So I realise I’m running a few weeks behind with my blog but I just wanted to write about a weekend I spent a couple of weeks ago celebrating Emily and her upcoming marriage!
Thirteen of us headed up to the beautiful Esk View cottage in Boot in Eskdale. I’d walked past this house lots and lots of times and often wondered what it would be like to stay there with a group of friends and/or family. It is an imposing house set along a popular footpath – near to the centre of the village of Boot. Of course, I am quite partial to this location anyways and was keen to share my “local” knowledge with the rest of the girls.
Calling this grand house a cottage seems a slight undersell – there was enough room to sleep 16, an enormous dining room to fit the same, 2 open fire places and a lounge with comfy sofas a plenty. It was perfect really for the occasion and for the weekend that Emily had in mind.
Friday night started out pretty chilled with pizza and a movie and people arriving up until late into the evening. As I met the rest of Emily’s friends, I found that everyone was really friendly and lovely and I felt happy knowing we were going to have a fun time together over the next couple of days.
Saturday I snuck out early while the rest of the house slept for a little walk along the familiar paths of the River Esk. I enjoyed that a lot – it was a beautiful morning and so quiet. I did miss my walking companions Paul and Stella though… 😉 When I got back, the house was busy with breakfast so I jumped in to add to the mix and made some pancakes. The kitchen stayed quite busy the rest of the morning as some of the girls prepared food for us to eat later on that evening.
Later in the day, we got dressed up and headed to the cafe at Dalegarth train station for afternoon tea. There were sandwiches and scones a plenty – and a little bit of wine too. 🙂 Emily’s sister, Laura, presented Emily with her “hen book” which was a book with contributions from all of us including one of our favourite recipes as well as a letter we’d each written for Emily. That was a nice touch and Emily seemed pleased with that.
It was all change back at the cottage as we donned our murder mystery character outfits for the evening. I was a DJ called “Groove Spinner” which was quite fun. It was really nice the amount of effort everyone had made with their costumes and how “into character” they got. Over the course of our pot luck dinner which consisted of lots of lovely dishes (I was particularly partial to the desserts including Emily’s Rolo cheesecake and Sarah’s Victoria Sponge cupcakes…), our murder mystery played itself out. There was lots of fun interrogation and laughter. And no one guessed who the murderer was – well played Karin!
After dinner we put our pajamas on and there were a few fun games and quizzes for Emily. My favourite was the underwear identification game. We’d all bought Emily a pair of underwear and she had to guess who’d bought her which pair! Incorrect guesses would require drinks to be taken or forfeits to be played. The forfeits were quite funny – e.g. you must sing everything for the next 15 mins, you must not use anyone’s name for the next 10 mins. Emily was a good sport throughout. Energy levels were starting to drop about 2am so we called that bedtime.
The house was slow to come alive on Sunday morning and the general theme of the day was tidying up and getting ready to go with people trickling away over the course of the morning. There was lots of food and drink to re-distribute. At 2pm we closed up the cottage for the last time and left on the journey home. Unfortunately my drive home was less enjoyable then the rest of the weekend with problems on the motorway and my ill-informed decision to take a diversion but I got home in the end.
I’m glad to say that the main objective of the weekend was certainly achieved – that was that Emily enjoyed it. And as a bonus, everyone else seemed to as well.
Next stop – the wedding!