This weekend we spirited ourselves away, up to The Midlands to visit friends at their country pile.
We had a beautiful afternoon to see the sights of the Leicestershire countryside, including a gentle stroll around Bradgate Park.
The stone folly which sits atop the highest hill is called Old John. Legend has it the man who built it was fond of a pint, and hence the mug-shaped design.
From the top you can just see the skyline of Leicester in the distance. We lingered for a while, people-watching and enjoying the vista and the cool breeze fluttering up the grassy hillside.
Come evening, we bundled up against the late summer chill, grabbed our picnic hampers, and trundled over to a nearby country estate. Brits love any excuse for a festival, and I’m a red-blooded American who can’t resist a good fireworks display, so we had the perfect activity planned.
The Catton Hall Fireworks Festival happens every year on the first Saturday in September. It’s basically a competition as several companies showcase thier pryo-musical displays.
Once we found a perfect spot, we plunked down with our baskets and began unpacking our goodies. But not before pouring ourselves a glass of bubbly for the task!
We nibbled and chatted as we waited for darkness to settle in, the crowd growing more and more antsy for the festival to kick off.
Until finally, it did.
Each of the four displays were set to music. A lot of thought and planning goes into these pyro-musical designs, and the sounds can really enhance the drama and awe of an already visually stunning spectacle.
It was a good old fashioned night of friends, wine and fireworks – and a reminder to visit the country more often!