Last weekend I jumped in a friends car, and headed down to Winchester for a reunion with chums from University. As I mentioned on Monday, this was time that was good for the soul. Lots of being silly, and laughing at things that wouldn’t make sense to you, no matter how hard I tried explaining (sorry, injokes and all that) balanced with life affirming conversations about where we’ve been and where we are going.
After the six hour car journey (helped as always, by good company, spotify and coffee stops) Fiday evening was all about home cooked food, almost a bottle of wine each and catching up on everything since we last saw each other back in August. We woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful crisp November day and headed out into town, for a walk by the river, a spot of shopping, and of course, food.
Isn’t Winchester beautiful? I’d never been before, but I fell in love as it reminded me of a cross between my home town York (which, with the festive season creeping up, I’m missing terribly) and Lancaster which is where we all went to University. We wandered down by the river and up towards the cathedral, where they were setting up ready for the Christmas markets. I couldn’t help it, I got the festive feeling.
Naturally, cake was high on the agenda, so after a quick pub lunch, we headed out to Ginger Two for Tea, which, I was assured was the cream of the abundant coffee shop crop, Winchester had to offer. And it didn’t disappoint. We got lucky and only had to wait a couple of minutes for a table, not something unique to Ginger Two, everywhere in Winchester was heaving and if you are heading there on a weekend in the run up to Christmas be prepared to have to wait wherever you go.
This boutique cafe, had walls laden with wooden plaques and clocks, and a counter heaving with freshly baked cake. Blueberry and Lemon, Courgette and Lime, Red Velvet, Gluten Free Brownies, Scones the size of your face. I bet in some ways you’re glad I didn’t manage to sneak a photo otherwise you’d probably be drooling on the keyboard. I went for a slice of St Clements because personally, I don’t think orange is used enough in cake, but I also tried the blueberry and the red velvet and all were to die for, and my Soya latte was velvety goodness. I would without hesitation recommend you seek out Ginger Two if you’re ever in the area, it really is a lovely spot, and you got the sense that the staff there cared about the place, something which I always think makes the world of difference.
That night we headed out, and despite how respectable we looked, the night ended in cheesey chips, and I think that tells you all you need to know!
Sunday came around, and after we got over the surprise, that we all actually felt fine, we headed out to Mollys Den an antique and vintage emporium just on the outskirts of town. Let me just let those words sink in.
Vintage, antique, emporium.
A place where you could get enough tea cups to host afternoon tea for everyone in Blackburn, furniture, clothes and more specialist items, like a genuine train drivers seat, which we witnessed some one nab for £50, erm, bargain, I think?
Yes I was in heaven, yes I could have bought everything, but I am skint (traveling around Europe , go figure) so saved my pennies, sort of, by only buying an original 60’s dress pattern and a piece of 60’s green material big enough to make said dress out of. If I lived anywhere near this treasure trove my bank account would cry but my home would be perfect. Ellie and Ollie were on the search for the perfect statement mirror, bartering away, while I wandered around, with a growing jealousy of anyone who owns their own home, or even just their own furniture.
And then before I knew it, the weekend was over and we were back in the car. 6 more hours, too many fruit pastels, a sense of deja-vu with Spotify, and yet another motorway coffee stop. It really was a lovely weekend, and I have to say a huge thank you to Ellie and Ollie, who hosted and fed us, but also filled the weekend with all of my favourite things, and didn’t even grumble when I stopped to take a photo every two minutes, and also to Tom, who despite grumbling slightly more about insta-addiction did put up with me as a car companion for 12 hours in total and that is A LOT of out of tune singing for any poor soul to have to listen to.
Blackburn is really going to have to up its game to compete with Winchester, when it comes to my turn to host!
Live life & fill this weekend with your favourite things x