We’re on holiday in the Loire, one of our favourite places. This time we’re staying near Blois, further to the north-east than our normal pitch south of Tours. We’re at a campsite just outside the village of Candé-sur-Beuvron.
On Bank Holiday Sunday, we drove up to Stafford for the very excellent Has Bean Coffee’s open day. I love Has Bean, and currently have two subscriptions on the go. The great thing about the subscriptions is that you get a (normally delightful) surprise as each packet arrives through the post. Even on the rare occasions that I’m not wild about the selection, I learn something about coffee.
Here’s the owner and coffee enthusiast, Stephen Leighton, introducing the day.
We went back to the very excellent Orchard Poultry to buy a few more bantams. Not for breeding, just to supplement our ornamental flock. And, after losing our silkie during last winter, we’ve learnt the lesson that the breeds must not be too tender for cold damp conditions.
Here are our five newcomers, getting accustomed to their new quarters before being integrated with the existing birds.
We spent an enjoyable hour watching a “field to table” demonstration at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. The demo was given by Jose Souto, keen stalker and chef, and Mike Robinson, restaurateur and game enthusiast.
And before going further, if you’re squeamish about butchery, you might want to skip this particular blog entry!
We’d arrived early at the Ragley Hall Game Fair with the intention of looking at air rifles and maybe having a go with a couple that I’d shortlisted. So I was slightly disappointed that none of the airgun manufacturers was there. There was, though, a shooting line at which you could try out a selection of guns for a modest fee. I was particularly keen to try out the FX Wildcat and the Daystate Pulsar. (Notice that airguns, the lowest powered beasts of the shooting world, get the most aggressive names. A big game rifle will be called something much milder like “Safari”.)
Anyway, I had a chance firstly to try the Wildcat. It’s made by FX in Sweden, and has a high reputation. It’s a so-called bullpup configuration, much more compact than a traditional rifle, and allegedly much handier to shoulder and to aim.
So this weekend we went to the Game Fair at Ragley Hall. And it was excellent. Nearly but not quite 100%.
The scale of the show is vast. Here we are just inside one of the entrances looking out over just a fraction of the show. The fishing lake is to the left, and the main bulk of the show ahead and to the right.
Apart from our troubled channel crossings, we had a most lovely weekend in Hamburg. We explored a few places off the beaten track with our expert guide aka our son Philip.
Whilst we waited for him on Friday, we started with a gentle stroll around part of the Alster Lake.