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November 18th 2006
Published: November 21st 2006
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The ResidenceThe ResidenceThe Residence

The Residence (our home for the weekend), the view and croquet in the grounds
that a weekend away in the country makes food taste better and sleep sounder (apologies JA). I promise that will be the only Jane Austen reference - I spent the weekend with some Austen haters so the trip was remarkably Austen free). As you may be able to guess, I spent the recent weekend in Bath.

The trip was organised in honour of Hilly’s 30th birthday and 15 of us descended on ‘The Residence’ for the celebrations. We had the entire place to ourselves, which was fabulous.

Although the purpose of the weekend was to hang out with the birthday boy, we did manage to check out some of the sights of the city of Bath,: notably the Avon River (which, although spanned by the lovely Pulteney Bridge - which has these cool shops along its length, only a metre deep - looked kind of gross, covered as it was with spume); the Cathedral (actually - it’s called the Abbey); the Circus and the Royal Crescent. Did not go to the Baths this time, but maybe next time.

The Residence was lovely. We arrived to a delicious buffet lunch, played croquet in the grounds, followed by a walk around the lovely streets of Bath and then some time in the steam room (ahhh, it’s a tough life…). We then dressed for dinner (Hilly loves a black tie event - as do I - have never met a bloke who doesn’t look great in a tux) and adjourned for pre-dinner drinks in Hilly’s ‘Emperor Suite’ - the best room in the house. After snacks and champers, we held the ‘great gift opening’. As Hilly was one of the last people on the planet without an iPod, we remedied that situation and also gave him a very snazzy ‘does everything’ GPS, stopwatch, heart monitoring etc etc.

We then descended for dinner (was a great idea to eat where we were staying - no need to go out in the cold, and a VERY easy stumble home, after a stint in the bar of course). Great food, great conversation, great wine and (for me) three desserts - it does not get any better than that! (Come on - one was a cheese plate and one was a piece of birthday cake, but still all good.) It was great to see how all 15 of us got on, even though many of us had only met for the first time that weekend. It might have been helped by a certain commonality (no - while there were many lawyers, it was not that), it was more a name thing. Of the 15 of us, there were three Bens, two Andrews and two Annas (almost made me want to change my name…..).

We then headed to the bar for a bit of a boogie - Hilly really cut it up on the dance floor and I realised that Cognac was not the drink for me (actually - I think I had already realized that - but now I know for sure).

The big fry up breakfast provided by The Residence helped with the sore heads the next morning (thank goodness). We then headed out for a walk (Hilly and his posse take on the town) which quickly turned into a search for tea and scones in the brisk wind. Hmmm, if it sounds like the weekend was all about food, you have pretty much got the right idea! Mooched around, and then headed back to London, exhausted from the stress of all that relaxation (I am not going to mention how we watched Ireland beat the Aussies in the Rugby..).

Happy birthday Hilly!!!

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30th November 2006

You are wearing the dress!!!
Love it.

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