Monday, 3 August 2009

Ladies who lunch

Whilst persuading my friend Penny that she ought really to check whether she would get a state retirement pension, I joked that when she did get her pension, which in my experience there would be one, she could take me out somewhere lovely to celebrate.

It really does pay to check out what pension is due, and to remember for parents that from 1978, for years during which family allowance is claimed, credits are given to the parent to whom the payments were made. Also now only 30 years are needed to receive full pension. Penny was truly surprised and delighted with her arrears and her new pension.

We certainly had to mark this and Penny organised a wonderful day out. Although raining, the drive out to Ettington Park Hotel. The house is interesting and the location stunning. Part of the old church remains in the grounds and they also have some striking cedars.

The exterior is clad with a patchwork of stone, not randomly strewn but decoratively set in layers. The French and Italian Gothic Style reminiscent of John Ruskin, together with the interesting carved stone friezes, made this an interesting though rather strange house.

After a lovely lunch in large Drawing Room with views across the lawns, we sallied forth in the rain, and stopped at Compton Verney. There we had a browse round their shop, and tea and shared cake, before heading home.
Thanks for the treat Penny.

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