05 May 2012

A Friend's Birthday

For my friend's 80th birthday I took her for a meal in the restaurant at the New Hall Hotel. The  picture above shows the moat and modified drawbridge. The one below is a side view of the building, you can see the moat that runs all round. 

Judy and I go back a long way. Almost twenty years ago she was my deputy when I was Chairman of Publications at the WI and later she was again my deputy when I was County Chairman. We've been friends ever since. These days she is more active than me, still with the County Federation, still assisting everyone in sight. She does everything, from offering advice to actively doing the jobs that others should do, yet she is the one that other people should help ... if she would allow it. My friend is disabled, you see. Because of severe burns and various problems she had both legs amputated when she was a young girl, I think she was about eleven at the time. Now she is surrounded by healthy women who complain about this, that and the other but who rely on this admirable woman to get things done. She didn't get the British Empire Medal for nothing. We, all of us, love her to bits. 

Since we were eating at lunch time the New Hall didn't offer an a la carte menu but that didn't matter because whatever is eaten there is first class. After a potato and chicken gnocchi (sorry no picture) served with home baked bread we moved on to gammon with spinach, duck egg, and chips. It wasn't the everyday grilled gammon, it was carved from the joint; beautifully tender and juicy, as meat should be. I've never had gammon with spinach before but I would definitely have it again. To follow we had the orange pannacotta which was to die for. 

Now Judy is off on a cruise to celebrate her birthday. I just know she'll have a wonderful time.

Happy Birthday, Judy.


  1. Oh Happy Birthday to Judy!

    The place you took her looks very nice. I wonder how they look after a moat?

  2. Happy Birthday to your friend.

    The food looks delicious.

  3. oh i bet she will have a wonderful time on the cruise...what a delicious looking meal too....happy birthday to her

  4. oh i bet she will have a wonderful time on the cruise...what a delicious looking meal too....happy birthday to her

  5. Happy Birthday to your friend...
    she sounds absolutely remarkable.!!

    Love all the photos... quite a feast
    .. those food ones have me scrambling to the kitchen......

    Happy weekend Val !!

  6. My goodness - she sound like a wonderful person! The food looks so GOOD!!

  7. Thank you all for your birthday greetings. I will pass them on when Judy returns from her cruise.

    Martha, The moat is full of fish and water plants which, I believe, help to keep the water pure. Other than that, I don't know!

    Pearl, it was, as always, delicious.

    Brian, I've done that particular cruise so I know she will enjoy it.

    Faye, she is remarkable.


    OMG, Valerie, what an amazingly inspiring lady Judy is! I was so touched reading this post.

    "She didn't get the British Empire Medal for nothing."

    You GO, Judy!

    And what a glorious restaurant that is - great atmosphere!

    And the food looks and sounds heavenly!

    Glad you had a wonderful meal with your friend. Wishing Judy a lovely time on her trip!

    Happy Saturday, dear lady....X

  9. Good afternoon, Ron, thank you for your lovely comment. Judy will be thrilled when I pass the birthday greetings on to her. She is an amazing lady, and recognised by the BEM too which proves it.

  10. What an inspiring and delightful woman she sounds. I am sure she loved the feeling of being so appreciated - not to mention that delicious looking meal.

  11. What a wonderful meal for your friends birthday. Especially when you can eat it in your very own castle protected by a moat. Great post.

  12. Happy Birthday Judy. You salt of the earth, wonderful woman!

  13. A very happy belated birthday to Judy!! Enjoy your travel!
    I love happy stories like this. We need more of them in everyday life.

    Have a nice Sunday

  14. Well, bless her soul-- I hope she has a grand birthday and a well deserved cruise.

    Wow that was some fancy meal--and the setting is just.....WOW!!

  15. Judy sounds like a wonderful person and a great choice to have as a friend.

    That restaurant is gorgeous; the ambiance is wonderful!


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