Wednesday, 12 November 2014

After Festiwool

the celebrations.

Hitchin Stitchin' members celebrated the success of Festiwool at the annual away-weekend.

We returned to Belstead Brook Hotel for a weekend of good company, good food, and a spot of knitting and nattering.

Many of the group's members used the spa and treatment facilities and the pool

Alicia had negotiated another good DBB deal at the hotel.

We were given the same meeting room and private dining room as last year.

We had dinner as a group on both evenings and Philippa provided the wine as a thank-you for the help members of the group had provided during her first venture into running an event.

Starter - roasted tomato and mozarella tart

The food was good, beautifully presented and served efficiently by attentive staff.

Yes, I was The Tart.

Lemon cheesecake

Dessert on the first evening proved to be my downfall - or, it could have been two glasses of white wine, followed by a flute of champagne in my room at a very late hour.

Custom House

After dinner, we were introduced to the interesting places of Ipswich Town by a tour guide, and on Saturday, some members went into Ipswich to see for themselves.

Belstead Brook flows through the hotel grounds

I stayed in the hotel, taking an after-breakfast stroll in the grounds in the lovely sunshine.

Last year, I stayed in one of the ground-floor suites, overlooking the brook - the bay-windowed suite on the right of this photo.

This year, I had one of the single rooms on the second floor. It was very nice, with a 'small double' bed. Unfortunately, there was no bath, just a shower. I really needed a soak after the exertions of the previous few weeks. I couldn't even use the spa as I'd forgotten to pack swimming gear. Things I thought I'd packed (alarm clock, sewing box) were missing. My brain was in a fog of packing and unpacking.

After my stroll, I retired to my room for some solo knitting. It wasn't until after lunch that the group re-assembled in our meeting room.

I took my Swift to the away-weekend as I needed to wind more yarn.

© Philippa Gregory

The second evening, we all dressed for dinner. After the ill-advised participation in all three courses the night before, I skipped the entree and opted for the cheese course instead of dessert.

Reeption Lounge

The only minor criticism I had of the hotel, which has been bought by the MGM group, was that the new wi-fi network was not fully functional. There was only one place where the signal could be seen, and that was outside the Willow Room, next to the bar. Reception staff were unaware of this but summoned a technician at my second compaint. The Boy Raymond explained that the system would be up and running in time for Christmas.

The next social event for Hitchin Stichin' will be our Christmas Coffee Morning at our home venue.