A Weekend in the Countryside


As much as I love the fast-paced, buzz of London life, sometimes it is nice to escape to the countryside. Luckily my favourite couple ever, recently upped sticks and moved to the sticks taking with them there adorable, if a bit grunty, English bulldog Lola and the newest edition to their family, their gorgeous baby girl Mollie – (remember that amazing baby shower I helped throw). So now I can visit them in the leafy village of West Tytherley whenever the madness of London becomes too much.

english-bulldog-in-the-garden english-bull-dog-playing-in-garden

Having given them a bit of breathing space to settle in to the slower-pace of country life and allow for the onslaught of family visitors to peter out, last weekend finally seemed like the right time to hop on a train, escape the big schmoke and meet their new little lady. Seemingly my timing couldn’t have been more perfect, what with the weatherman predicting a scorcher on both Saturday & Sunday and confirmation that this weekend would also be when the West Tytherley Annual Village Fête would take place! Talk about a hot ticket!

My boyfriend and I arrived at the new family home of Dan & Georgie just before 12pm. This was after a stressful dash to Waterloo where we encountered all the slapstick things that could make you late, a very elderly lady shuffling across the road, a huge delivery lorry reversing, a police road block – it was a comedy skit in the making (although I was definitely not laughing at the time). We made it onto the train by the skin of our teeth. But we made it, that was the main thing and less than 2hours later we were at theirs for the grand tour of the new abode.

After a look around and introductions to the tiniest baby in the world, we decided to head straight to the village fête – I mean, we didn’t want to miss out on anything.

And miss out we did not! There was SO much to see and do! I mean just look….

They had the classic bouncy castle and ice-cream truck.

Sweet Truckbouncy-castle-sponge-bob

Sadly Spongebob and his gang said we were too big for the bouncy castle. Boo, hiss. So we went in search of entertainment for big, grown up people.

Luckily you’re never to big to enjoy a live brass band, this one was blasting out all the classics – making me want to sink 8 pints of local cider and dance wildly in-front of them (on my own), swaying this way and that and sloshing my drink everywhere! Well every village needs it’s idiot, right?

Brass Band at Village Fete

Don’t worry, I decided I wouldn’t. But we did have a pint each of the local cider before moving onto a splash of pimms – my first of the summer!

While enjoying our beverages we noticed some cute little lambies and their Mama im the corner. One of the locals gave us some food to feed them and the lambs were really awesome, wagging their tails like crazy and letting out little “baaaaas”.

Lambs in PenSheep in PenOther animals included two ponies called Beauty & Beast – who were giving rides for £1 a go!

We thought about saddling up but concurred that again we may be too big to enjoy this attraction – pretty sure my feet would have touched the floor.  *sad face*

white-pony pony-rides-at-village-fete

Beast by name and also ahem by nature, showed us his not so weeny weiner shortly after this picture was taken. Which left us sniggering like school-children instead of the home-owning, mortgage paying, parent-being, grown-ups that we are. (I’m looking at you Dan & Georgie!)

Moving on! – We next met some lovely birds, well Hawks to be more specific – this one in particular had a brilliant name.

Hawk at village fete Hawk on mans Arm hawk-on-perchHis name’s ‘Harry’ just in-case your eye sight is failing you. Ohhhh, like my name – see I told you it was brilliant!

And Harry wasn’t just there for show, oh no – he and his pal Errol were also judging the ferret racing.

ferret-racing-timesIMG_20140520_192840

We decided to have a punt, at 50p a go – why not! I chose Ferret Mabel who turned out to be useless. She wouldn’t even go in the tube, let alone attempt to be the first out of it. I think she’d had too much of the local cider and forgot she was a racing ferret.

We also bet on Flossy and Daisy and therefore, typically, Eve won – yup the only one we didn’t bet on. What a bunch of losers eh!

white-ferret-in-cage ferrets-sleeping-in-a-cage ferret-in-a-cage ferrets-in-racing-cages

Thrilling stuffis Ferret Racing!

After the excitement of the race we got some more Pimms and decided to sample something from the BBQ – and it was so tasty that we bought some burgers to take back with us for dinner! Of course the meat was all local too. Brucey bonus!

Burgers and onions on a barbeque Sausages-on-the-bbq close-up-of burger-in-bun man-with-tattoos-eating-burger

That’s the boyfriend tucking in!

half-eaten-burger

To work off the burgers (and hotdogs) we wondered around and played a few games, like find the ladybird, spin the wheel and of course had a go on the Coconut Shy…

coconut-shy boy-throwing-ball a-man-throwing-a-ball

All of which we walked away from empty handed. Luck just wasn’t on our side.

To console ourselves we did some shopping and there was plenty to buy.

Handmade candles…

homemade-candles-for-sale

Flags a plenty…
flags-for-sale

Books and trinkets!

book-of-maps-for-sale

Reindeer hide – although who brings £155 to a small village fête, I don’t know.

Reindeer-Hide

And my favourite, homemade fudge of all different flavours. Stupidly the ones we bought aren’t even in the picture. I chose cookies and cream which was like a white chocolate fudge with Oreo cookies in it and my boyfriend picked out a classic caramel.

homemade-flavoured-fudge

We also plumped for a pot of spicy olives and feta-stuffed peppers. As well as some halloumi and burgers for our own BBQ that night.

olives-for-sale

Stocked up on food and treats for later we had a final wonder around and watched a local have wet sponges thrown at him whilst he was stuck in the stocks. My boyfriend hilariously thought he must have done something bad like getting caught dropping litter in order to have been put in them – bless him, he didn’t realise that the guy had actually volunteered!

man-in-stocks

We also saw a miniature working Steam Engine.

small-steam-engineAnd a man in a very patriotic little number – man-in-union-jack-waistcoat

It was a great afternoon out and such a contrast to life in London. Everyone stopped to talk to their new neighbours, the vicar was there in his summer shorts and dog collar, all the kids were running around, climbing trees and going nuts from too many sweets and ice-cream. And with absolutely no phone signal or wifi It was a real step back from modern life which I thoroughly enjoyed.

We spent the rest of the evening eating food, fudge and drinking wine and awoke the next day feeling refreshed and relaxed. We spent Sunday catching rays in the garden and cuddling the gorgeous Mollie – who is my new favourite baby. We picked up some freshly baked and still warm chocolate and almond croissants for breakfast from the local shop down the road and enjoyed a proper pub lunch at The Black Horse in the afternoon. I had an amazing ploughman’s with enough cheese for all the mice in the world, this of course delighted me no end.

Woman in shorts holding baby

We returned to London a little more rouged than when we left and with the opinion that life in the sticks isn’t so bad. Sure you don’t have everything on your doorstep but what you do have is all you really need. Warm breakfast pastries, mountains of cheese and ferret racing.

How did you spend the first, of hopefullymany, sunny, summer weekends?

Thanks for reading 🙂

Harry x

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