To celebrate a mate’s 30th a bunch of us ventured en masse into Essex (innit!) to this gorgeous country ‘cottage’ (read: mansion) on an even more gorgeous 17 acre property.
Arriving in the dark we knew White House Farm would be good judging by what we could barely see out our windows – the big grand front gate and the round, wide driveway – but we had to wait until morning to see the true splendour that awaited us.
And what a sight! I woke up with the most amazing view out the window and too many choices of where to begin. The house itself was HUGE, and beautiful, some of it more than 600 years old, with exposed wood, beautiful slanted rooms, high ceilings and wooden floors however the interior decorating left a lot to be desired. I wonder how people with such a lot of money can have such awful, tacky taste.
Kicking the day off with a big brekky and a country walk we explored the property filled with an orchard, forest, huge rolling fields, amazing autumn colours and a massive trout dam that I swear looked JUST like the one at Pemberley in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. As we approached it we were convinced we were about to see Colin Firth get out of the water with his wet white t-shirt and stride on over.
We spent the rest of the afternoon lazing around, playing badminton and table tennis, listening to the lovely Sal sing and play guitar, chatting, reading, watching football, eating and, for most people, drinking.
We felt ever-so-civilised and grown-up having our big home-cooked meals on the long dining table in an actual dining room and generally just enjoyed the fact we were out of London.
As I was still on my diet I had to forgo the abundant alcohol and some of the amazing food which was a shame because it did look pretty lovely to sit and have a drink and breath in the view and the country air, but I stuck with it and was resigned to my soda water or tea the entire weekend. I still thoroughly enjoyed myself what with the beautiful big house, the lovely views and the amazing company… except perhaps on the way home in the car when everyone was hungover and not feeling great. I must admit I did feel slightly virtuous!!
My only two regrets from the weekend were that we didn’t stay longer and that I don’t do it more often.