July 2015


Thurs. 13
th. August – Visit to Lux Farm, Rushmere St. Andrew
Cars Green 6.30 or assemble 7.00pm.

July visit - Botanica Nursey, Campsea Ashe. [*]
This remarkable nursery had recovered from the previous week’s storm damage and 25 members arrived at 7.00pm to meet the affable owner John and enjoy his informative conducted tour of the 25 acre site.
If you had to put a label on John it would be ‘ passion for plants’ , his enthusiasm and pride comes over constantly . He grows over 5000 species of trees, shrubs and plants, many of them rare and I was particularly taken by the golden oak, purple ash and rosemary willow.
John has been in business for over thirty years , employs 9 full time staff and also sells roses, perennials grasses and wild flowers. Another great evening visit into the sunny countryside.
[* NB This venue had to be changed at short notice. to Bays Farm, Forward Green, Earl Stonham, Stowmarket, IP14 5HU. Webmaster]

Summer Garden Party
Our summer garden party took place in June and we thank Jenny Hollinger and family for hosting the event. The hot and sunny weather was in stark contrast to last year’s down pour and 35 members were able to enjoy a relaxed afternoon over strawberries, and cream, cakes and tea. A rare chance to relax and enjoy a chat. Our thanks to those who helped with the cakes and on the day.

August visit - Thurs. 13th.August , Lux farm , Rushmere St. Andrew.
For our final visit of the summer we make the short trip to Lux Farm, Playford Rd., Rushmere St. Andrew, IP5 1DA. Lux Farm has been in the Stennet family since 1938 and features an 18th. cent. farmhouse and Aisle barn.Lux is the home of rare breed meats and farm produce. Among the attractions are Bellied Galloway cattle, sheep, geese, game and pigs plus a café and shop with delicatessen and green grocery.
Cars from the Green 6.30 or assemble 7.00pm.

International Dept. Troyes 2015.
Sat 24 May - another busy day beckons and any lingering tiredness evaporates with the bright décor of the breakfast room where at last I have mastered the coffee machines. We head for Pargues and Le Jardin du Priere, classified by the office de tourisme as a ‘jardin remarkeable’ . The garden is adjoined to a 17th. Cent. priory and is lovingly cared for by a lady vet who occupies the priory’s house. Many thought this to be the outstanding garden of the weekend.We spend some time in this tranquil spot before moving on to Chaource where we are booked in for a conducted tour of ‘ le Musee du Fromage’, unique to France.
There is an amazing collection of equipment and unusual objects linked to the artisan cheese and butter making. Chaource cheese is made from cow’s milk and is similar but creamier than camembert. I am intrigued by the coffin like box in which the shepherds used to sleep in the fields to protect them from wolves. Fine for the shepherd but what of the sheep!
From the museum’s past we have a tour of the cheese factory with a tasting and then a chance to purchase cheese and local wines.
Cheese and wined we head to Les Riceys in the champagne route with its picturesque villages, remarkable vineyards and vaulted cellars . The village of Les Riceys is famed for its Rose des Riceys, some dozen champagne houses but only one small café, Caveaudes Riceys, which looks to be overwhelmed by our numbers. Johan, as always, with the lady owner comes to the rescue and finds extra chairs and tables, bread is brought from the local boulangerie and we are catered for.
Our final call of the day is the champagne house of Guy de Forez. The owner arranges a conducted tour before time for tastings and purchases.
With purchases safely stored in the coach’s lockers we make our way back through this gorgeous countryside ( if you are in the area make time for the ‘sur Seine ‘ villages) and Seine valley to the hotel before a final dinner in Troyes.
Sun 25 May - our last breakfast at the excellent Ibis Styles hotel then we just find room for the luggage amongst the plants, champagne, wine and chocs before making for St. Omer where Johan takes us on a walking tour of the municipal gardens before Pat is literally carried into the town centre like some Roman centurian.
We have a light lunch before making for the patisseries where we resist the temptation to buy the local delicacy, snail brioche! Some visit the cathedral where the choir are recording.
We then make tracks to Calais where we say fond farewells to our dear friends Johan and Ria, so essential to the success of these trips.
This year we have no problems at the tunnel and in no time we are at Kirton. It seems ages since we left, perhaps it’s the advert for the Christmas bazaar which greets us at the green. The coach is soon unloaded and we say our farewells to driver Brian.
Our thanks to Jo, Martyn and Alma for yet another successful tour and they thank the members for the generous dinner voucher.

Next month if there is space news from the sweltering plots.

Roy Mallett 616

Made in RapidWeaver