I love weekends away with the girls. I love how they’ve evolved from budget, drunken, youth hostelling to slightly more sedate and relaxing affairs as we’ve gotten older!
Pit stop at McArthur Glen Designer Shopping Outlet, Swindon
On the way there the Cardiff contingent stopped in McArthur Glen designer outlet in Swindon, and I was very impressed… We have one nearby at Bridgend but this one seemed a bit more upmarket… And warmer as it’s indoors! We had lovely lunch and juice at Wagamamas and then hit the shops where I bought my first ever leather jacket (biker) from Ted Baker for a bargain £130 (reduced from £345) and a top to go with it! (£35). I spend a lot more money shopping when I’m with these two ladies 😜
Once we finally found our home for the weekend, Friday night we stayed in with pizza, prosecco and rugby in front of the wood burner.
Breakfast at Thyme and Tides, Stockbridge
Saturday morning we all had a full English breakfast at Thyme and Tides in Stockbridge, about 15 mins away. Stockbridge was a very cute little place, one street of shops aimed at the well-heeled locals. Thyme and tides is a very cool deli/coffee shop, and we all really enjoyed their brekkie which tasted like it was all sourced locally. Most of us washed it down with delicious freshly squeezed orange juice… Saturday morning bliss!
Wish I’d gotten a photo for you but was too ravenous 😉
Afternoon shopping in Winchester
From Stockbridge we drove on to Winchester (another 15 mins or so) and spent a lovely (albeit cold) few hours wandering around the shops. It’s a cute, compact cathedral city and seems quite affluent eg high street shops are Mint Velvet and The White Company.
Dinner at the Black Swan, Amport
Saturday night we’d booked a table for dinner at one of two pubs in Amport, the Black Swan.
Early impressions were good, and we all enjoyed our starters (baked Camembert/ beetroot smoked trout/ kedgeree with a Scotch egg) but the main course for a bizarre turn…
When you see chicken kiev with carbonara and wilted spinach on a menu you ignore your instinct that it’s an insane idea, and assume that it’s a gastronomic feast that you wish you’d thought of yourself as it could have made you famous. Unfortunately it was the former, and four of us had fallen for the poor-tasting trap. The other two who’d ordered cod were slightly happier with their meal (which also included the infamous side of spaghetti carbonara)
Still, we ploughed on for desserts and again four of us plumped for the apple and blackberry crumble… How can you get this wrong, right? Wrong! It was best described as ‘warm jam with crumbled biscuit on top’… They obviously hadn’t baked it together, and you had to dig through a deep layer of the ‘crumble’ to get to the fruit. Very bizarre.
Still, the food gave us plenty of lolz and memories!
Sunday lunch at the Red Lion, Clanville
Luckily, Sunday dinner more than made up for our Saturday night dinner. We descended on the nearby Red Lion in Clanville. The dining room was beautiful and airy, it felt like a mix between a cool gastro-pub and nice restaurant. Our waitress was fantastic… And the food was awesome! The six of us all skipped starters and went for the Roast Beef dinner, and every element was faultless! I’ve stolen a picture off my mate for you….
A couple of the girls followed it with delicious-looking sticky toffee pudding, I opted for the white chocolate mousse which was to die for!
And that was our weekend, mixed in with lots of chilling at our amazing house! Happy days, happy memories 😍