A weekend in Warwick

There were cupcakes, scones, pots of tea, a gingham lined picnic hamper, gazes over a slowly rolling river and walks around a castle grounds.  It sounds like the ingredients for a Famous Five novel, but it was in fact my weekend before last – a trip to Warwick filled with laughter, lovely people, and lots and lots of cake.

The weekend in Warwick was conceived out of a desperate desire to see Sarah‘s new home, alongside the opportunity to see the Summer Proms at Warwick Castle.  I headed off from work on the Friday, and, after negotiating the winding country roads my sat nav decided to take me in order to find my way out of Christchurch and onto the motorway, which resulted in me getting stuck in a traffic jam caused by a horse sticking its head out into the road, I was on my way and arrived at Sarah’s around half past 6.  Myself, Gem and Sarah V arrived around the same time and decided that Nando’s was the order of the evening, and so we all piled into Sarah’s car and headed into Leamington Spa for plates of chicken (except for me, I only order chips and halloumi).

We stayed up chatting until Char and Alex arrived around midnight – lucky for them we were so full of food from dinner that we hadn’t demolished too much of Sarah’s amazing spread of sweet treats.  There were homemade scones, mini Victoria Sponge cakes, peanut butter cupcakes, cookies and a chocolate orange marble cake, along with sweets, popcorn and heart shaped marshmallows.  Actual heaven.

We drank tea and did some more gossiping before it really was time to retire to bed for our busy Saturday of castle exploring and picknicking.

The next day we awoke to Sarah’s breakfast offering of blueberry muffins and banana loaf cakes.  Seriously, when can I move in? We then went to Warwick for a mooch around (I bought a vintage picnic hamper from a charity shop – to be shared at a later date!), to meet up with the lovely Roisin, and to grab a spot of lunch. We sat, sweltering in a pub beer garden, devouring salads and sandwiches and listening to the bells of St Mary’s Church, before heading to M&S to buy all manner of picnick-y foods and drinks.  The Summer Proms is in the grounds of Warwick Castle and you can bring your own picnic so we well and truly raided the salads, crisps, snacks and drinks aisles to prepare for the evening ahead.

Once back at Sarah’s we had enough time for a spot of tea and cake and to load our wares into coolbags and picnic hampers before heading to the castle.  Our tickets allowed us an afternoon explore before the proms, so we walked around the grounds and into the main hall.  We were greeted by a rather impressive sandcastle of Warwick Castle, cool eh?

We walked around the great hall and the some of the other rooms and attractions before cooling off with a walk by the river and some ice creams.  I haven’t had a Solero for about ten years, but boy, it was good.

photo pinched from alex

After a while we were all flagging in the heat and decided to head back to Sarah’s for some shade and a sit down.  Even though it was 5pm by then my iPhone told me it was a balmy 31 degrees! Yikes!

After a little rest we then loaded up Char’s car with all of our picnic paraphernalia and headed back to the castle.  As we walked into the grounds a Spitfire was zooming overhead and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra were playing Dambusters.  Don’t say we don’t like to make an entrance! We laid out our blankets, cracked open hampers, uncorked bottles of fizz and tucked into our picnics.

I don’t think I quite anticipated how busy it was going to be – the fields were full to the brim with people, lounging in camping chairs, drinking wine and enjoying the sunshine and beautiful music.

It was quite a sight to behold to see everyone waving their flags at ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ – Sarah V gave me an excellent tip which I will now bestow upon your lucky selves, if you don’t know the words you can just sing ‘Land of hope and glory, land of glory and hope’ throughout the song.  Trust me, it fits.  (Got it stuck in your head yet?)

As the sun set, the spotlights strung from the trees were illuminated and we could hear the peacocks calling to each other in the distance.  Sarah is scared of peacocks so we told her it meant they were coming to eat her pesto salad.

For the grand finale they played the can can, and the sky was filled with the most beautiful fireworks.  The whole crowd were dancing and waving flags, wine sloshing everywhere, hats falling off, people gripping onto others’ sunburned shoulders.  The faster the crowd sang and danced, the faster the orchestra played.  It was amazing!

Someone posted a video of the finale on Youtube, it’s worth a watch though you may not have the dedication to watch the whole seven minutes (I didn’t).

At the end of the evening we piled our now empty hampers and cool bags into Char’s car and headed back to Sarah’s.  The next morning I headed home for Bodhi cuddles and lots of chores – very boring compared to the amazing lunch I saw the other ladies tuck into via instagram! Sadly my life since has not contained any cupcakes, heart shaped dishes, picnic blankets or Soleros.  Life just isn’t fair, is it?  I’m not going to gush about how I wish I could spend every weekend laughing and hanging out with as awesome ladies as these as I think it’s speaks for itself just how perfect the weekend was (and just how glum I am that it’s not a more regular occurence!)

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