Blackmore Farm is rather more stunning than the name would imply: it is a 15th century manor house, complete with pointy things, dead things and guns on the walls, and a magnificent fireplace with canon balls just lying around in the hearth. They do dinners, but you probably have to book about a year in advance, and have about 25 people coming. They cook food, you bring the wine, and they also provide unlimited puddings!
The village Share Club is fond of it as its annual dinner venue, and we get invited as extra guests as my parents are members. It would have been rude to sit there and sketch, so I did just a bit, but not for too long …so I missed getting some magnificent suits of armour and pikes into any sketches. The poor old deer seems to have been peering down upon proceedings since 1911.
On the way home there was Abba, at too loud a volume, but it was a thousand times preferable to the insane rendition of ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall’ that the minibus driver saw fit to blast out about a half dozen times and say that you could tell [lost in the noise] about passenges at the end of an evening by their reaction to it. I shouted that I was prepared to kill people if it didn’t stop soon. It stopped, though honestly I don’t think he could hear me.