Family holiday, day 1

I can never tire of telling everyone about how fortunate I am with my family. Each and every one, from uncles and aunties to cousins and their children and their grandchildren I treasure as friends as well as relations. As usual we are off on our annual family holiday together, this time to our neighbouring county of Devon which is great for us as it’s only and hour away, but a longer drive for the cousins who live in Cambridgeshire. They were concerned that we might not want to go to Devon as it was so near to us and we knew some of it already… Being with the family is always great fun, and when you’re on holiday you always discover new places even on your doorstep!

There are five families who go, so each takes a turn at cooking on one night; the first night is always sausages and mash which we share the preparation, and the last night is always ham, jackets and left overs.For dessert we each take a cake, plus another sweet things, for example this year is my year for Easter biscuits. I’ve baked three dozen of them and they look jolly fine! I also decided to make a carrot cake this year… I tried one recipe and it was such a disaster that I tried baking a second carrot cake… it doesn’t look much better… has anyone got a foolproof recipe?

Our accommodation this year is in the pretty little village of Bampton.

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We arrived just before three and found my cousin Ruth, partner and dog already there, they had set off at 6 in the morning to make the most of every day of the holiday. The accommodation was an amazing but very cold old place called Duvale Priory; it was great in terms of bedrooms, enough to sleep the 22 of us! It’s always a problem finding somewhere which ahs the right number of rooms, and combinations of rooms, sufficient doubles for the couples  singles and a dorm for the kids.

We entered through a massive door into a fair-sized hall. A doorway to the right took us into a massive sitting room with a huge log-burning stove (which sadly did not work very efficiently) there was a staircase to a suite of rooms just right for the children! Another downstairs bedroom was just right for the dog and its owner.

To the left of the hall was a wonderfully large kitchen, with a huge table, just right for all the food preparation, and just right for lots of people at breakfast time. There was a food prep room with sink, washing machines and loads of storage space and then a dining room with enough room for all of us to sit together for meals. Upstairs on this side of the house was four more bedrooms including ours, and downstairs was a small sitting room and a pool room.

Not long after we arrived, the rest of the family started drawing up on the drive, and soon the house was full of people, cups of tea, noise and laughter! Our holiday has begun!

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