Welcome to my April roundup. Once again my month has been full to bursting with wonderful opportunities and experiences. I feel very blessed. April has been pretty chilly on the whole. Everybody I know including myself are desperate for warmth in the sun so we can ditch the bobble hats and coats. It seems like winter has been dragging its heels and it really must be time to get those flip flops out, surely?
Easter fell right at the very beginning of the month and in usual Tara’s Busy Kitchen style the day started with a corking breakfast to set us up for the day. Serena and Tim joined Steve and myself for ‘pimped up’ porridge, hot cross buns and of course, some chocolate Easter bunnies!
After breakfast, we headed off for a chilly walk down to the Double Locks, a pub that sits next to Exeter’s canal kind in the middle of nowhere. I tend to only visit the Double Locks on bank holidays when it is super busy. I should probably head down when it’s a normal day to really benefit from it’s charming and beautiful location. Beers, chunky chips and bar snacks ordered, we sat chatting the best part of the afternoon away before heading back home for the star of the day. I had made Sicilian Cassata from scratch; a three-day process all in all and in my opinion completely worth it. A traditional dessert in Sicily, with many consumed whilst holidaying there, I wanted to recreate my experiences of those cakes for Easter afternoon tea. Layers of sponge, fruit and chocolate studded ricotta all covered in icing and glacé fruits. It went down a storm alongside a delicious pot of tea. For the recipe click here.
I have been working my way around Exeter highlighting the amazing independent business in the city and Lorna Ruby was next on my list. Click here to read about my visit. I had such a lovely morning with Lorna and Gemma picking out outfits and trying them on for size.
I also had a blast with my chum Angel at NGNG in Fore Street, Exeter. That shop is full to bursting with the most wonderful goodies. What’s more, Hayley and Nathan are the sweetest couple. You can read my post here.
Wow! What can I say about my trip to The Salutation Inn? A highlight of my blogging career for sure. I was invited along to this Devon-based boutique hotel and restaurant to witness and enjoy a unique dining experience. Jamie Raftery, one of the only chefs to be awarded a prestigious Gordon Ramsay scholarship was in charge of the kitchen for two nights serving up a seven-course dinner highlighting the diversity of vegan cuisine using the most spectacular locally sourced ingredients. Of course, I was in complete heaven and blown away by the standard of food on offer. Every morsel that passed my lips was outstanding with many flavours and textures testing my senses. Mushrooms from Dawlish based Forest Fungi were the star of the show blowing my mind with their complete diversity. If ever Jamie Raftery comes this way again I urge you to book yourself a place at one of his tables. You won’t be disappointed. Read about my evening here.
I celebrated the 2018 Commonwealth Games held on The Gold Coast with a recipe. My take on Anzac biscuits. Click here for the easy recipe.
Clothes Swap at Exe Coffee Roasters
Every few months or so, my friends and I get together and hold a clothes swap and sale. We gather together our clothing and accessories that we no longer wear and get swapping. It’s always so much fun. Plus it’s an opportunity to hang out with my friends over coffee and cake. What’s not to love?
A Day In Bath
I love the city of Bath and try and visit every couple of months to sample the food and drink scene there. This visit was no different. Steve and I visited Le Vignoble for a spot of lunch and a drop or two of vino. Le Vignoble is newly opened wine boutique and bar situated right in the heart of the city. Its my new favourite watering hole in Bath. Check out my post here.
We also popped into Paxton and Whitfield for a cheese tasting with Phillipe and Dag. Those guys really do know their cheese. I was in seventh heaven obviously.. read about my cheese-tastic visit here.
To be honest, I could add so much more to this post. April really has been super busy and I have loved every minute despite some chilly temperatures. Next month sees Tara’s Busy Kitchen & Other Stories turn three. I can’t believe my little blog will be three years old. Thank you all for your constant love and support. It means a great deal to me. Not only is it TBK’s birthday, it’s mine too. I have a picnic planned so really hope the weather improves. Fingers crossed for that. I hope you have enjoyed catching up on my adventures and I look forward to Marvellous May.
Additional photos by Nick Hook.