Jun 15, 2008

Country Estate Strawberries & Late Night Ice Cream

Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy strawberries and ice cream - together or separately - and I have two nice little 'country' stories on these topics I'd like to share with you.

Strawberries At An Irish Ancestral Home
Ballywalter Park (N. Ireland) is the ancestral home of the Mulholland family (Lord Dunleath). Beautiful interiors and an intriguing history draw many visitors (by appointment only) but the estate offers another strong attraction, especially in the summer months - strawberries. Top restaurants and supermarket chains take delivery of a large proportion of the estate's strawberries but from mid/late June to early August there is the opportunity to 'pick your own strawberries'. Strawberries are so important to Ballywalter Park that the current owners have compiled "The Ballywalter Park Strawberry Cook Book". At present, the book is only available from the estate's 'pick your own shop' but if it comes available online I will let you know. Sounds mouth watering!

Late Night Ice Cream & A Grand Party In The Country
Recently a friend of mine was invited to a "very grand" marquee party in Cumbria close to the Scottish Border. It was a combined celebration of birthdays - 19th, 21st and a 50th - so the age group of the "party goers" was quite broad. For the party's theme the hosts chose "Snow and Ice". Bearing in mind this was an early summer event, such a theme was a bold idea. However, the hosts did their homework well and delivered an apparently fabulous party enjoyed by all. The marquee resembled a winter garden and there were even statues (human ones) posing as if in a winter setting. To cap it all - and this is what really appealed to me - an ice cream truck appeared around midnight serving ice cream cones for all the guests! As my friend said "I guess no-one is ever too young or too old for ice cream".

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