Flying to a countryside Sunday lunch

I treated myself to a much-needed full day off today, and since the weather was so nice, we decided that the only possible course of action was to go on some more adventures with Wilhelm. Dear Wilhelm is already proving that the hassle of bringing him back from Germany was well worth it; it’s wonderful to have our own plane that we can use whenever we like. Anyway, today being Sunday, and it being weeks since we had a Sunday roast, Lee had a good look through the airfield guide to find one that was within walking distance of a good pub. We settled on a small grass strip called Croft Farm, the other side of Bredon Hill from here.

Here’s our route out; I didn’t get any photos of our approach, because as you can see on the map, final approach was a bit of an odd one to avoid a village, so required all my concentration. We also didn’t see it until we were only a couple of miles away – being a grass strip, it was quite well blended in with the surrounding farmland!

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Upon landing we discovered that it was a charming farm with a number of hangars and a few aircraft parked. The backdrop was a magnificent view of the Malvern Hills:

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We went to the little portacabin at the edge of the parking area, signed the landing book and made an optional donation to charity in lieu of a landing fee. As you can see, there was nobody around!

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Then we set off down the track out of the farm to the pub, which is in a hamlet called Defford. It was about five minutes’ walk, which was very convenient, although we’d both have been happy to walk further. The pub was called The Oak, with a restaurant part called The Oak Room.

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The food was great, yet very reasonably priced: £15 for two courses. Before our food arrived we were given delicious freshly baked bread, still warm from the oven, topped with sea salt and herbs.

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For a starter we had chicken liver pate with toast and caramelised red onion. On hindsight we probably didn’t need this as well as the main!

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Our choice of main was predictable. The only downside was that because we were flying, we couldn’t have wine with it!

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Needless to say, we had no room for dessert, so we paid our bill (a mere £34) and then sauntered down the road to the nearby farm shop, Revills. It was a lovely place and seemed to be noted for its asparagus, which grows in the surrounding fields. There was a lovely view of Bredon Hill just next to it.

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The farm shop was full of delicious-looking food, but in the end all I bought was a sugar mouse. I hadn’t had one for years!

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The walk back to the farm was lovely, with cow parsley lining the hedges. The smell of cow parsley always reminds me of a childhood spent looking after horses.

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We also saw a swallow – the second I’ve seen so far this year, and a sure sign that summer is on its way! Forgive the poor-quality iPhone zoom.

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This was the track back to the airfield area of the farm.

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When we got back there was another German-registered aircraft, a Cessna 182, parked next to Wilhelm, one of two other aircraft that had flown into this sleepy little field since we arrived. Wilhelm looked great with the Malverns in the background:

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After we took off we flew back around the field to get this shot of it from the air:

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We had a nice flight back, though it was rather bumpy from all the thermals. It must be fly breeding season or something, because when we landed, poor Wilhelm was covered from head to toe in splattered flies! So we parked him up on the apron back home and gave him a bath.

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It was an absolutely wonderful day with everything a day off should have: sun, flying, good food and good company. I think we’ll be going back to Croft Farm before too long!

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