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THE CHRISTMAS LUNCH

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I felt a bit sad writing this, another year over and twelve beautiful lunches with the best friends anyone could ever ask for.  Christmas lunch at BRICKFIELDS in Folkestone, the service was wonderful with our very own waitress, we even had the manager come and ask us if everything was ok at the end.  Then as there was nine of us we got two free bottles of Prosecco, which went down very well, felt a bit sorry for the drivers.

Prawn cocktails were very big, I had the brie and cranberry, then there was the mushrooms, all went down very well.  The main was of course the christmas dinner but many of us had the salmon and I must say it was really lovely.

Dessert was good, I tried the mince-pie cheesecake as never had that before and I liked it, the profiteroles are always a hit especially with Lynda and left on her own she has been known to eat ALL of them!  I will say no more.

As normal we had a lot of laughs and did our secret santa, I am still having trouble getting that right as I put the christmas card in mine so they knew it was me, maybe next year I will get it right!

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Three bottles so we did well and it was very pleasant.  So that’s it for another year, looking forward to the next one and more fun times with THE LADIES THAT LUNCH.

 

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THE LADIES HAD LUNCH AT THE GRAND

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Meeting up with friends on cold winter days will always make you feel good and no matter which one of us has a problem or bit of stress we will put the world to rights with our problem solving skills, we used to be very intelligent women when working you know and as always a lot of laughter.

With views out to sea, impeccable service this restaurant at the front of The Grand, Palm Court is one of the most beautiful places to dine.  I never get tired of going here and could sit for ages just people watching and taking in the view.  I think I may go here to do some editing as I am sure it would make it less boring.

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The lunch club on a Wednesday is one of the best deals you can find in Folkestone and surrounding areas.  For  £9.75 you get two course and a coffee, the table is laid up lovely with linen serviette and free bread rolls!  There is no rush to finish, which is good for us a we do like to chat.  I wish I had taken a photo of the pianist as she played some lovely music for us and it really made the meal so enjoyable and special.

Most had the roast beef or pork but the salmon fish cake and pasta bake were really nice, Corinne had the soup which looked delicious and home-made.  Fresh vegetables are always nice and have far more taste that frozen.

The Tiramisu was the most popular and it was superb, one of the best I have tasted.  Jackie and Lynda normally have problems with their desserts but Lynda was still away and Jackie went for the ice-cream so she played it safe, at one point I thought she was going to say she didn’t like one of the flavours, LOL.

Another month gone by so next time it will be our christmas meal, these monthly outings seem to make the year go very quick but I think we all need and enjoy them as it takes us out and away from what ever is going on.  Our thoughts are with Liz this month and hoping she has better news by December.  Sharon could not make this meal as was attending a funeral so our thoughts were with her that day.

If you are interested in knowing more about The Grand they do a tour of the premises on a Friday afternoon which is full of information and history then ending with a cream tea that is the best.

 

READING THIS BOOK NOW AND LUNCH

I always find it hard to turn off from writing by reading a book so I will have a slow month of book reviews while I am writing for NaNoWriMo.  I checked my total of books read this year and I am on 50 so that’s only 10 away from my target so I should easily do that or maybe overtake 60.  I tend to just put the TV on with a film until I fall asleep, then the timer turns the television off.   I only did about 500 words today as I met Kara for lunch but I am hoping to make up the words over the next few days as I will be chained to the laptop.

LUBENS PIZZA

Lovely hummus and fresh bread to start with and then we shared a pizza as they are very big and it was delicious.  It consisted of chicken, pancetta, roast peppers, red onion, rocket, parmesan and garlic oil, probably one of the best pizza’s I have had.

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I was surprised how busy it was in there so I am pleased it is still going well for them.

We had to have dessert, I went for the new york cheesecake and Kara had the brownie.  It was so nice to just sit and chat as we haven’t done that for ages as she is always working so we decided that once a month we would make the effort and go for lunch.

 

LADIES THAT LUNCH AT BELLA PIZZA, FOLKESTONE

It was that time of the month again and it seemed a very long time for me since I met up with all my friends as we do not meet during September and August I was not well.  We celebrated Carols birthday and she got some lovely presents, the restaurant even put a candle in her dessert.  The lasagna was extremely nice, well everything was and it is all home cooked so you could really taste the difference.  They even make their own bread rolls which were warm and delicious.

We decided where we are going for our Christmas lunch for December, the weeks are going quickly now and it will be here before we know it.  Not that I have done anything towards the celebrations this year yet.

I did very well today and took photos of everything, the desserts were very nice and large portions, the Tiramisu was one of the best I have tasted and you could tell it was homemade by an excellent chef.

 

Another lovely lunch with super friends, was good to catch up with them all, well apart from Liz as she was absent today as not very well.

 

 

JERSEY ZOO – GERALD DURRELL

Did anyone get the answer to my question about what linked Corfu and Jersey?

The answer was Gerald Durrell who as a boy moved to Corfu with his mother and siblings, this was where his love of animals and their protection became so important to him.  He rescued and encouraged breeding of many animals on Corfu.  He had the dream of one day having his own zoo!

As he grew up and travelled the world he wrote many books about the animals he encountered, he was always concerned about the survival and conservation of animals throughout the world.

