Belgium Weekend

Last weekend, the lovely Harriet turned 30. To celebrate, we rented a chateau in Belgium – the perfect backdrop for crazy birthday antics and a lazy weekend away.

The accomodation was absolutely breathtaking. Tucked away at the end of a long winding road, le château de Halloy was private and cozy, surrounded by a thick forest of brilliant autumnal trees. The interior was equally stunning, boasting of hard wood floors, antique decor, and a massive communal fireplace. On Friday evening, friends slowly trickled in. Once everyone had arrived, we had a late family dinner which turned into merry drinks by the fire. We stayed up until the early hours, drinking, chatting, and playing impromptu games of hide and seek in the endless chateau corridors.

On Saturday we slept till noon, slowly waking up to the glorious smell of crisp bacon wafting through halls. We groggily made our way down to the kitchen, where we enjoyed a hearty English breakfast of crumpets, sausage, and bacon rolls. Dessert was a generous helping of Advil and coffee. Having gently nursed our hangovers, we decided it was time to venture outside and explore the extensive estate grounds.

The crisp fall air worked wonders, and after only a short while we were wide awake, throwing around a frisbee and jumping in big piles of leaves. We sipped tea, took photos, and wandered around the property.

After a while we decided to get a bit more adventurous and mapped out a good hiking route through the woods.

We exhausted our legs, following trails that twisted and turned, up and into the thick forest.

I have to credit the fabulous Mr. Peter Adams for taking these beautiful photos. I didn’t dare bring my camera along on this crazy weekend, weary of the mad antics that would surely ensue. Luckily, Sir Adams is a brilliant photographer who brought along his equally brilliant camera.

As the sun started to set, we emerged from our jaunt in the woods and retired back to our rooms for a bit of down time. We all wanted to be on top form for the evening – we would be celebrating Harriet’s 30th in style – cocktail style! We were asked to come dressed as a cocktail, and of course bring enough liquid goodness of the same variety to share with the group. There was a buzz of excitement in the halls as people scurried from room to room, dressing and primping for the party. At 9pm sharp we arrived in the dinning hall, dressed to impress and ready to stuff our bellies with a proper English roast.

After we finished our meal, we each whipped up a batch of our chosen cocktail to share with the group. The night was a blur of southern slut, pink lady, strawberry daiquiri, and hot apple pie. We boozed and bantered until the sun came up. An amazing weekend with some truly amazing people!

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