Happy July folks. Where is the time going? Blink and another week passes. Blink again and a month has flown by.
Lockdown easing and things opening up have meant I have been out and about a little more than in previous months but I am still behaving cautiously. I think I always will now.
I was listening to the breakfast news this morning and they were talking about the 19th of July. A date in all British citizens diaries as it’s supposed to be our release date where “normality” resumes. Even if we do open up on the 19th will I want to abandon my face mask? I don’t think I will. I think face mask-wearing is going to be part of my daily routine from now on. I may be washing and sanitising my hands more than ever and keeping my distance but how do you know about everybody else? My mask is staying at least for the foreseeable and I can’t imagine leaving my house without my tube of trusty hand gel. How do you all feel about the big reemergence into society without restriction? Excited, scared, tentative? I’d love to know.
The main thing that will change for me and for the better will be that spontaneity can resume. Going for a drink on the hop without having to book a two-hour slot five weeks in advance will be very welcome.
I had my second dose of the Covid vaccination this week. Another way to help the NHS deal and cope with the third wave as well as giving me that extra percentage of protection. Thankfully I didn’t have any extreme side effects. Just a sore arm and tiredness. To be honest, both are regular side effects to my day job anyway. For those new on here, I am a fully qualified RAD ballet teacher so aching limbs and tiredness are a regular occurrence for me.
Kinkhao – Impromptu Lunching
Talking of spontaneity earlier… I popped into Kinkhao for an impromptu solo lunch on Saturday last week. I ordered their Namtok northeast Thai salad with sticky rice and sat in the window watching the world go by.
Lunch was tasty with that lovely kick of heat that you expect from Thai food. To my complete joy a good amount of prawns. You know when you go somewhere and order a dish and it comes with 3 prawns? Well, this salad was chock-full of them and worth the £12.50 eat-in price.
I had been wanting to give Kinkhao a try since it opened last year and a little solo off the cuff lunch was the best introduction. I will definitely visit them again as the menu is exciting to me and there is a lot I want to try.
Harbour Hotel – Sidmouth
I met my stepdad and sister for an alfresco lunch at Harbour Hotel in Sidmouth. With some of the best sea views in town, we were very fortunate to have a prime table on the terrace for our get together.
We ordered English wine from one of my favourite local vineyards and some summery salads. The weather was delightful and the setting couldn’t have been better. I very much enjoyed eating lunch alfresco with the sun shining on me with views to die for.
My only criticism being that ever since Covid and probably Brexit, customer service seems to have gone to pot. I appreciate that rules need to be followed to keep everyone safe but I just can’t stand the way many places bark them at you as soon as you walk in the door. Gone are the “welcome, come on in”, replaced by “sign in, sanitise your hands and stand here”. I am happy of course to do all of those things as well as have my temperature checked but would just love a little “hello and welcome” first.
It really doesn’t take much to greet a guest in a polite manner and explain the rules and protocols. First impressions really make or break a visit or experience. I found the Harbour Hotel slightly lacking in that department despite having someone on the door specifically to greet us. They aren’t alone I am afraid to say as I have been barked at in most of the places I have visited of late. Maybe that is something that might change once rules are eased and finally lifted?
5 Day Birthday
I helped my friend Serena mark her birthday by creating lunch for her. Homemade focaccia bread, chargrilled courgettes, baked feta with garlic and tomatoes and a vanilla sponge with honey cream and summer berries.
We sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed a bottle of champagne alongside. A lovely mid-week treat for me and for Serena, the fifth day of birthday celebrations. She knows how to celebrate a birthday!
I made an order from Good Sixty this week using in part a voucher I was given by them to sample the service and then topped up with my own spondoolies as there was too much I wanted!
Good Sixty is a marketplace for local independent retailers to showcase and sell their wares through one website with one delivery charge. Order from as many retailers as available in your area and have it delivered by electric bike for one small fee. Perfect for someone like me who lives at the top of a long and steep hill without a car.
I ordered from three of my favourite local independent retailers and restaurants to make up my order and paid just one delivery charge. Pullo for a bottle of wine, Ebdons for a Devon cheese selection and Bon Gout for crackers, more cheese and some deli goods.
My order was delivered by Co electric bike with zero emissions. Each part of my delivery being packaged in reusable and recyclable packaging. For a more in-depth look at Good Sixty head on over to their website here. I honestly think this is such a great initiative that will bring together local retailers in one place making it so much easier for people like you and me to order from the independent retailers we love. Plus, it means I will no longer have to lug wine up that hill from my favourite, Pullo!
All being well and the weather holds I will finally get the chance to go on my alpaca walk with my friend Emma. We must have put it off about 6 times due to Covid, the weather and pretty much everything else in between. Keep your fingers crossed for Emma and myself that we may finally get to hang out with alpacas on Dartmoor.
I am also trying out The Ivy for the first time since it opened. A lunch date with a good friend. I feel like I am literally the last person in Exeter to book a table. I have heard mixed reviews so I guess I can finally make my own mind up. I really hope it’s good. Again, keep your fingers crossed for me.
On top of that, I am heading away for the weekend to stay with my sister in London. My first overnight stay since February 2020! Crazy huh? There was talk of visiting a cheese barge for lunch as well as dinner at Perilla. I had to cancel my last booking at Perilla last year as it fell the first weekend of Lockdown 1.0 and I never made it to London obviously.
Keep up to date with my daily goings-on through my Instagram account. Give me a follow here if you fancy it. There is generally a lot of food and pretty vintage crockery featured as well as the odd review and recipe.
Have a great week friends and I shall catch up with you again soon.
Disclaimer – This post contains items that were given to me for promotional purposes. I only promote products I have tested and know to be of good quality with good ethics.