A weekend in Hampshire

Our lovely friends Jack and D invited us to stay with them in D's parents' beautiful house near Petersfield in Hampshire a couple of weekends ago. We spent a very relaxing weekend together, eating lots,summer holiday-planning, playing board games, tramping over sun-streaked January-cold fields and downs.

We wrapped up warm and went for a ramble just as the sun was starting to fade. I love January days like these - bright and cold and slightly fuzzy around the edges. Chilled air catching in the back of your throat, touching your cheeks, leaving you rosy and alert.

Everything looked so beautiful, bathed in misty light, hues of brown and green and black and grey, ice and mud and frozen brambles.

Stark, spare branches and thorns, long afternoon shadows and blurry borders.

Winter sheep, glowing golden, muddy-hooved but bright of eye.

A pit-stop for a tangerine....

And a joyful doggy dance in the last of the evening sun.

Then home for log fires, baths and dinner:)

The next day we headed out again after croissants and coffee. 

We climbed the hill behind the house....

...to find the view!

Then we headed back for sausages and mash. Oh and a piece of cake.

Nigel Slater's beetroot and chocolate cake, and it didn't turn out totally flat, hooray!

The loveliest of weekends. 

My heart is yearning for countryside.