As you are aware from earlier posts my Mum got married back in December. We were all rather stumped as to what gift we should buy her and her squeeze. Once you get to a certain age you have generally acquired all of the household accoutrements you can feasibly use. Lately we have tended to buy ‘experiential’ gifts – a theatre visit, cinema tickets, weekend in London.
We we felt like we needed something special that they would both enjoy and my sister came up with the idea of a trip on the Mid Hants. Railway or The Watercress Line. The Watercress Line is in Hampshire and is a heritage railway. It was saved by a group of committed volunteers in 1973 and they reopened it as a visitor attraction in 1977. It’s a not for profit organisation, and all the money you spend goes back in to the railway.
We booked the Countryman Sunday dining train which entitled us to a 3.5 hr trip, and the chance to sit back and enjoy a 4 course lunch. We arrived in plenty of time – mostly because I was dying to take Brief Encounter-esque photos!
My my brother commented that it was like having a wedding photographer onboard! I couldn’t help it – the steam and the beautiful train was so atmospheric.
We were were welcomed onboard by the friendly volunteers. We had lots of banter and Mum was given a lovely bouquet of flowers as I’d stated on our booking form that our trip was to celebrate a wedding.
The he food was lovely – gorgeous soup to start, then roast beef for the carnivores and I was given a lovely vegetable tartlet. It was followed by apple pie or sherry trifle and we were all impressed by how the volunteers managed to serve piping hot food to over 70 people!
It it was a lovely journey and I haven’t been on a steam train since I was a child. The old sprung seats were cosy and we all had a chance to relax and catch up. The staff were good fun and we had lots of banter with them.
The he more I look at the photos I took, the more I like them. The only regret I have is that all the ones with me in were really blurry – my new lens only works on manual, so it’s tricky to focus. I love this group one though.
Dr P did manage to get a couple of good ones:
As as for my outfit, I was thinking I’d go 1940s, what with the Brief Encounter link, but on the day I was in the mood for a little beehive so the overall look was more 1960s. The dress is a Cath Kidston clock print style, the shoes are Irregular Choice and the necklace Tatty Devine.
I loved this look and it’s one I definitely plan to use again.
All in all I’d definitely recommend the Watercress Line as an experience – Mum loved it and said it brought back lots of memories, we enjoyed spending time together in a unique setting. If you get the chance – go!
It is with a steamy backdrop I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!