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All the fun...A fabulous birthday week.

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Things I love this week:

Bourne Valley Inn
St Mary Bourne

We were blessed last weekend with the most glorious weather, so Mr GB and I were feeling rather chuffed that we’d booked a night out in the countryside at BVI. We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried. A quick blast down the M3 and we are out of London in a flash enjoying a blissful Bloody Mary and a bowl of tasty soup in glorious sunshine – perfect.

Next stop our hotel for the night, Bourne Valley Inn – we were greeted like old friends by the very hospitable and helpful Joseph who quickly pointed out a beautiful walk so off we went to explore the glorious countryside. I'm a big kid at heart and love the thrill of seeing rabbits in the wild and this walk did not disappoint. We were also treated to pheasants and even a few majestic red kites.  We completed our walk in the idyllic village of St Mary Bourne, a place filled with chocolate box cottages with the lowest hanging thatched roofs I have ever seen. I marveled at the craftsmanship in their creation. 

Back to BVI for drinks and dinner, wow what a dinner. We both opted for the locally shot Venison, apparently paid for by the kitchen in rounds of drinks! There are so many deer running wild in the area they are classed as vermin therefore you are free to shoot them without fear of punishment. We figured this was a great arrangement and as it turned out, a fabulous choice, tender and deeply flavourful with just the right amount of gameness about it.,We selected a rich,smooth bottle of Malbec as the perfect accompaniment and rounded the meal off with a selection of refreshing tangy sorbets.

Well sated and very happy, we retired to our room, no 7. All was clean and comfortable and the bed was truly sumptuous. The room was however rather cold and the heating didn't work but Joseph came quickly to the rescue with a heater which certainly provided the solution. All in all it's a great place to stay and easily escape the city. I would highly recommend BVI for its food and hospitality and look forward to visiting again or going to one of its sister venues, The Epicurean collection.


 Sunday morning and our next stop was Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke Mill, Whitchurch.

Again blessed by perfect March weather, we enjoyed a fun and informative few hours here. My favourite, the botanicals dry room where we got to smell, touch and in some cases taste the ten botanicals that give Bombay Sapphire gin its distinctive flavour. Who knew how amazing the taste of ground liquorice could be!

We got close up to all the botanicals in their natural state in the truly stunning and magnificent Glasshouses.

Our tour ended in the bar with cocktails made to measure based on our personal preferences and very delicious it was too!


Mini GB had a good time too, showing off with the Gin!



Wednesday and it must be Paris!

What an amazing week I’m having, four fun loving birthday girls on a day trip to Paris, just because…. 

An early start and a grumpy fellow passenger who failed to appreciate our joie de vivre was not the greatest start but, c'est la vie. We spent an indulgent day eating, drinking and soaking up the atmosphere despite the cold. A big thank you to all the Parisians we met. Truthfully I was so surprised to find everyone so welcoming – many of my previous experiences of the French have been a little frosty and distinctly inhospitable. Not a bit of it this time, everyone we encountered was chatty and sociable. Is this a new Paris in the face of  adversity? Who knows, but long may it last.

It was certainly an indulgent way to celebrate our Birthdays, I vote for it to become an annual event, who knows where we might go next year!


 Mini GB on tour, a rest by the River Seine!




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