Date: 28th June 2006
I went to Henley Royal Regatta on Wednesday, and lugged the picnic hamper for several miles to find a riverside spot. Sarah's flatmate and her boyfriend were there, and he went to Abingdon (dark pink and cream-striped blazers) so we were able to cheer for Abingdon. They beat Monmouth by four-and-a-half lengths. I bet you didn't know that. Most of the time though, we just lazed by the river and ate (and laughed at men wearing boaters and oddly-coloured blazers).
We started with onion and goat's cheese tarts that Sarah had made. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Henley, but everything looked wonderful. Then we had baguettes with goat's cheese, farmhouse pate, chorizo and rocket, watercress and spinaxh salad. Oh, and pasta salad. Sarah was drinking Pimms, but I was stuck with lemonade, having to drive to and from Twyford station.
Dessert was shortbread tartlets with lemon cream and strawberries (a picnic staple!). Will was very impressed with these (and I would never admit it, but I was rather impressed by their picnic; they had a cafetiere! Though I feel they should have brought a coffee grinder as well). The shortbread tartlets were quite edible, despite the fact that I hadn't been paying attention and had forgotten to double the amount of flour when I doubled the recipe. They were very buttery and crumbly!
I do feel, however, that the only way to go to Henley is by boat, preferably a Slipper launch or an antique rowing skiff. Then you can moor up alongside the bank, hop out with your picnic basket and set up your picnic!
We never bought a programme, so we didn't have a clue what was going on, but we listened in on other people's conversations. Sarah complained that we didn't have duck this year, whereas they had last year. I suggested we catch one and build a barbeque pit, but that didn't go down too well. Next year, though: duck, a coffee grinder and a cafetiere. And several people to help me carry it all.