Abbotswell Picnic

On this temperate morning we drove into the forest and picnicked

looking down at distant ponies and cattle in the view from the heights of Abbottswell.

A pony and foal were at home on the moorland beside Holmsley Passage.

Although no rain fell today

many roads were awash after the heavy overnight rain. Vehicles drove through pools at Stuckton, and the ford at Frogham harboured a swift-flowing stream.

This horse-drawn trap must have avoided the roadwater at Stuckton.

Deer dotting the slopes of Blissford Hill appeared to feel happily safe. This gallery is mine; the next

is Jackie’s showing the landscape including the deer and a garden.

The Assistant Photographer also pictured a lone thrush, a trio of hares,

and at North Gorley the same number of donkeys.

Needing to find a local Indian takeaway to replace Red Chilli, we chose to dine this evening at Rokali’s in Ashley in order to check out the food. This turned out to be good decision.

The atmosphere and service was very friendly, the food well cooked and plentiful – in fact ordering both onion bahjis and paratha was a dish too far for us.

We were early enough for Jackie to take interior photographs without worrying about privacy.

Here is the bar and the menu wallet.

We always make the paratha test when visiting a new restaurant. Rokali’s passed this. Real roses embellished each table.

Our shared special rice , onion bahjis, paratha, and salad were all very good. Chutneys were left with us. Shiny perspex studs decorated the chairs.

Jackie enjoyed her steaming ponir shaslick, as did I my prawn Bengal, although the photograph was not in focus. She drank Diet Coke and I drank alcohol free Kingfisher.

We were treated to the music of Bollywood emanating from the kitchen radio.


  1. It sounds like a delightful outing! I’m glad you were able to find another good Indian restaurant. I have two favorite photos today: The landscape right before the ponies and Jackie’s landscape and garden.

  2. The new restaurant looks nice and the food delicious! I’m guessing that Red Chilli is out of business. I love the animals, so cute! ❤️????

  3. I love picnics! 🙂
    YAY, a beautiful new place to dine! The food looks marvelous! I’m so glad you found Rokali’s!
    All awesome photos, Jackie and Derrick! Jackie: Thank you so much for the photos of the bunnies and the donkeys! Those trios brought me such joy!!! ❤️❤️❤️
    (((HUGS))) and ❤️❤️ to both of you!! 🙂

  4. Wonderful images from you both.
    I’m so glad you found a new place to share. On this rainy day, mine was a garden centre breakfast with Lizzy; it was delicious but I’m not sure I can make much of it. You beat my efforts! 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Sue. I’ve added a sentence to the review section.

  5. What a beautiful spring day in the forest with all the animals, Derrick and Jackie! I noted the stand of yellow flag iris. Our are blooming now, too. Your choice of restaurant sounds like a perfect ending to the day. I am glad you found a good one closer to home.

  6. Looks like the perfect place for a picnic and an excellent restaurant. I love Indian food and the elegant presentation. The pony and foal are especially endearing.

    1. A great music choice, Doug. We had Bollywood on the radio 🙂 Thanks very much

      1. I enjoy Bollywood music and movies. The movies remind me of Hollywood musicals in the early days, when people burst into song and dance in spots where there was no logical reason for it to happen.

  7. I haven’t enjoyed a picnic for a long time – you have reminded me to give it a try after winter 🙂 Glad you have found an alternative restaurant to the one that closed down.

  8. You and Jackie were fortunate to enjoy a picnic with a lovely setting and a delicious Indian meal in one day! A bounty of beautiful photos from both of you.

  9. I don’t know which looks more appealing, frolicking in the fields with the animals, or that lovely restaurant. I am always impressed with the small touches, the details that make it lovely.

  10. The yellow flag iris look very happy – luckily they don’t mind being damp! I’m glad your new local passed the paratha test. I had to research what one was and I’m still not sure how it is different from a chapati.

    1. Thank you very much, Susan. The parathas are large, like big flat crisps; chapatis are softer, of smaller diameter, and often accompany a meal in place of rice.

  11. Fortunate to have found a replacement Indian restaurant so quickly. I like that you use paratha as a bell weather. I do something similar at all new (to us) restaurants.

    1. Thanks very much, Sheree. I once sent them back because they were obviously left over from lunch. The rest of the food was excellent.

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