This zoo in Jersey was the best I had ever been to, the enclosures were large, you could get much closer, so many employees that were all willing to stop and talk about the animals in their care.  The big house looked so elegant, Gerald’s second wife still lives there and often has a walk round and also changes the personal bits in the cabinets about his life in The Gerald Durrell Story area.

The zoo has six keeper talks during the day about the various animals, there is also an education room and film room.

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Another area I thought was a fantastic place to make a bit of money but did not take any looking after was the book return room, you can just drop off books to be put there.  I had a look and there were books from so many authors, there was a box and it cost £1 for a hardback and 50p for soft.  I found a couple of books about Italy so that was my contribution.  Good job I drove my car over there as my boot appears to be getting more bags in it.

So all I have left to show you are the many animals, I took a few pictures so hope you enjoy them.

Love all the colours in this photo below.

If you ever get to go to Jersey then this place is a must and the coffee there is good to.

THE BOTANIC GARDENS, ST CLEMENT, JERSEY


I just love the above picture, what a stunning entrance that would make for any garden and these gardens are beyond magnificent in fact the best I have ever seen.  The Herb Garden situated in the walled medieval area is the largest in the UK.  I attended the free herb garden tour and learnt some great tips also so many herbs that I had not heared of, I  think I might ask for a herb book about what to do with them all for Christmas.  Did you know that mice do not like Mint so plant that around doors especially in the country where you get the field mice coming in for a warm winter.  


This had an amazing smell and I will be using it and trying to grow it.  

Different types of Thyme like orange and lemon, which is well known for healing and supposed to do wonders for a chesty cough, I am liking the thought of mixing the two together in an infusion and trying it out for myself.  I didn’t realise that the Chives I grow are Onion Chives as they have the purple flower the white ones are Garlic Chives but not very strong so a good addition to foods that you just want a very mild flavour.  

INFUSIONS – You will need a pair of tights/stockings or similar and normal porridge oats then break down the Rosemary and put in, then this will be put in the bath for a relaxing soak.

Lemon Verbene, again with the oats, put the infusion in a glass and add prossecco, this tasted like lemon curd and I love that.  


Oregano you can put into oil and use when needed.  Soapwort, you can make soap from and then dry the flowers for arrangements.  Sweet Cicely goes lovely with rhubarb, I can’t wait for next year when I can cut mine and cook it.  Lovage you can put into potatoe salad to get an amazing celery taste but not as strong as the real thing.  Put dried Lavender by your bed to aid sleep.  There is even a Curry plant, this does not smell very strong but goes well in your jar of dried rice before cooking.  

SAGE – You can make a sage gargle which is antibacterial and good for throats.  Mix 2oz of the fresh herb into 1 pint of boiling water then let cool and gargle with this, I will be letting you know if this works.  

I did not realise how many different types of Lavender there are so I have bought some seeds home to try.  The lavender and rose garden is amazing.  

A cute robin wanted to get in on the action.  Our tour guide Jenny had a world of knowledge about all the herbs and really was an outstanding person who managed to answer everything for us.

THE HERB GARDEN CAFE – What a beautiful cafe with out door seating in a wonderful setting.


The prices in this cafe are great in fact the best I have come across during my stay here and being a tourist and you get free wifi!  

I have even bought some Black Butter to try at home also Jersey milk and cream oh and not forgetting the New Potatoes.

The black plants are stunning, I have tried a couple of different ones in my garden but they did not seem to like it but I will be trying again as they look so good. 


I am loving the pink display, I came out with so many ideas for my garden but I am sure they will just stay at ideas for now.  I really liked the daisy looking flowers as you don’t really see Daisy’s growing in lawns anymore.  The two tone tree looked stunning as it all changed colour.

You would need a whole day to see everything here and stop for lunch.  Then a browse round the Gift Shop not forgetting the Rural Life And Country Museum and The Manor House with stables.  The children are catered for with a lovely park also a great game of hide n seek under the weeping willow tree.  


The best bit is if you go at the beginning of your holiday and you wish to go again, you can get a complimentary ticket for free so you can return any time. 

What a good idea to grow your apple trees over the arch, this makes picking them so much easier.  You could do the same with your other trees.  



As you can see there is so much to see and enjoy here, I liked that there were seats everywhere so you could just sit and look at the amazing views in every direction.  

This was the best place for me in Jersey and I loved all of it.  

FAMILY AFFAIR

I took some family who are over from Australia to The Grand Hotel in Folkestone, Kent for a superb cream tea.  They sat us in the best window seat with glorious views over The Leas’s towards France.  As usual the scones were huge and delicious, the tea always tastes better from a tea-pot, the service is wonderful and the ambiance of this hotel is what makes you want to go back again and again.

I feel like we have a very modern family as it is my children’s father and his wife that are here visiting and staying with my girls.  Myself and Jodie decided on The Grand as I keep telling her how nice it is.  The conversation flowed with lots of laughs, his wife Elaine is a lovely person and gets on with everyone, one of the grandchildren described her as being ‘very funny.’  It is nice to see him connecting with all his grandchildren as some he had never seen before, so a wonderful afternoon was had by all of us.  I feel it is such a shame that some families let the bitterness destroy any happy times together as it is always the children that miss out.