What would a trip to England be without at least one day devoted to gardens? Not much, that’s what. And that is why on Thursday, after taking it easy on Wednesday, we visited two National Trust gardens.
Weather got quite a bit chillier overnight but we still had blue skies for our perambulations through beauty.
Our first stop was at Wakehurst, Royal Botanical Gardens. This a garden that collects things from around the world for display and study. It isn’t primarily the garden of a lavish country home . . . although lavish (to my eyes) buildings were sighted.
Our second garden was Nymans, which is a stately home and garden and, as such, had a completely different feel. The home suffered a terrible fire in the 1940’s and was not completely restored. Instead, only the first floor was habitable and tourable. It was cozy; one could easily imagine living there. The gardens were wonderful and some of the mixed borders still had an abundance of color.
I have to confess, however, that the highlight of the day had nothing to do with the gardens but with dinner. Judy and Heather had booked a table at The Ginger Pig (uncomfortably close to the “Ginny pig” that some people used to call me) in Hove. They described it as a gastropub and it was fabulous.
I have resolved not to take photos of food on this trip and, so far, I have been true to my resolve. But it was sorely tested at The Ginger Pig.
I will bore you with only one person’s meal, mine:
Prosecco to get the mood bubbly (as if it was needed)
Starter: Steak, ale and Stilton pasty served with roasted red and gold beets, fennel slaw and creme fraiche. I shared with Michael so cut me some slack.
Main: Manchego cheese arancini, ie fried rice balls in the Italian fashion, with artichoke custard and artichoke, fried, stuffed olives and a sherry sorbet.
Instead of a pudding, ie a dessert, I had a savory for finish the meal: Fig with a port and bleu cheese ice cream served with a little bouquet of perfectly dressed rocket, ie arugula, and washed down with a drop of a local elderflower port.
Just entering this in the computer has caused me a bit of overeater’s discomfort. So, a few soothing photos: