a Walnut tree and a Bluebell wood

The final Easter post I promise. But it would be a shame not to mention the bluebells that are out in all their glory at the moment. I also want to mention a very special place near to where I grew up in Wales, that has always been famous for producing wonderful food - the

Walnut Tree

, near Abergavenny. I lived  in Abergavenny until I went to university  and the Walnut Tree has always been a place we went for special occasions, and back when I was little it was owned and run by Franco Taruschio, who created the most divine Italian food from his little kitchen in the middle of nowhere. Now the chef is Shaun Hill, and the food, while totally different, is still absolutely delicious - delicate, locally sourced, both interesting and comforting at the same time. 

On Easter Saturday we skipped breakfast (on account of how much we'd eaten the previous evening), got ourselves spruced up and headed out for a family get together (minus a very important sister of course). My grandma and her partner came along too and we did what we always do on family occasions - ate alot, drank alot, irritated each other a fair amount and laughed about it alot. 

They brought out these tiny spiced kedgeree arancini to whet the appetite.

Then I had a delicious piece of red mullet on a salsa of coriander, tomatoes and spices for starter.

After that I had guinea fowl with the most incredible

 little kiev and fondant potato with bay. 

The other winning dish was halibut with a delicious stew of chickpeas, chorizo and mussels. 

And finally chocolate torte and crumble cheescake to finish. Then a long walk to stretch our legs (and mitigate some of the extreme gorge-fest). My family certainly can eat.

On Monday, before we headed back to London R and I went for a little wander in search of some bluebells. We had heard talk of bluebell woods you see. 

I couldn't resist a quick pic of the amazing anemones in mum's garden. 

We headed down the bridle path....

Hopped over a stile or two, ducked under some overhanging branches....

And there they were. We were a little early in the year, but I'm glad we got to see them anyway, even if they weren't quite a full carpet of blue. 

So quiet and magical being among the bluebells. It gets me every time. 

I wanted to stay there all day long. But we couldn't. So we said bye bye to the bluebells and had to do a quick march homeward. 

And on the way, we saw this little fellow, standing on a tree trunk looking very proud of himself. 

And then more cow parsley. R had to drag me away from it. I was swooning. Maybe I should move to the countryside. I appear to be totally obsessed with wild flowers, trees, hedgerows, baby animals and fresh air at the moment. Ha! 

A brilliant Easter. And now I will shut up about it.