Another mouse has left the suffragette group. Having noticed that a flock of sheep had strayed from Lidl, she has become Little Bo Mouse and herded them onto the mantelpiece. Before you ask, we inherited the ghastly orange colour.
Yesterday evening Jackie heard an horrific screeching coming from the far end of the garden. This morning, after overnight rain, I discovered feathers scattered over the back drive, demonstrating that a bird of prey had swooped and stripped a pigeon of its gor tex raincoat.
Being a dull, overcast, day, it was not the best to explore the garden of The Mill at Gordleton, but we were very pleased to have been introduced to this establishment by Giles and Jean, and are encouraged to visit the garden in brighter weather. It is open to the general public under the National Gardens Scheme every Monday. As we were lunching in the hotel restaurant we could, of course, have a wander around.
The restaurant is excellent, offering friendly efficient service and superb food, home, or locally, produced. Jackie and I don’t normally eat a large lunch, so we confined ourselves to a ploughman’s lunch with which I drank Ringwood’s Best. A splendid variety of three course meals and good wines would have been available.
Inside and out, the hotel is an art gallery within the grounds of an idyllic garden that has the River Avon running through. There is, as would be expected, a mill race.
Even the gents loo is tastefully appointed.
A wooden horse stands in the vestibule,
and original paintings, like ‘One Last Game’, adorn the walls.
Shelves are filled with tasteful objects,
and the centrepieces of the dining tables are metal sculptures.
After having been greeted by the rear end of a crouching female sculpture,
the building is approached by crossing a bridge over the River Avon.
During our two very rainy years the banks were flooded, washing down sand which offered three white ducks a route to the water.
The garden is scattered with sculptures, such as this blossom tree and gyroscope,
and the metal woman and dragonfly.
The Millings Chandelier, suspended over the river is viewed by humans from another bridge, and by a sculpted swan from the bank.
Close by, a dragon’s head is fixed to a tree,
and a whopping great wasp clings to another.
Through a sculpted secret garden gate,
we are led to glorious seasonal shrubs like this Magnolia Stellata.
This evening, first Becky and Flo, then Mat and Tess arrived to stay over for Easter celebrations. We all dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, mushy peas, pickled onions, and wallies followed by Tess’s moist Chocolate Reese’s brownies. We shared a bottle of Valdepenas Senorio de Canova tempranillo 2013. It would be pointless of me to attempt to detail any of the fast-moving hilarious conversation, which would be a bit like trying to keep track of modern cinema advertisements.