Friday, 19 December 2014

Open The Box AND Take The Money!

When I was a child, there was a programme called “Take Your Pick” – the first game show on commercial TV, and the contestants could choose between ‘taking the money’ or ‘opening the box’ [which may, or may not, have a greater prize within] This week I chose to ‘open the box’ – a small money box which I got in the M&S 125year celebration Penny Bazaar back in 2009.


I’d padlocked it, and left it by my PC. Whenever I found any small change [emptying pockets before laundry, lurking in the bottom of bags etc] I have been putting it in this tin.

It’s been getting quite heavy. I decided that I would empty it before we moved and do something significant with the contents.

forest hill golf club1

I drive past this golf course each week en route to Belvoirdale School, and a friend told me that they serve excellent lunches. They’re currently advertising midweek meals at “Two For £10” So I told Bob that if there was enough in the tin, I would treat him to lunch. There was nearly £20 - mostly 10ps, 20ps and coppers - and one £5 note. We had to get up early as we were doing a Christmas thing at Playgroup, then we did some food shopping, and delivered yet another box to the Charity Shop.

Then we went off to Forest Hills Golf Club at Botcheston. We sat in the conservatory by the bar, and enjoyed salmon with hollandaise sauce, asparagus and new potatoes. Beautifully cooked, and very ‘cheffy” presentation on slate tiles. It tasted delicious. Dessert was not included in the offer- but as I had enough cash left, I said we should treat ourselves to a sweet.


He’s looking remarkably serious here – or maybe it is fatigue? You can quite clearly see the shadow of my head as I take the photo!

Bob opted for Cheesecake, and I chose to have a cup of coffee and Milllionaire’s Shortbread. I’d expected it to be a small cube of biscuit with toffee and chocolate topping – but I was quite wrong. It came in a wine glass…


In the bottom was a layer of crumbs – very buttery shortbread biscuit. Then the dulce de leche toffee layer. Above that a generous layer of chocolate mousse, and on top a blob of double cream, garnished with a strawberry, and a chocolate ‘cigar’.

It was very tasty, and a clever take on the more traditional biscuit. The strawberry wasn’t brilliant [it is December, not the time for these fruits really] but I thought the general idea was worth trying to replicate. I may serve this up sometime when we have guests.

As we finished our meal, two friends came in for lunch, followed by another who was just having coffee and cake. They told us they often ate there. I’m not sure we’ll manage it again [my little tin is empty now!] but I would recommend this venue for a pleasant lunch.

In the middle of this busy Christmas season, it was great to have some quality time alone together – reflecting on the 19½ years that have past since we moved to the East Midlands - and what lies ahead of us in Dorset. When we arrived, we still had a daughter in Primary School – now she is 30 and planning her wedding. I quoted Browning’s poem as we ate our meal

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made:

Our times are in His hand

Who saith "A whole I planned,

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''


  1. How lovely! I am sure with your attitude you will soon settle in your new home and the people in the West Country are usually very friendly so you'll soon have a new lot of friends to add to the old ones you leave behind.

  2. So nice to hear of you having a treat out! The dessert does look Amazing and yes I might try that dessert too! X

  3. How lovely to have a little treat!

  4. Ah, Angela, we seem to be going through the same things at the moment. moving does make one think of times gone by and of those to come. The Browning quote is one of my favourites. Good luck and much happiness to you. Hope your new place has Broadband - ours still doesn't! XCathy

    1. I hope you get Broadband soon, Cathy- and that mobile phone reception is good too [I've found it quite patchy in Norfolk] Best wishes for 2015 now you are 'Up North'

  5. When in Dorset give me a shout we must meet up!

  6. Because of your Top Tip I now have an empty Legoland candy floss tub and I am ruthlessly tidying coins in the hope of a nice treat next Christmas x


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