It’s been a bit of a mixed old week.
Alan was away in San Francisco from Sunday to Thursday on business. Over the years I have got used to him being away, and truth be told, I don’t much like it. However, I would be a poor wife if I didn’t understand the drive in my husband and support it fully. He will always work, I know how much he loves it.
On Monday the nagging worry began. Guinness virtually stopped eating. I poached chicken and hand fed her, did the same with salmon and coaxed her to eat very little but often.
Tuesday she ate enough for me to feel confident to leave her and the dogs in Georgia’s capable hands to head to London for the Cateys. The Cateys are hospitality awards and very coveted. To be shortlisted is a huge honour, so I took Harry, Sam and Simone up to the awards. We didn’t win, we didn’t expect to, but we had a great time on our road trip, ate too many sweets, and laughed a lot. They were excellent company, thank you guys!!
Wednesday we are back at Palé by mid-afternoon in time to help with the final set-up for our first Evening with Gareth Stevenson. I have mentioned before how very loyal the kitchen team are to Gareth; they cooked from the heart to ensure the food was a triumph, while Gareth introduced each course. He was nervous at first but as the evening wore on his wonderful sense of humour came through and the segments lengthened with some very entertaining anecdotes. Simone produced the wine pairings with some new and sometimes challenging wines, and is a natural showman. It was a great evening, very well attended, some of our guests even changing their plans to ensure they could support him. The first of many to come and definitely the highlight of the week.
Thursday and it’s down to earth with a bang. Nothing I can do will get Guinness to eat and it’s very clear she is losing condition fast. Still coaxing her with a few morsels and a few laps of milk I decided to wait for Alan to return later that day before taking her to the vet. She isn’t in pain and she spent the day dozing in the sun. Alan is joyfully welcomed on his return but one look at Guinness makes it a sombre return.
Friday: the inevitable happens and we said goodbye to her. She was twenty years old and had had the most wonderful life, full of love, full of people, full of the dogs who adored her. She had certainly used up her nine lives. That’s something to celebrate, so we won’t dwell, but goodness, despite four dogs the house feels empty without her. Later, although neither of us really felt like it, Alan and I headed to the Llangollen International Eisteddfod to see Van Morrison – wow, can that man perform! He lifted our spirits, made us sing and had the audience literally dancing in the aisles. This is the first year that Palé has worked with the Eisteddfod and we are very proud to be on the sponsors list. We are already looking forward to this being an ongoing and strengthening relationship.
Just a quick plug here for the house and garden tours: the next is on Thursday. A 3-course set lunch, tea & coffee, house & garden tour @ £30.00 per person. Please note that we require a deposit of £10.00 per person with your booking; this is non-refundable/non-transferable. We advise bringing outdoor footwear and rain-wear in case of inclement weather.
To make your reservation please contact us on 01678 530285 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org