Day out in Fordingbridge

Yesterday we woke up early, eager to seize the day and enjoy the sunshine streaming through the curtains (and each other’s company, as I won’t be seeing Tom until Friday now).  Seizing the day must always wait until after breakfast however, so we sizzled bacon, warmed bread, boiled the kettle and enjoyed bacon sandwiches and tea before we layered up in warm jumpers, scooped up the dog and set on our way.  For me, sunny Autumnal days are always for walks in the forest, so we headed to Fordingbridge just north of us as I’d heard there were some nice walking routes nearby.  We had to walk through the high street to get to the walk on the map and it was such a quaint little town with lots of local, small businesses; we saw the Butcher chatting to people outside his shop, a bakery churning out the smell of warm bread and fresh pastries, children pouring out of a fish and chip shop with steaming cones of golden chips and a lovely little bookshop.  The walk started in the local churchyard and then up the Avon Valley Footpath; there was no-one else around and so we enjoyed the silence and the cold, fresh air, edged with the scent of woodsmoke – yellow leaves crunching under our boots and cows in the adjoining fields looking suspiciously back at Bodhi as he poked his nose through their fence.  We saw deep holes inhabited by badgers, shiny red berries that will soon be food for inquisitive robins and streams bubbling under wooden bridges.

gate forest walk

hoodie: rampant sporting: £29 | gilet: joules [old] jeans: cheap monday [old] | wellies: hunter bought from tk maxx [old]
*Sunglasses kindly sent to me by Pret Avoir – I have a separate post coming up on these but if you are a year-round sunglasses wearer like me I highly recommend their site!

Unfortunately, the further we got into the walk, the more the hard ground turned into gloopy mud until the sign for the next part of the walk pointed reluctantly to a boggy field that would have been impossible for us to cross (except for Bodhi, who bounded gleefully through it, spraying dirt and leaves and scaring a family of ducks that had been nesting in a nearby hedge).

We turned back and instead explored some more of Fordingbridge – some of the houses were absolutely beautiful with colourfully painted wooden front doors and ivy and other trailing plants enveloping the front walls.  We bought local ales and ciders in a little shop (Tom bought a box containing eight pints of Doombar!) and then headed to a pub for lunch.  I recently started a list of local restaurants and pubs to visit and I had heard good things about The George Inn, which sits on the River Avon on the bridge into the town.

After warming up and shedding gilets and gloves we ordered lunch – Tom had a BLT and I ordered my favourite; baked camembert, which came with crusty, warm bread and apple chutney.  It was very peaceful eating watching the river roll by and children feeding the ducks on the opposite riverbank.

After lunch we headed home and immediately changed into cosy clothes; fleece-y pajamas, my new cosy slippers and warm jumpers.  We cranked up the heating and flopped onto the sofa, pulling on a blanket and letting Bodhi fall asleep in my lap.  We watched We Need To Talk About Kevin which we rented from Lovefilm. I must say I preferred the book but it was still a good adaptation.

Although we had probably indulged quite enough in one day, I had booked a table at Kitchen Club in Bournemouth in the evening so we headed there for dinner.  Our Taste Card gets us 50% off there so we rather over-ordered; and both had starters and mains before sharing Eton Mess for pudding.  The restaurant has huge windows all along the side so we were able to watch the fireworks whilst eating dinner which was lovely.  We then returned home with full bellies and caught up on X Factor.  Such a perfect day.