I believe it’s the little things that make a difference in life. That’s why I couldn’t have been more excited when I hopped on the train and headed out of Exeter for a few hours to meet my friend Chloe.
In the past year, I have only left Devon once which is insane due to you know what and on top of that I have barely left Exeter. I think in the past 14 or 15 months I have been out of Exeter less than 10 times. In normal times this is unheard of. I travel, I explore, I visit people, I do stuff. It seems nuts that my year has on the whole been spent at home. By home I mean literally at home as there was nowhere else to go. We have all been in the same boat I know but as things start to ease and people have their vaccinations, and as far as I can see we are on track to the new normal, it’s time to broaden my horizons again.
Last Friday I headed south on the train to Ashburton, a small town nestled on the edge of the moors. I met my friend Chloe for brunch, a mooch around Ashburton’s wonderful independent shops and later on dessert in the form of the most wonderful handmade ice cream from Creamo’s.
We ate lunch at Rafikis, outdoors of course and it was freezing but oh so nice to be somewhere other than home. Rafikis is a great spot in the centre of Ashburton. They currently have an outside seating area set up outside the Arts Centre which is wonderful as the inside is small. Unfortunately for us, it was pouring with rain and so cold but it didn’t dampen our mood. We ate their brunch special of wild garlic potato cakes with tomato sauce and poached eggs. It was delicious as you can imagine. The turmeric lattes kept us warm alongside.
After re-fuelling, we wandered the shops. There are so many wonderful vintage, charity and secondhand shops in Ashburton so if like me you love a rummage amongst old things then you need to head over straight away. It’s a treasure trove let me tell you! After warming up in Number 30, trying on a few vintage pieces and making a purchase we headed back out into the rain for ice cream and hot chocolate. Why ice cream you may ask? Well, because Creamo’s has an amazing reputation for its artisan ice cream and I couldn’t not try a scoop or two for dessert before heading home. I ordered the marmalade soft serve and Chloe the vegan banana, chocolate and peanut which we ate on a very soggy bench literally shivering and shaking our way through every bite. Some may have thought we were crazy ordering ice cream on such a cold day but we were savvy in our ordering by adding a hot chocolate to warm us up afterwards. We weren’t the only crazy people ordering and eating gelato in freezing temperatures. By the time we had our ice cream in hand there was a hefty queue forming behind us.
Plans had to change for the bank holiday Monday due to the inclement British weather. We had initially planned a barbecue but the weather had other ideas. Instead, I decided to cook indoors and my new favourite spaghetti with tomato and burrata was on the menu.
It’s such a simple dish but really does have the wow factor. All you have to do is make a simple tomato sauce snd stir it through cooked spaghetti. Place a burrata or two on the top and let that ooze in as you serve. It’s wonderful in its simplicity yet feels so very decadent.
Coffee Dates And Laughter
I have been thankful for coffee dates over the last few weeks. It’s important to get out and about safely to see friends in my opinion. Use it as a time to talk silliness and laugh. It really does lift my mood as I am sure it would yours too. It was lovely to meet up with a friend on Sunday without the need for hurrying. We popped down to The Presshouse on Fore Street in Exeter and sat outside in the last few sunshine rays of the week. Since then it has all turned rather wet and windy.
I loved having my hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookie served on real china. You may think that sounds odd but since Covid-19 most cafes serve in takeaway cups and in paper bags and boxes. Let me just say everything tastes better served in or on real china!
I am so excited about the plans I have for the upcoming week. My friend Emma and I are going on an Alpaca walk. We get to hang out with some fluffy alpacas for the afternoon and take them for a walk. On top of that, I think we have a cream tea planned afterwards. This has been in our diaries for so many months and has had to be rescheduled twice due to lockdowns so as you can imagine we are both very excited.
I have an exciting photoshoot planned for the end of the week too so lookout for more of that in my Instagram stories as that unfolds.
You may remember last week I talked about visiting a wisteria walkway. Well, we discovered it hadn’t come into bloom yet so have put that on hold for a week or so in the hope that it will be in full bloom by then. Fingers crossed. We were pretty disappointed at the time but have found a morning that we are both free and have highlighted that in our diaries to visit.
I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend despite the horrendous weather and managed to catch up with friends and family in a safe way. I will catch up with you all again next week. Keep following me for up to date news on my Instagram or of course sign up to my mailing list so you don’t miss out on my exciting visits here and there.