Archive for the ‘Romantic Weekends’ Category

Herefordshire Cherries

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

cherries2cherries3cherries1This year’s cherries have been absolutely wonderful. They only have a short season of perhaps a month, but they are worth waiting for, and during those few short weeks, one can stuff oneself to one’s heart’s content. Herefordshire is well-known for its fruit; apples and pears, blackcurrants, strawberries and raspberries, but my favourites must be the cherries. It nearly broke our hearts recently to welcome guests to the cottages who had a delivery from Tesco containing strawberries (from Staffordshire) and cherries (from TURKEY!!) when our lovely county has such fantastic fresh, locally-produced fruit and they were both in season. How could they DO it? Click on the photos to take you through to the VisitHerefordshire website.

The Butchers Arms at Eldersfield

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

butchersarms3butchers-arms1butchersarms2Only accommodating twelve people to dine, The Butchers Arms is nevertheless a fantastic place to eat and you will need to book to make sure of your place. (Lunches are bookings only and it’s advisable to book for dinner.)  There are two rooms, both simply furnished. It is informal, and serving a selection of Real Ales, it is popular with drinkers as well as those who seek it out to eat there, but it’s worth finding. The menu is seasonal, uses the best local ingredients (including wild salmon from the River Wye caught the traditional way) and is prepared daily. Some examples from the menu - Bath chaps with crackling and Bramley sauce (starter), Roasted aged rib of Hereford Beef with roasted potato cake, braised red cabbage and Evesham asparagus, and Baked vanilla and honey cheesecake with pistachio ice cream. Delicious. Click on the photos to take you to the website. To make a reservation, ring 01452 840381.

Croft Castle

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

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The castle, or rather, castellated manor house,  has been a home for nearly 1000 years, with connections going back to 1066 but with Georgian  interiors. There are interesting stories to learn about the Croft family, for example, how they sold the castle in the C18th and then bought it back again in the early C20th. Now looked after by the National Trust, family members still live there. It has woodland, farm and parkland and a walled garden but is particularly well-known for its old trees, Spanish Chestnuts, oaks and beeches, and it is one of the most important sites in North west Europe for veteran trees and dead wood invertebrates. There are events and activities held at the castle and it is also possible to visit Croft Ambrey, an Iron Age hill fort from there. Click on the photos to visit the website.

Bluebells

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

bluebells2bluebells31bluebells1The National Trust is organising bluebell walks at Croft Castle and parkland in the north of the county. This is the time of year to see the unmistakeably English sight of a woodland scene carpeted with the delicately nodding heads of the English bluebell rather than its more showy Spanish cousin. As they are associated with ancient woodland areas, it is likely that any bluebell woods date back to at least 1600 and as we have excellent conditions for bluebells here, it is thought that the UK has between a quarter and a half of all the world’s bluebells.

Westons Cider

Monday, March 28th, 2011

westons_wp1_640x480westons_wp3_640x480westons_wp2_640x480Westons Cider is just a few minutes drive from here and has been making cider for over 130 years. The managing director is the great great grand-daughter of the founder. The company makes ciders and perry from cloudy scrumpy to organic and sparkling vintages, but you will also find a Visitors’ Centre with a courtyard garden, Traditional and Rare Breeds Farm Park, Orchard Walk, Restaurant and Cafe and a Gift and Cider shop, where you can buy your drinks to take away. Only cider apples, with wonderful names like Slack Ma Girdle and Harry Master’s Jersey are used in the manufacture of Weston’s Cider, unlike in other parts of the country where a mixture  of dessert and culinary apples are used. True cider apples contain more tannin and are often smaller than eating apples. They are inedible, but it matters little as they are crushed for their juice. Perry pears are also hard and inedible, with names like Merrylegs, Brandy, Claret and Gin! Westons uses fruit from its 200 acres of orchards and from about 250 local farmers.  It is possible to take a tour of Westons, particularly interesting at harvest time. Click on the pictures to take you to the Westons website.

Hereford Cathedral Choir

Friday, March 18th, 2011

choristersThese four small boys are among the latest in a line of small boys dating back as far as the C13th. Along with the lay clerks (the men of the choir who sing Tenor, Bass and Alto) they provide choral music for the cathedral’s daily services and special occasions. They also broadcast on radio and TV, make recordings for DVD, give concerts and go on international tours. A visit to the cathedral at Evensong is a wonderful opportunity to hear these angelic voices, and tomorrow, March 19th, the boys will be singing Stabat Mater from the Eton Choirbook. The piece was written by John Browne shortly before Henry VIII became king and was recently discussed on Radio 3’s In Tune. Unaccompanied, it is in six parts and is rarely performed. Click on the photo to take you to the cathedral’s website.

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