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Saskia and Trewin Restorick: the wedding (text)

Set back by yesterday’s train running 50 minutes late, after undue anxiety we finally made it to Dulwich College Library with ten minutes to spare before the marriage! The service included wonderful readings from Ovid's The Art of Love (my sister Lindsay, Saskia’s mother), Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat (Giselle, Trewin’s daughter) and Ann Morrow Lindbergh’s The Gift from the Sea (Saskia’s friend Sarah). Saskia was a truly radiant bride, and my three other nieces (Olivia, Helena and Rosie) were cheery and stunning as bridesmaids. I’ll add some unofficial photographs after I get home: this blog comes straight from the train.

We walked back to champagne and canapés in Lin and Nick’s magnificent garden, where 96 guests later sat down to a superb meal featuring organic lamb, in an enormous marquee. Drink flowed very freely, the dance floor was well used but not too crowded and it was the happiest, least formal wedding I’ve attended. Speeches were made by Saskia, as well as Trewin, best man Dave, the bridesmaids and bride’s father Nick, the latter clearly unscripted, inebriated and, as ever, very articulate and entertaining. After a dubious moment when Nick seemed in danger of going over the edge, he drew back from the brink just in time: brilliant.

We were in Dulwich for a total of 22 hours, at the price of over 16 hours on trains or in transit, and although that ratio was far from ideal, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. The fact I had totally lost my voice to an unseasonal throat infection was a bit frustrating, but it led to some interesting conversations, necessarily one-sided. Several guests worked at Global Action Plan, an environmental charity that Trewin set up in 1993, long before sustainable development had become trendy. It now employs 50 staff on a wide range of projects aimed at home, school and workplace.

And I really enjoyed my chat with Helena’s boyfriend, Henry Hemming. His father, John Hemming, wrote the definitive Conquest of the Incas which was important to me when researching our Explore the Inca Trail. Henry has clearly inherited his father's writing talent and appetite for adventurous travel. He works both as artist and writer, and was talking about his latest book, In Search of the English Eccentric.

Saskia and Trewin already have established a lovely home together in Clapham. Perhaps that’s why they had requested no presents, instead asking guests to email a recipe and a photograph. We complied, slightly puzzled, and months later were thrilled to find all recipes anthologised into a smart, spiral-bound book with recipes attributed and displayed alongside the photos. What a generous and imaginative souvenir to give your guests!


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