not just because it was used in the Harry Potter films (although that does make it even cooler).
The upper floor of the Abbey was open to the public and we had never been up there before. It was one of those National Trust properties where the volunteers give you the evil eye as though you have touched something or used your camera flash when you actually haven’t. I don’t linger long in places like that, interested as I may be in it.
Before long, we found ourselves in Quintessentially English, a store that usually doubles as home to a black cat (very quintessentially English, if you ask me). The attic is wonky, rustic and filled with all sorts of vintage housewares.
Miraculously, we didn’t buy anything! Instead, we grabbed some Chupa-chups from a bakery and strolled around town.
Eventually, we justified the previous night’s indulgence and headed home for some humble quesadillas and an episode of The Hotel. A weekend well spent!