We are spending three days a week in London at the moment. Alan has taken on an interim CEO role for six months and so we are splitting our time between the two lives. One of the things it underlines to us is that Palé is not remote at all. Three hours 15 mins from driving out of Palé we are pulling into Euston – amazing really. Turning that around you can leave Euston on the 5.02pm train, pick up a cab or a car in Chester and be sat in the drawing room with a pre-dinner drink by 8.30pm. You can even stay Sunday night, have an early call and be in work by 9am Monday.
The nights are drawing in and I for one love it. Watching the subtle changes in the trees, the harvests being gathered in, Autumn’s rich bounty is there for all. Misty mornings lend softer light and a nip in the air; it’s a deep breath, a pause in the ebb and flow of the seasons. Chef has been making jam this week and we plan a joint chutney session soon.
I was a teacher for twenty-seven years. This time of year, the start of the new school year, always held a frisson of anticipation and along with it the ubiquitous nature table. In my early years as a teacher, playing conkers was a must, in my later years it was banned as too dangerous – another great from childhood bit the dust unless goggles and protective gloves were worn. I loved this time of year, looking forward to Christmas, planning nativities, ordering glitter, shiny paper and Christmas motif stamps – the tree in my classroom always the biggest and earliest. It’s not that much different here. We have just had a quote to light two of our fir trees permanently; one thirty and one fifty feet tall. Part of me would like to light one of our really tall ones, and make a bid for the tallest lit tree in the UK; not this year perhaps, but maybe eventually. Anyway, the chill in the air sees us talking wood for fires, chimney sweeping and evenings resonant with candle light, fire light and the ambiance that they bring. Palé is beautiful at all times of the year and this is no exception.
It’s also the perfect time of year to think family Sunday lunches. We had one last weekend with Dad, it was delicious. I am biased of course, so here is a quote from a recent Trip Advisor review:
“lunch was superb and the Welsh black beef was utterly gorgeous with delicious vegetables including a sublime cauliflower cheese and amazing beef and red wine gravy. I love a restaurant which gets the details right like the bread, salted butter and crispy roast potatoes which are fluffy inside and a perfect Yorkshire pudding, as small things matter. Puddings were great too with the cardamom parfait with blood orange sorbet being a flavour sensation.”
Our prices haven’t changed and are still a bargain. We will also be continuing our Wednesday house and garden tour lunches for the next few weeks which are also very good value.
The new room, Westminster, is almost ready. Carpets go down next Thursday and our beautiful antiques are coming on Friday. We will spend the weekend dressing the rooms to have them perfect. It will be a couple of weeks before it is totally ready, as we wait for our mirror TVs to be installed and the shutters to be fitted.
Have a lovely weekend.