At just after seven we loaded the car and headed out, headlights popped up, along the A27. Over the Kingston roundabout and on, past Beddingham, Selmeston and down the winding lanes to Alfriston, shrouded in darkness bar the occasional lit window.
Our hotel lay behind a long and smooth lawn, lit up to guide us in. We parked the car, dropped off our bags and walked the short distance along the pavement to The George. It is a beautiful pub, oak beams bringing the ceiling down low, a roaring open fire and leather sofas making up the quiet snug. We supped on delicious local ham, roasted garlic, warmed balsamic vinegar and home made bread. Then fillet steak on half a toasted muffin with home made béarnaise sauce, thick cut chips with a sprinkling of salt. Finally there was chocolate ice cream for my boy and an enormous board of cheese for me, crackers sloping off the sides and thick creamery butter. We drank red wine and talked low in the candlelight.
The phone never rang, there was no car in sight and walking back through the night we marvelled at the brightness of the stars. And how delicious to wake up to bird song and out of the window the river, winding back and forth across the fields, trees bare of leaves and not a sound of traffic or people to be heard. Perfect.