I dropped Tom off at the station on Friday night, but I only had an empty house for a few moments as Char's little Fiat 500 rolled up outside and out popped Sarah and Char. Friday night was spent gossiping, eating popcorn and crisps (the diet is on hold!) and generally catching up.
On Saturday morning I took the ladies to my favourite breakfast spot in Christchurch, Cheese and Alfie's. After undertaking a low carb diet for the last few weeks I'm sure my body almost went into shock at that giant piece of doorstep bread! We ordered eggs, oozing with their yummy hollandaise sauce - I had eggs blackstone (with bacon), Char had eggs florentine (spinach) and Sarah had another favourite of mine, Pan Haggerty (potatoes, eggs and bacon). All served with big pots of tea in their lovely teapots. We are egging (ha!) Char on to do some more instagramming, so here she is getting into the swing of things...
After mooching around Christchurch, having a quick nose at the dresses in Kiki's Boutique and entertaining my need to look for books in charity shops, we headed off for a quick drive around the forest. We stopped in Burley, a favourite little village of mine. The one thing I love about the New Forest is that you never quite know what you're going to come across next - this time there were a huge herd of deer in the 'car park' (a big field). I don't know why I was surprised as also in the car park lives an arthritic goat, some more goats and some geese.
The car park is protected by a cattle-grid or it would be full of horses too - they roam freely in the New Forest but there are always lots in Burley. This bin offers a stark warning that they've already had their weekly game of 'kick and bite the tourist'.
I'm not surprised really considering some of the ridiulous behaviour you see from people around the horses. We saw a man trying to park in a car parking space with a horse in it by putting his indicator on and waiting patiently for it to move out of the way. Hmm.
I think the reason so many horses and ponies congregate in Burley is that it has the best fudge shop in all the land (lots of wasps hang out there too for the same reason). I dragged Sarah and Char in to try their wares - unfortunately they had a 'buy two lots of 200g bags and get the third free' offer on so we came away with 600g of fudge each - it was a necessity. Their Maltesers fudge is not to be missed. Char was not so convinced by the lavender ice on the top right.
Along with fudge, Burley has some lovely little tearooms. We popped in one for a rest - eating fudge really does tire you out. Sarah had a very instagrammable pink hot chocolate...
After that we headed home to put our feet up and give Bodhi some cuddles. It wasn't long though before we headed out for dinner. We went to a lovely little country pub round the corner from me called The Lamb Inn. I had a chicken burger - I have definitely missed eating chips over the last few weeks though I must admit I couldn't quite finish them all!
After dinner it was back home for PJ time. With some comfy PJs and slippers on we tucked into the rest of our fudge and lolled on the sofas, navigating around my new Blu Ray Player (exciting purchase of the week!) to find a film to watch. We ended up watching Side Effects which was quite good actually, though I must admit I fell asleep for a section of the middle bit, I picked it up near the end though!
This morning we started the day with croissants and bacon sandwiches (one or the other - I know it's been a bit of a foodfest but I'm not that bad!) and then blasted away the cobwebs by taking Bodhi for a walk in Brockenhurst. It's been really warm today so despite how desperate I am to wear my new winter coat it was nice that it was so mild (not even a cardigan, walking on the wild side!)
After our walk we headed to Rosie Lea's Tea Rooms for some afternoon tea. We had Bodhi so we had to sit outside on a rather wonky table, Char nearly ended up with most of the cakes in her lap!
Their Royal-Tea comes with sandwiches, scones, jam and cream and a selection of their homemade cakes. (Along with three pots of tea!) Needless to say we were fit to burst by the time we'd finished (and there was lots left over). Some of the locals offered to help us finish it though....
Bodhi told them he had first dibs on the leftover Vicky Sponge and it all got a bit rowdy for a minute to we had to hop off home. It was a slow journey home due to all the various wildlife in the road (lots of marathon runners and some Shetland ponies - they were a long way from home!)
Sarah and Char headed off this afternoon and the house is quiet again but for Bodhi's occasional snort from the rug where he's doggy-dreaming. All that remains for me to do is finish all of that fudge!