And then there was lunch! It was an incredibly hot day … so getting off our feet was a high priority … a large lunch is not my forte – but I love my food!
|Part of the interior ... we were sitting on this raised platform|
God-daughter wanted to try out the old National Provincial Bank, converted into a bar-restaurant: us oldies concurred! The old bank was built in 1833, but in 1869 was refurbished to the grand Victorian façade of today … Corinthian columns, ceiling-high semi-circled topped windows.
An imposing building then … it still is … but now has a secret story … all contrived around the life of fictional Hettie G Watson, a Victorian botany scholar, whose wealthy father built the bank.
|Our botanist: Hettie G Watson|
It’s very clever – the story brings Hettie to life … albeit she does not, nor did, exist. She appears on walls, the decorations all reflect botanical aspects … there’s a living wall with lots of shrubbery around.
|The private room ... showing which countries of the|
world Hettie has explored and the botanical
specimens she has found.
The space has been divided by Kai Design into a whimsical interior … the imagined world of a Victorian botanist: A botanical library, a boardroom, a dining room, a bar, an Institute of Botanics and a secret emporium.
It feels cozy, yet there’s that expanse of space … we were on the raised platform … there’s a bar, perhaps the original cashier’s counter … Hettie has a board room available for special meetings. While the secret emporium holds bell jars of potions and botanical oils, and where elixirs were served to all of Hettie’s guests.
|The entrance - we were happily|
drawn in ...
The new make-over for this bank as a cocktail bar-cum-dining experience suited us – we weren’t in the cocktail mode – but the food was excellent, as too the service. We even survived a fire alarm having to retire outside for a few minutes …
Well what did we have to eat …
… a Sharing Platter, which we did all tuck into: I chose the vegetable taster: Provencal tomatoes, beetroot hummus, carrot and coriander puree, chickpea cake, pepper spring roll, white bean puree and fresh breads.
Then we had one who desireth The Lost Gold battered fish and chips, minted pea puree and chunky tartare sauce.
While the now graduated student had the Lost and Found Salad: mixed lettuce, pickled vegetables, quinoa, candied beetroot, balsamic tomatoes, and gooey mozzarella balls. She did share the Sharing Platter as we'd agreed ...
|Nearly all mine - this was very very good!|
We were all very happy … ‘cept the little one (young god-daughter) needed a dessert … and who can say no at these times … we tried two of Hettie’s Desserts:
Lemon meringue pie with raspberry ripple ice cream – all (all – nearly!) mine!
Coffee, tea and water followed – then we had to leave to get back to the house to pack up the car and hit the motorway! I sat quietly by … but at one stage I thought there was too much chit-chat going on upstairs and went to do a chase up!!
|The entrance way to the Lost and Found pub|
We did get back by 9.00 pm or so – buying a few odds and ends to snack once we got home … cheeses, salads, and all the bad things – crisps, olives, some cooked meats … we had a hubby to feed too. By then we needed our vino … and enjoyed our very informal supper in the conservatory ... and did no unpacking of the car!
Well that was one of my day’s out during the summer … it was during one of the few days when it was really hot. The final wrap up of the house was done a week later when mother went up for another car load, and littlie stayed up to party and say her goodbyes …
|The Great Wall card I received ... clever isn't it?|
… before jetting off to Beijing, China – where she had a 7 week work placement – yes she’s one bright lady and now writes in Mandarin! Then she had a three – four week travel trip.
Hope you enjoyed our lunch?
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