Saturday, July 5, 2008

Langdon Hall - Day 2

I don't sleep well in new environments even ones as luxurious as Langdon Hall. Last night was no exception despite the comfortable king size bed and the tomb like darkness which is my preferred mode of sleep!

Like my mother whom I am rapidly resembling, I was awake much too early, for no visible purpose, but was able to hold off and lay in bed until 8.00 a.m. I left R in bed and went with newspaper, books and journal in hand to the white veranda on the north side of the mansion. It has big white patio chairs that you can snuggle up on to. Everyone seemed asleep then, few guests running around. It felt wonderful, peaceful, warm but not humid. The weather was perfect. What more could a girl ask for? I worked on this blog entry and read my books.

When R woke we had breakfast in the courtyard besides a pool of small fish, bull frogs and water lilies. The food is great but so rich - we need to slow down and eat in moderation Ikeep saying ...

I rushed off for my spa treatment. The spa is located in the building known as The Cloisters which is also used for guest rooms. Afterwards we raced off to the Stratford Festival, which is 45 minutes away, to see a production of Cabaret. I knew this was one of the few musicals that R would consent to see and we were not disappointed (more on that anon in a future blog).

R saw Simon Callow traipsing down the street and I saw Brian Dennehy (both in productions at Stratford currently).

Once many years ago, I used to say to R that I wanted to retire in Stratford. It's a pretty town with its Victorian houses and the swans, the Thames, the proximity to the theatres. Now, I think, not so much. Outside the confines of the theatre venues, I find the people oddly unfriendly and closed off the way small town people can sometimes be. And I think ... do I want to be the only Italian girl is a sea of WASPs? And R, much wiser than me in many areas, had already vetoed the idea. He's right, I don't want us to be seen as the outsiders, the bi-racial couple from Toronto for the rest of my short life in a small town.

When we returned to Langdon Hall in the late afternoon there was a wedding shoot in progress in the courtyard. R overheard that the groom was from Stoney Creek, where my mother and brother live. Later, we saw them, a very photogenic couple - he, handsome, black haired, in a dark suit; she in a beautiful cream coloured summer dress with a lovely smile and gorgeous, dark hair - holding hands, smiling and sweetly walking the grounds of the estate.

Time for dinner, time for moderation, I caution R! I kept it simple. I ordered the Deerfield Greens as an appetizer with, and I quote: "Shaved Crudités, Late Harvest Vinaigrette, Smoked Cashews, Powdered Goats Cheese, Flowers" and then the Pacific Halibut with Confit Lemon Crust accompanied by small perfectly cooked raviolis in a delicate sauce (R's choice yesterday).

I am rarely in a position where I am tempted to skip dessert but here I wanted to because everything is so rich that my system has started to rebel somewhat. I only ate half of something called a "Hazelnut" with nougatine(?), praline cream and caramel ice cream. Delicious but overwhelming.

I am saturated with this food. It makes it easy to skip lunch which is not part of our package.

After dinner we strolled around the grounds, clip clopping in my black mules over the grass and the gravel, walking to the pool, through the vegetable garden, the croquet lawn. I wish we could stay longer.

We went back to our room and happily crashed. It was a great day!

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