It’s always a great pleasure to be invited to join friends for lunch, especially if it’s at somewhere unusual where you have never had lunch before. Then, when you look around and see lots of your old friends are also there and there’s the chance to catch up on what’s happening – that’s especially heartwarming.
Today, after a small glass of something – actually Meg had sherry and I had orange juice – well, it was lunchtime and I was driving – we had fish pie. Now fish pie has long been a favourite dish of ours and it would be fair to say that over the years we have had a ‘fair few’ fish pies, some amazing and some err. . less so. And Meg makes a scrumptious fish pie herself, as some of you will know.
So you know that having the thumbs up from both of us – the fish pie today was indeed something special.
And then the Frangipane. Another favourite!
The Frangipane was offered with custard or cream. Now I am unusual in liking my custard to have a thin consistency – like a sort of vanilla sauce – and I knew that it would not come like that. Nevertheless I asked for custard – and the flavour was just gorgeous – a perfect accompaniment to the soft fruit and delicate almond of the Frangipane. Another good decision!
Lashings of coffee and chocolates completed the feast and left us with more time to refresh some more neglected friendships.
We had arrived early and naturally I had donned my Ticknall Life hat and, armed with my new camera, looked in on the team in the kitchen. My jokes about feeling the tension rising ahead of service were met with polite smiles but were completely misplaced – there was an air of calm and quiet confidence. This team were on top of their game and just grinning with the sheer joy that comes with being part of a winning team. As the servery opened they whirred into action with a silky smooth efficiency that told me it was time to take my seat.
Yes, the Ticknall Luncheon Club at Ticknall Village Hall is really up there with the very best.
In the main photo (from left to right) are Irene Hanson, Maggie Mellish, Jill Clarke and the founder and leading light, Mary Magson.