Sunday 4th October

It’s (very) late Sunday night, all the guests are now in bed and I have one last thing to do and that is to write my blog!  The weather was so nice this weekend, so I made sure to take the dogs out for an hour or so each day, enjoying the autumnal colours and the sound of the conkers hitting the ground whilst walking through the woods. 

The last guests to check in this evening have been several times, Claudia visits on an annual basis.  This particular time she has come with her husband but when its with the girlfriends, they shop and see shows!  It’s such fun when Claudia stays at least one evening is spent in chatting around the table sipping a glass or two!. 

As luck would have it, Claudia returns again in four weeks with a group that she plays cards with every month.  She warned me last night that they are all looking forward to meeting me and staying at Parklands – so I have a lot to live up to in a months time.  I have recommended that they book to see ‘Kinky Boots’, one of the newer shows on the block. We discussed a few things and ideas of what else to do when her friends are over.  I said I would arrange to cook supper one evening during their stay and book her tickets for the show if she wished to see it. I don’t mind going that extra mile for guests and especially regulars who I have built up a personal relationship with over the last few years. 

We shared a half bottle of the champagne which I blogged about last Sunday and caught up on each other’s news since the last visit.  It’s so nice to have guests that come to London once or twice a year, its a compliment as much as a social mark on the calendar that I look forward to each time. It’s moments like this that I feel like I have to up my game……

We also had a lovely English couple stay on Saturday night, they were down to see England vs Australia at Twickenham, Chris was green with envy as he had tried to get tickets through various channels, but with no luck. Overall it was a calm weekend – the only annoyance was that someone decided to ring the house in the middle of the night on Saturday at 3.18am to be precise and ask for a room! Worst of all he didn’t even apologise for ringing at such an hour – the cheek! 

Wanting a break from ironing and staring at a computer screen, I decided to put some time aside to do some cooking. I had some beef in the fridge so I decided to reinvent a dish that I had in Morocco several years ago.  It was the most amazing tagine of  beef with prunes. I checked out several recipes on the internet and I put my own twist on it. I must say it was delicious and with a bit of research and my palette on top form I managed to make it taste exactly how I remembered it! (Recipe to be uploaded to Eat, Drink, Source in the next week or so…)

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I also made an apple pie as well as a lemon and almond cake (pictured up top) as the oven was on – thinking of Mary Berry.  Hopefully, That will keep the guests and crew quiet for a couple of days with a cup of coffee for company.  Paul has just collected the dogs from my office, making his way to bed and I think I will sign off as well. Good night! 

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