England has so many amazing places to visit. And sometimes those amazing places are just round the corner, you don’t have to travel far. Every time I visit something new, I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy it and remind myself of just how many things we take for granted. Last weekend, despite the rain, my girlfriends and I took off to Kent to pick some last seasonal strawberries at Stanhill Farm (we probably ate more berries than we picked).
It was great to be out in the countryside and wander through the bushes off all those tasty red berries.
It made me think how hard a job it would be to pick raspberries and strawberries all day…
The field of strawberries was so inviting, but at the same time I felt sorry for those lush red berries that won’t be picked up. I wish I could have picked all of them and I hope they are all gone by now.
We were planning to have a little picnic to reward us after all this hard work, but the rain came down harder so we had our lunch in the car. Which was quite cosy. We warmed up and dried out with black tea with lemon and enjoyed camembert with crackers and slightly spicy shallot and pepper chutney from the local farm shop. It was delicious and such a typical picnic selection.
Just a few minutes away from the Stanhill Farm we turned into a steep, narrow and very picturesque road, which took us down the hill to The Hop Shop at Castle Farm. As we were descending, we were greeted by the blue rolling lavender fields. Such a beautiful view.
We then rushed to The Hop Shop to get some of their delicious ice cream and look around.
To wander around the fields, you need to book a tour, but unfortunately we were too late. Instead, we drove to admire the fields from the other side of the farm. A stroll along the river was relaxing and eye pleasing. We trotted one way towards the Roman Villa and the other way – towards the lavender fields. Being all Lithuanian and living in London we really miss the space and vast fields.
The rain stopped and the weather was warm and fresh. It felt like we were in Provence.
Later that evening after an eventful day (including ripping my new trousers) we got back home to have some lovely candlelit dinner at my friends house where we also enjoyed Pimms with our freshly picked strawberries! Nothing more relaxing than a glass of Pimms on a summer’s day.
On Sunday I made a few meringue baskets so I could use up some of those strawberries and raspberries. It was a very labor intensive job, whisking egg whites with sugar. How did those women make meringues before the mixers?
I remember my grandmother whisking batter for cakes with a fork… heads down to all the women who baked cakes without the modern technology!