Just enjoyed a great family weekend in celebration of my step-mother Sheila’s 60th birthday. The venue was the West Lodge Park Hotel, just outside London in the Hertfordshire green belt. This is a very nice four star hotel, set in its own grounds. Although this is a long way from Evesham where my parents live, most family and friends live in London and the home counties, so it was as convenient a location as any – for us it was a 30 minute journey up the Piccadilly line to Cockfosters, then a short distance by minicab. We had an evening meal on Saturday with those staying overnight but the main party was a lunchtime reception on Sunday. Good food in a very pleasant setting.
It’s been quite a while since I saw some of our family, particularly the younger generation and it was good to catch up with what everybody is doing. Ironically I see some of my own relations less often than Mary Ann’s in the Philippines – mainly because Mary Ann’s family have a regular reunion every three years. Like many British families, we only get together on special occasions.
I posted more pictures as a Facebook album, some of the celebration, some taken around the grounds of the hotel.
On a side note, I was interested to discover that the Beale family who own the hotel have a Holloway connection. The walls of the hotel were adorned with memorabilia of Beale’s Restaurant, which was a catering business on Holloway Road, with a restaurant, banqueting suite, provisions store and bakery (described as being ‘rather like a suburban Fortnum and Mason’) in an ornately Gothic five-storey building. Beale’s was sold and the building demolished in 1969, replaced by one of the ugliest buildings on Holloway Road, presently a branch of Argos. There is a history and old photographs on the website of the Beale’s Hotel Group.