Hurray, it’s Pollards UK!

Sunday saw me heading out of London to have lunch with the family of two of my closest friends in LA. I was off to glorious Basingstoke which boasts the tallest building between London and New York!

Arriving in Basingstoke I was greeted by a welcoming committee who whisked me off to nearby Winchester for a wander through town and lunch in a really nice pub, The Wykeham Arms.

Family photo outside the Wykeham Arms
The menu was quite a challenge simply because so many things sounded delicious. The highlight (which sadly I didn’t order but did taste) was an incredible pea and wild garlic soup, the flavour of the peas was intense and I’m tempted to try and make it myself, if only I had a blender.

After a long debate, I finally settled on the perfectly cooked fish and chips served with crushed peas and tartar sauce. The duck and the pollock also looked spectacular. Combined with animated conversation and plenty of good-natured teasing, it was a lovely Sunday lunch and reminded me of being with my own family, mostly because of the teasing!

I insisted on taking a family photo outside. Most people on my blog remain anonymous, however with a family trait of bendy little fingers, while I will try to protect their identities, there’s only so much I can do!

The genetic bendy little finger

After lunch we went for a stroll around Winchester, on the tour I picked up a few bits of trivia such as Winchester was the former capital city of England before London. Who knew? Well, lots of people apparently. With my interest piqued, I looked Winchester up on Wikipedia. 

Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum. I’m a big fan of the Romans, those industrious chaps who did lots of things like building roads, diverting rivers, designing sewers and constructing walls. They did a nice job on the river in Winchester.

The River Itchen, Winchester

The impressive cathedral was begun in 1079 with construction continuing over several centuries. Due to waterlogged foundations and starting to sink, the cathedral was saved in the early twentieth century by a single diver who worked in total darkness for six years in depths of twenty feet. A bit obsessive but job well done! It’s one of the largest cathedrals in England and is a fantastic structure with its flying buttresses. 

Not Sinking, Winchester Cathedral

It was starting to get chilly and therefore time to head back to Basingstoke for a cup of tea and a tour of the allotment. The allotment was impressive to say the least (and I’m not just saying that). I have never had much success growing vegetables and am in awe of those who can. 

Now that’s an allotment!
Armed with a bag of home grown rhubarb which I was assured would ensnare an eligible gentleman on the train back to London, I said my goodbyes. It had been a lovely day out in Hampshire. I’d enjoyed seeing friends who felt like old friends, discovering new places and tasting that pea soup.

I will just add that the rhubarb didn’t do its job despite me leaving an alluring stalk peeping out of the Sainsbury’s bag, so I won’t be employing that tactic in central London.

Or will I?

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