Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Weekend - Part 2

After a full day of "commercial" biased mooching on Saturday, Sunday took on an altogether more wholesome, back-to-nature tone.  My parents were after some sloes for their gin so we set off to show them the spots where we'd found plenty the previous year.

We wandered through the village.  My favourite gorgeous blowsy hollyhocks, lupins and roses of Summer have been replaced with an equally colourful display of Autumnal beauty in stunning shades.

Did I mention that we borrowed Molly from next door?

Opposite the church, we veered off down a narrow path heavily carpeted with russet leaves.

Most of us were feeling the after effects of all that birthday cake when we tried to get through the kissing gate!

The big seven (yes, that's seven you know) year old Munchkin has left behind the days when he was scared of climbing over the stiles and now goes at them with gusto!

These residents didn't look too chuffed to see us...

The hedgerows are still full and green, the wildflowers replaced with berries and the spiky heads of ivy.

Somerset is home to many beautiful orchards and this one with its trees groaning with rosy red apples is no exception.

Our appetite whetted, we made haste to the local hostelry where it seemed only fitting to have some local cider.

The sun shone as we made our way back to the cottage. Luckily, the pub is along the way of a fairly circuitous route which means you can enjoy varied scenery both on the way to the pub and then on the way home. There is a fairly steep hill on the way back to  the village but at the summit of the hill, you are rewarded as the beauty of the Somerset levels is revealed before you.  And as if on cue, the sun shone, setting the fields alight with a golden glow...

Sadly, the sloes were not plentiful, many had already shrivelled up, lots of others were too high to reach. Hopefully, the odd bottle might result from these...

That reminds me, we have yet to tuck into last year's harvest. We made a bottle of sloe gin and two bottles of sloe vodka because apparently, it actually tastes better with vodka because you get more of the taste of the fruit, vodka being a "cleaner" tasting spirit. One other tip if you are lucky enough to find some sloes...rather than painstakingly pricking each tough-skinned sloe to release the juice, pop them into the freezer in a sealed plastic bag overnight. When you take them out, the skins will have softened considerably, ready to ooze forth their delicious inky juices into the vodka...


  1. Hi Hen:

    The ripple blanket is crochet not knit, but you can do a similar pattern in knit.

    Glad you like my little man, he's still waiting for his walkies...

    Fab green cushion, by the way.

    Lisa xo
    Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

  2. Stunning views.....what a lovely weekend you all had!

    Never tried Sloe gin or anything like that!


  3. Hi Helen

    What a wonderful walk, and a pub enroute what could be better!


  4. Oh you bring back memeories! I have to admit to clambering over the stiles with gusto as a child.My grandparents lived on the Isle of Wight and we used to go on gorgeous walks!Never tried sloes with my gin-I'm a vodka girl but obviously now I have to give it a whirl : )x

  5. The sloe, plum, damson harvest up here was dismal this year due to a late frost. A pity as I was going to try Damson gin which I've heard is delicious! We've tried Sloe gin and vodka - both have the desired effect! And both look so pretty in shiny class decanters after Christmas lunch!
    The pricking is if you don't wait until after the first frosts to pick them - at least that's what I've always been told - which is why the overnight freezer is a substitute. Lovely lovely photoes. t.xx

  6. What a lovely place you live in Hen. Lovely Pics, the orchard looks really pretty.

    I made Sloe Gin and vodka and haven't tasted it either. I also made elderberry gin which is lurking in the cupboard somewhere. It hasn't been a good year for sloes and damsons, they're not very plentiful this year, last year there were loads here. Anyhow, Its time I was in bed, Night night. xxx Pixie xxx

  7. Gorgous photos - I love living in Somerset. I'm a "country girl" at heart, I originate from Essex!

  8. Wonderful pictures. Make me miss England so much...


  9. I'm really enjoying the stickers!LOL...i was just upstairs with the little one i mind, we were sorting out my many scarves and gloves....4 bags full...hhhmmmm bit of the problem i have!!!hehehe
    We labeled the bags with them....now it all looks neat n pretty!
    I like neat and order!
    Take as many guesses as you like!
    Its all good fun!
    have a good day...anything nice planned?
    Its my half day, so i'm popping to Asda as i've been told there is some Vintage style ruffled blouses in.....think i'll go and check them out!

  10. What a wonderfull walk, and how LOVELY pictures!!

    I wish I could take a walk there too. :)

    kisses from Brazil!

  11. What a wonderfull weather and the landscape ist although beautyfull at you place. It looks a littlebit like the landscape at my hometown.


  12. Lovely pictures, looks like a nice place to look around.

    I am making sloe gin this weekend and really looking forward to having it at Christmas.

  13. What beautiful scenery. I'm originally from Somerset so I felt quite homesick looking at your photos. You've reminded me of the bottle of sloe gin we made last year. It must be lurking at the back of the drinks cupboard. Must remember to drink it!


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