Monday, October 30, 2023

Thirtieth Wedding Anniversary Meal

Penrith, Cumbria. Monday 30-October-2023.

Blimey! Thirty years!! Maybe I'll blog the actual day but for now I'll focus on the celebrations. Started blogging in 2004 so I have info on the last 20 years.

  • 0th (1993). Our honeymoon was in Egypt including a Nile Cruise and a stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, setting for Murder on the Nile.
  • 1st to 9th Anniversaries (1994-2002). We decided not to buy presents but take it in turn to organise mystery weekends away.
    • 1: 1994 - Bath (spa hotel)
    • 2: 1995 - Stratford (RSC production of Romeo & Juliet)
    • 3: 1996 - Matlock Bath (murder mystery weekend)
    • 4: 1997 - Bruges (mussels, fog)
    • 5: 1998 - Bosworth (tanks, trains and battlefields)
    • 6: 1999 - Cotswolds
    • 7: 2000 - London (British Museum, dance at QEH)
    • 8: 2001 - Dublin
    • 9: 2002 - Norfolk (mushroom foray with Peter Jordan)
  • 10th (2003). We did a Nile cruise. We went to Egypt for our honeymoon so that seemed a good way to celebrate 10 years. We visited Cairo which we skipped the previous visit and did the pyramids, the Tutankhamun museum and a second Nile cruise.
    I relaxed the “no presents rule”. Mary's engagement ring was an antique, hand-cut, half carat diamond solitaire. Some months before I had commissioned our local jewellers to source a pair of the same and had them made into earrings. I presented these to Mary on the cruise. Mary, not expecting anything big, gave me a copy of  "The Rough Guide to Egypt". Oh how we laughed!
  • 11th (2004). Celebrations nearly cancelled because of the loss of our cat Oscar but in the end went for a Rare and Fine Wine dinner at BBR.
  • 12th (2005). Puglia with Sandra and May (mother-in-law).
  • 13th (2006). Puglia with a meal at Il Convivio in Osunti.
  • 14th (2007). Puglia and a meal at Ti Amo back in London.
  • 15th (2008). A trip to Casablanca.
  • 16th (2009). South Africa: Paarl and Hermanus.
  • 18th (2011). South Africa: Green Point Cottage, Cape Town.
  • 19th (2012). Padstow fish school and the Horne Section at QEH.
  • 20th (2013). Van Morrison at RAH Blues Festival followed by the Orient Express from London to Venice followed by a stay in Venice. Full report. Pretty special that. 
  • 21st (2014). Robert Cray at RAH Blues festival.
  • 22nd (2015). Neither of us can remember! But we were in Italy for the olive harvest.
  • 23rd (2016). Van Morrison and Jeff Beck at RAH Blues Festival.
  • 24th (2017). COYA Peruvian restaurant in Mayfair.
  • 25th (2018). Holbeck Ghyll weekend.
  • 26th (2019). One of Mary's bucket list items: a box at the RAH for Blues at RAH.
  • 27th (2020). Dog and Gun, Skelton.
  • 28th (2021). Winter Droving 2021, La Casita.
  • 29th (2022). Winter Droving 2022, Michelin starred meal at HRiSHi at Gilpin Hotel.
  • 30th (2023). Three weeks Interrail trip across Europe (blog posts to follow), Winter Droving 2023, Private chef meal at home.

All that said we still have a way to go to match my parents 60th. I'l be 100 when that happens!

When we got married we were two households alike in gadgetry. We had no need of electrical appliances or toast racks; our wedding list included luxuries such as bottles of Chateau Lynch Bages 1989 - the year we met. Our friends could buy as few or as many as they chose; we got up to ten so we bought the last two to complete the case. We are working our way gradually through them. By dint of great restraint we had saved the very last bottle for this anniversary!

This was the menu that Lee proposed for us.

Pickled quail, eggs, smoked trout, baby gem, and celeriac salad.

Pork and smoked chicken terrine, home-made piccalilli and sour dough crackers.

Local pheasant breast stuffed with wild boar and damson, olive and caper crushed new potatoes with a wild mushroom jus.

Panfried supreme of hake, spiced puy lentils, home-made lime pickle and pickled samphire.

Passion fruit meringue pie.

Warm, rhubarb and ginger crumble with almond creme Anglaise.

Altogether a splendid meal to round off a weekend of celebrations.

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