....Late last year, Mum & Dad booked a long weekend away for the family, by way of a belated birthday getaway for myself. So far away it seemed then, but here we now are, in North Yorkshire, a small hamlet called Thornton Rust, with four days of relaxation ahead.
The Old Goat House was quite literally that. We also had an outbuilding, the Piggery....yep, you guessed it. Mum, Dad, Ruth, Andy & Jude were the Old Goats. Kel and I, the pigs. We arrived on Saturday to dry, but grey weather, but that didn't stop us taking in the breathtaking views across the Dales.
We took in the surroundings before sitting to dinner, where we celebrated my 30th, (again), and also Dad's impending 62nd birthday. With the arrival of a replica Dukes Of Hazzard cake, my 4th birthday party was reprised. I also got a wonderful cooking day out at Billingsgate Market, which will be incredible. Dad snagged tickets to Warhorse, down in London, from Ruth, Andy & I.
Champagne was drunk, dinner eaten, cake & cheese had. A perfect start.
On Sunday we drove over to local village, Hawes, with it's independent shops and the Wensleydale Creamery, where I was in my element, stealing 'taster' cheese cubes of every variety imaginable.
They were even making cheese in the factory too, so we got to see that. We came back home and read the papers before Master of the Grill, Andy, set the BBQ underway, in weather just acceptable to take it. Everything from marinaded lamb, to pancetta wrapped monkfish, alongside blood sausage and more. Not a frozen burger in sight!
The champagne and wine flowed once more, before Andy, Mum, Dad and I set up on Scrabble. Unfortunately, the predictable happened - Dad won out. We ended the night fairly late, watching the precocious talent of Rory McIlroy, take his maiden US Masters title.
On Monday, our last full day, the sun shined. The Dales were lit up in all their glory.
Breakfast al fresco was followed by a trip to and walk around the Aysgarth Falls. It was a non-strenuous walk, but a beautiful one.
We returned home briefly before heading back out to local B&B and restaurant, The Wensleydale Heifer. Famed for its seafood, it really was a meal of brilliant standard. Little Jude even got a complimentary teddy out of it from the proprietor!
Stuffed, we returned back to the cottage to relax for the rest of the afternoon & evening. Still, incredibly, finding time to eat again, (including champagne of course), later in the night.