Saturday, 15 May 2010

Sixteenth month, hitching a ride to smugdom

This month, we have most been...

Preparing for and then hosting our WEDDING-DONG! After an engagement of 1 year, 2 months and 17 days, I finally made an honest man out of my fiancé. The last four weeks was almost entirely consumed by last-minute preparations: picking up wedding programmes from Cardblanche, writing out conversation cards, making adjustments to the seating plan and attending the final fitting of my wedding dress. Meanwhile, in London, my mother-in-law-to-be was putting the finishing touches on unique table decorations, beautiful bouquets and a sumptuous coffee and walnut cake.

Trying to be cost-conscious, we opted to fly back Qantas (saving a princely sum of S$1200). We later vowed never again to stray from the Singapore Airlines crew. Not only was it almost two hours before any drinks were served (at the same time as our meal), I overheard one hostess lean over to a passenger and say, "Are you sure you don't want a drink? We won't be coming round for another nine hours." And she wasn't lying. The entire rest of the journey, I imagined the Qantas crew to be playing a game of hide and seek. They were clearly so well-practised at the game that not one of the passengers could find them. Later, during our descent, a Ukrainian lady in the adjacent row was having difficulty understanding the landing card requirements. Helpfully, the steward advised her in a British accent fit for a chav, "Sorry love, I just don't speak what you speak" before walking away. It was left to the surrounding passengers to pick up the pieces. Appalling. Added to this, the crew looked like extras from the set of Home & Away - more interested in their bicep curls and make up than service with a smile. Qantas, if you ever want me to fly with you again, offer me a seat in First Class, in which maybe, just maybe, you might have something a little closer to Economy Class on Singapore Airlines.

The wedding day itself, in stark contrast, was truly Carlsberg Class - probably the best in the world. Bias is a wonderful thing. Tone Dale House provided the perfect setting for a quintessential English country wedding. Thirty one of our dear friends stayed with us in the House for the long weekend, pitching in to make meals together and indulging in a fair amount of merry-making. Our day went without a single hitch and all of our guests had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Job well done. Our high recommendations also go to Jon Bradley and Rentabooth, essential for excellent recording of the best day of our lives to date.

To bask in our post-wedding glow, we stayed in the Grade II listed Ostlers House and enjoyed a delightful stroll around Lacock, whose Abbey was the setting of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. A combination of pub grub, exquisite dinners and one home-cooked meal ensued with a few glasses of bubbly along the way. Mini-moon: tick.

On our return to London, we had arranged for a meal to say one last goodbye to our friends. Shunning all of the usual offerings, we plumped for a night at The Hidden Table - a gem in the world of London's secret dining venues. Hosted by Le Patron and his two 1950s-styled Mesdames, we entered the secluded building in deepest darkest Shoreditch and were directed towards our sparkling aperitif. Moodily-lit, the space comes complete with a double-bass perched a-top a covered snooker table where we sampled cheese pastries to tickle our taste buds into submission. Next up, we were herded to the dining room, partitioned off by a large projector screen on which flickered a roaring fire. Cosy. The highlight from the multiple courses was the succulent Moroccan lamb tagine washed down by superb fine wines that our guests had provided. Far from being rushed out, our hosts joined us at the end of the meal and we stayed on drinking and chatting until after midnight. It turns out the host has wizard-like connections, so I was delighted to prolong the Harry Potter theme from earlier in the week. Five star treatment and a beautifully unique setting for an adventure in gastronomic wonderment. Book now and behold the magic.

Back at my new parents-in-law's house, I wandered into the living room to find my husband attempting to concentrate his wine-addled brain on the laptop screen in front of him. "Oops," he said as he raised his eyes to meet mine. "I just booked us business class seats back," he paused, "on Singapore Airlines." Anyone who knows me would know instantly that this act is tantamount to the Best. Gesture. Ever. What a fabulous way to end our first week as husband and wife.

Breeze into check-in, get fast-tracked through to the lounge, enjoy sipping wine and listening to soft piano music, board the plane first and select a glass of champagne to celebrate the beginning of your business class experience. It's top dollar, your wallet will scream with pain, but for a special occasion, it's 100% worth it.

Returning to Singapore refreshed after a six hour sleep and some good on-screen action accompanied by delicious snacks, we were suddenly hit with a wall of heavy air. Our hearts sank a little with thoughts of family and friends back in England but we were also glad to get back to the comfort of our own home and bed. Bring on the battle against post-wedding blues...

Next up is catching up with friends here, partying, adjusting to married life and relaxing in the sunshine... Could be worse!

1 comment:

xtine said...

i always had the impression you were a guy writing. I like this one, as i get to "know you alittle better" and find out you're a lady! Girl power. ha. I m glad i chanced upon your blog. you let me see a side of Singapore i never knew though i'm local.