September is my favourite month for many, many reasons.
The end of September always makes me a little sad but but I am always looking forward very much to the next one.
It is filled with lovely things for us:-
It is the month we take our main annual holiday
It is the month of Burghley Horse Trials
It is the month of harvest
It is the month of Sandringham Game Fair
It is a month when we do most of our walking
It is the month when the best fungi appear.
It is the month of Food Festivals across the country. Ludlow being our favourite.
It is the month for Bramble picking & making Jam.
It is the month of Indian Summers when the heat has left the sun but the cold months are not showing themselves yet.
It is the month we got our hound and collected him when he was just 8 weeks old.
And it is the month we got married
It’s about 18 months since I first ‘discovered’ horseboarding. I now follow it on FB and enjoy the odd post from the hard working teams.
I would like to eventually do more to support the sport as I just love it but for now, I remain an enthusiastic spectator.
It is fun, funky and very, very exciting.
I’m not lucky enough to feed my interest in it often but it does’t diminish my enthusiasm.
Today, I got my fix at Sandringham Game Fair and it just gets better and better.
To the uninitiated, it probably just looks like a lot of very fast fun but there is some serious skill involved. There are polo players, championship snow boarders, olympia qualifiers and some very good jockeys.
I know that they perform as often as they can and I also know that they practice hard. There are long days on the road to get to where they need to go and I’m sure they have a wonderful associated social life but there will also be some massive sacrifices.
And they rescue horses!! What’s not to love?
My favourites are still Dead Pigeon but there are some great new teams.
I just love the sport and wish I was still a rider….. I might just think about taking it up!!
On our way home from a few days away, we called in to the sandringham game and country fair.
It is one of a number of similar heritage fairs that are put on across the country and like the burghley game and country fair which we went to in May, it is full of displays of working dogs, raptors, ferret racing and many many interesting stalls to buy this ‘must have’ countryside items.
The idea is that they present some of the old skills and countryside pursuits to generate some interest in these buying arts. some of them can’t be seen easily anywhere else and it is particularly good to have the mall collected in one place, brit chainsaw sculptures, a prospectors camp or the art of building a timber framed house.
We watched the brass bands perform in one ring, the gymkhana teams whizz up and down another, a stunt motorcyclist and then settled down to be entertained by a chap showing you how to work with ferrets as a means to catching rabbit for your tea.
I’m sure that unless you are a bit of a ferret enthusiast, a display of hunting with them would be fun but not necessarily entertaining. This one was though. The gentleman in question was of northern persuasion who was very self deprecating and presented with a very dry sense of humour. He was incredibly funny and had a collection of very cute ferrets.
We had a look at the stalls and JC got some new pigeon decoys to try out and then we headed off home.
It is a lovely way to spend a day wandering around catching the different exhibitions, competitions or displays. The setting is stunning and although the weather was a bit blustery, the sun came out and it was great fun.
We are hoping to go to the Hertfordshire Country Fair at the end of september too.
We checked into our next hotel on friday night and after enjoying a Mojito or two we settled down to enjoy an early dinner.
Titchwell Manor was where we would be based until sunday so we chose to explore close to the village and to walk the beach at Titchwell Marshes. To get access to the beach at Titchwell marshes, you pass through the bird sanctuary which meant wading through dozens and dozens of twitchers who had gathered at the RSPB sanctuary. It is out of season and although many twitchers are retired, there are young twitchers so it isn’t really seasonal. It certainly seemed incredibly busy for a september morning. We discovered that they were there in their droves for the opening of the new award winning Parinder hides and the siting of a Bitten (had we known……) so our quiet walk was somewhat different to what we had expected.
We’ve heard different opinions about Titchwell Manor and I have to say that some of the decor just doesn’t work. As a designer of commercial interiors myself, I can completely understand what they were trying to achieve with the bar areas and some of the rooms but it just wasn’t convincing. There are, however some lovely areas like the gardens, the new conservatory and the extensions in the grounds which are stunning.
The service, food and wine was incredible and it made me wish I was a secret shopper for the AA or Michelin food guides so I could enjoy such superb food all of the time. Compliments to the head chef Ryan Lee who’s food really can be described as ‘absolutely beautiful’ and it was the tastiest food either JC or I have enjoyed in a while.
The produce is all sourced locally (norfolk lamb, norfolk oysters & samphire are just some of the examples), they employ the skills of a forager, have planted an orchard to the back of the grounds and visitors with dogs are asked not to allow their dogs to wee on the herb borders because the herbs are harvested for use in the kitchen.
Breakfast at Titchwell Manor was also lovely (I had Eggs Benedict on Saturday and Smoked Salmon & Scrambled eggs on Sunday whilst JC opted for the benchmark full english breakfast each morning) although I think that The Ship may have had the edge on them regards the Full English breakfast.
On Saturday we met up with my sister, niece and their dogs for a long fun walk along Holkham Beach we were later joined by friends for a quick whistle wetter in the garden house at The Orange Tree before another stunning meal in the restaurant at Titchwell Manor.