Discovering new places in my hometown

I’m spending some time in my hometown in Germany this weekend and my parents took me to a new (to me) place today. It’s quite an impressive combination of flower shop, gift shop, home decor shop and cafe with an outside seating area.

Altes Stadthaus in Alfeld

Altes Stadthaus in Alfeld

Pflanzen zu Verkauf im alten Stadthause

It’s called “Altes Stadthaus” (= Old Townhouse). We sat outside and had coffee and a cookie.

Continue reading “Discovering new places in my hometown”

A wedding on the Isle of Wight

I attended another wedding at the weekend. This time an English wedding in Appuldurcombe House on the Isle of Wight.

It was a beautiful setting and the wedding was a lot of fun. It was a bit different from your standard English wedding. Planned with a lot of attention to detail and with great little events throughout the day that made it really special.

This is Appuldurcombe House from the front.

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The back of the house is mainly ruins, so it’s really not much more than a facade. The wedding dinner and speeches were held in a gazebo on the lawn.bDSCF0290 bDSCF0301

The wedding was 1920s themed and the groom arrived in this car. A lot of people had made the effort and dressed up in 1920s style clothes.

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When the bride and groom were gone for their photo session, the guests could enjoy a falconry display. It was fascinating. We were all sitting in the grass, drinking champagne and watching this guy play with some big birds.

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The bride and groom are both slightly obsessed with squirrels, so the little animals appeared here and there throughout the event.

In the dessert as a biscuit:

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As money that we could use in the casino after dinner. It was so much fun!

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I lost all my squirrel money at the Blackjack table.

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Kids playing cricket after dinner. So English!

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There was also a ‘secret’ Speakeasy bar in the basement of the building. It was only open for an hour and quite dark and dingy. Here’s what was left after the cocktails were finished.

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And this is the building illuminated after dark.

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A German wedding

I’m currently on my way to the Isle of Wight, for the second wedding this month.

Two weeks ago I went to a wonderful wedding in the German countryside, in an area called Uckermark (I find this word hilarious), about 1.5 hours drive north of Berlin.

The guests were a mix of locals and an international crowd from London and New Zealand. The people I knew were all from London, so I tended to hang out with the international crowd most of the time. And that made me realise how strange some of our wedding customs and even some of the food are!

If you think that liver paté is a bit odd, try raw minced pork for breakfast! Or ask the poor French people (several!) who put a big spoon of Schmalz (goose fat/lard) in their mouths and started gagging. The fun I had.

There’s also a tradition where the guests smash porcelain in the evening before the wedding and the couple has to sweep up the shards (shards are meant to bring good luck). Or the couple has to saw a log of wood as one of their first acts of ‘team work’ right after the ceremony.

It’s interesting to see those things through a non-German’s eyes. Having lived abroad for several years now, I can really understand how weird some of it must seem!

The venue was a really beautiful castle in the midst of massive fields growing all sorts of crops. There was also a lake really close by where we could go swimming. They also randomly had a Trabi car in which they gave the best man and the bridesmaids a ride as a surprise.

Some examples of the food – barbecue on the first night, then breakfast, lunch and the wedding buffet dinner (not pictured). Very nice!

They handed out personalised handkerchiefs to wipe up the tears of joy during the ceremony. After the ceremony, everybody received a heart-shaped Luftballon which we all let go at the same time. But the highlight of the wedding was that the bride didn’t walk down the aisle but road up on a horse! Hat off to her.

So let’s see how this week’s wedding measures up to this.

All photos are my own.