We set off at 8.30 a.m. on Friday 21st July – temperatures already well into the 70s – in the capable hands of our driver, Andy from Simonds Travel on our trip to Cheshire. Fearing a hot and sweaty journey, we were pleasantly surprised by the very efficient air-conditioning and made our first stop at the services somewhere in the Fens (the name of which now escapes me) but which serves huge slices of cake (enough to feed at least 2 or 3 people) and mugs of tea and coffee. The next leg of the journey was rather slow going due to roadworks, but we finally arrived in Buxton for a late lunch and a chance to look around. Then through beautiful countryside we continued to our hotel, Hollin Hall, near Kerridge arriving around 5 p.m. where a wedding party was in full flow. The rooms were spacious and well-appointed, if rather hot, and we all met up in the conservatory dining room (thankfully air-conditioned) for dinner at 7.30. The food was good, and the service prompt and friendly, and we were able to continuing watching the progress of the wedding party from the window – so unexpected entertainment thrown in!
On Saturday morning (promising to be another scorcher but with the threat of thundery showers) we set off in our coach for the first drop off at the Tatton Park Flower Show, and the remainder of the party went on to spend a day in Chester. In the event, umbrellas were only needed briefly in Chester, and only at Tatton Park to keep the sun off. A rather tired but happy group arrived back at the hotel for dinner, with wedding no. 2 in progress (bets had been placed on the coach on the colour of the bridesmaids' dresses at this wedding – we were all wrong! They were almost the same dusty pink as the day before.)
A later start on Sunday morning gave us time to linger over breakfast (an excellent choice of cereals, fruit, croissants, waffles, muffins etc. plus a full cooked breakfast) before setting off on our travels through more stunning scenery to the Denby Pottery Visitors Centre. After lunch there, we set off on our journey back to Norwich.
All in all, a successful weekend trip – good hotel, good food, great Flower Show and visit to Chester and the Denby Pottery, and last but not least, good company.
Val Striker, Social Committee