A busy but enjoyable day which started with a visit to Waitrose to stock up for an afternoon tea party in the garden, a belated celebration with Chris and Lizzy as they were unable to join us on Pete's actual birthday.
Inbetween shopping and cooking, I squeezed in a walk round Old Sulehay - what a perfect spring morning! The cold temperatures and lack of rain meant that there had been surprisingly little change since my last visit a fortnight ago. The main differences were the abundance of willow warblers, who have arrived en masse this week, and the declining water levels in the adjacent quarry lake, the water of which looked almost turquoise, which contrasted beautifully with the warm colours of the merging birch leaves. And I saw my first speckled woods of the year, which was followed by a fleeting glimpse of a male orange-tip in the garden later in the afternoon.
Then it was back home to do some cooking. Sarah and Ben were already creating another rhubarb and cardamom frangipane tart, and I then took over making a goat's-cheese and caramelised onion tart, cheddar, sun-dried tomato and caper scones and a lemon drizzle cake. This was added to a few bought goodies to make a rather lovely spread.
C and L arrived at three o'clock and we then sat out on the patio in warm sunshine until about seven, enjoying our first Pimm's of the year, as well as all the food. It was so lovely to relax in good company - lots of chat and laughter as usual!