My friends Jenny and Guy have a cottage in the Sussex village of Alfriston. On 25th February a gang of us travelled down to spend the weekend - we all worked at Waterstones at some time (some of us still do).
We arrived in rain but by the time we'd had a coffee and a chat the weather started to clear and by early afternoon the weather was set for the rest of the weekend - cloudless skies. We started gently - a lunch at Badger's restaurant followed by a cheeky cream tea then a walk up on to the downs to the Long Man of Wilmington. Back down a mud flume to the village to check into the Deans Place Hotel. Great dinner at the George then off to bed.
Sunday morning saw a walk over the downs to view the frescoes in Berwick church. On the way, the air was full of skylarks - ascending into the blue singing their hearts out. On the way back we saw a buzzard, mewing as it soared over the fields.
Highlight of the weekend was visiting Cate and Nash at Much Ado Books - they have a barn at the back of their property in which they had laid out a huge brunch. Considering most of us were complete strangers to them, this was a true act of generosity. And their shop is brilliant.
After brunch another walk down the Cuckmere then a much needed cab back to Alfriston.
All in all, without hyperbole, this one was of the finest weekends I can remember - a perfect mix of weather, friends, food and wonderful countryside.