May Weekend, 10th - 12th May
We raised the bar again this year and the weekend was a phenominal success, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who took part, starting with a welcome drinks reception at Christchurch for our 35 visitors from Montesson.
Saturday morning was spent in Woodstock. Some chose to simply wander around in the early summer sunshine, others took a stroll in the grounds of Blenheim Palace and others visited the very interesting Museum of Oxfordshire. Many took the opportunity to visit the neighbouring Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and it was so good to see the children enthusiastically trying to decipher the codes to crack the children’s activity trail.
In a departure from previous years, rather than giving everyone an individual picnic bag, we had lunch provided by the museum café in the Coach House. This worked exceptionally well, especially as it started to rain just as we were about to eat! Our guests really enjoyed choosing from the various platters of freshly home-made sandwiches and cakes.
After lunch we drove to Bicester Village via Churchill’s grave at Bladon – a beautiful setting, but remarkably difficult to find and access in a coach! Still, definitely worth the detour.
In complete contrast to the peace and tranquillity of the morning, we had a couple of hours exposed to the frenzy and crowds of Bicester Village. Some preferred to walk into Bicester itself for the more normal shopping experience, but the majority were keen to take advantage of the 10% discount afforded by their VIP visitor card as witnessed by the large number of Clarks, Burberry and Tiffany bags etc that were loaded on to the coach for our return to Thame.
The day out with something for everyone had been a hit!
However, the day was about to get even better. After the barn dance last year, we really felt that there was no way we could match it. Well, how wrong we were! We remain extremely grateful to Marie-Jane and her husband for letting us use their barn at Towersey Manor and for all their help. Marie-Jane did so much, including getting the barn ready, helping to set up the tables, coordinating with our caterer and booking a band for us.
After a splendid buffet supper, the fantastic “Ian English and the Boodlum Band” soon had everyone up on the dance floor. Finally at 11pm we had to reluctantly pack up, but our guests and indeed the rest of us, had enjoyed a wonderful evening.
The pressure is really on now for next year!
Sunday was left free for relaxation and our friends departed shortly after 2pm.
The committee are very pleased that the weekend was such a success. We are also very grateful to all of you who were able to host this year and especially grateful for the flexibility of those who were able to take extra guests or change families at the last minute. This is the true spirit of Twinning and long may it continue.