The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is almost upon us with an exciting and varied programme of music, dance, theatre, circus etc from 6th – 21st May. Highlights include Beats and Pieces Big Band, recently awarded European Young Artists Jazz Award 2011, Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra at Gt Yarmouth Hippodrome, John Williams at St Peter Mancroft, Ragroof Tea Dance in the Spiegeltent, Andy Sheppard’s Saxophone Massive at Millenium Plain and there’s much, much more. Visit http://nnf11.nnfestival.org.uk for a full programme of events. We have special Festival Break rates available during the festival, although availability is now limited – to book go to http://www.oldrectorynorwich.com/book-online
Award-winning local brewery Woodforde’s has developed Once Bittern, a new copper-coloured ale with a distinctive aroma of rich spice and citrus. Brewed from a special blend of quality Norfolk ingredients, the beer has hints of sweet malt, fruit and warm spice and a dry finish. ‘Once Bittern’ is widely available in pubs throughout East Anglia and carries a pump clip of a bittern emerging from a reed bed. Bitterns are one of Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s flagship species with 2010 being the most successful for the species since they recolonised the UK in 1911. A penny from every pint sold will be donated to Norfolk Wildlife Trust so we hope all our guests will give it a try if they see it on their travels around the county.
Norwich Cathedral has become home to a pair of peregrine falcons who have not only built a nest but also laid an egg, appropriately on Easter Sunday, on a special nesting platform installed just nine weeks earlier by the Hawk and Owl Trust (with the help of volunteers from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service) on the Cathedral spire. To view the live feed click here http://www.cathedral.org.uk/aboutus/nesting-peregrines-live-feed-of-the-nest.aspx or visit the cathedral to find out the latest.
The weather has been somewhat cooler, and windier this week, but in spite of that all our courgettes have germinated in the Conservatory so they have been potted on before being planted out in a week or so, depending on the forecast. In their place, we’ve sown runner and french beans and banana squash and have also planted out some mature broad bean plants in the veg plot. Can’t wait to pick those!
Out in the garden last weekend we heard a cuckoo calling from somewhere in the woods across the river and we heard it again during an evening stroll around Whitlingham marshes when we also heard chiffchaff and willow or sedge warblers and saw lapwing, little ringed plovers and oystercatchers amongst others. It’s a tad early for cuckoos and chiffchaff but according to the Springwatch team on TV, they have been heard in other parts of the country too, so I am not imagining things.
The new vintage (2010) of our lovely English wine, Chapel Down Vineyards Bacchus, has arrived today – it’s a lovely crisp, fresh and aromatic wine, a perfect English alternative to New World Sauvignon Blanc!
Until next time….