Hello All. Devon has been blessed with the most beautiful weather over the month of May. I can’t tell you how happy this has made me. The joy of waking up to blue skies and temperatures above the national average has improved my mood no end. Amongst the amazing trips here and there that I will share with you later, I have celebrated my birthday. It was pretty low key due to work commitments but, to be honest, that suited me just fine. I got to eat cake, drink tea and have a charity shop rummage! Not everyone’s perfect way to celebrate a birthday but it got top marks from me.
Why not take a few moments more to read what trips I have been on this month. Hopefully, it will inspire you to get out and about yourselves. Enjoy!
Exeter Food Festival
Steve and I took our annual pilgrimage to the Exeter Festival of Food and drink. The weather was truly exceptional this year with temperatures in the high 20’s. I even got my legs out and dusted off my shorts for the occasion!
I was working the day of the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markel but did manage to pop my head out of the studio door amongst lessons to get a sneak peek at her dress. I thought she looked very elegant indeed.
To celebrate the occasion and the coming together of two continents I mixed things up a little with the help of Warrens Bakery. Instead of a traditional cream tea, I swapped out the clotted cream for peanut butter and do the transatlantic hybrid afternoon tea cake. I agree it’s not to everyone’s taste but I say “don’t knock it until you try it”.
My regular readers will know that I love English wines. They have come such a long way in recent years with many vineyards scooping wine awards beating their European counterparts. In Devon, there are many fabulous vineyards producing top quality wines. Sharpham Vineyard is one of my firm favourites. Not only is the wine pretty darn good, the vineyard and surrounding areas are stunning. When the weather is fine I can’t think of anywhere else more perfect for lunch and a glass or two of wine.
On this particular visit with my friend Chloe and her cute puppy Oak, we decided to take a walk through the vines to the banks of the beautiful River Dart. A perfect opportunity to build up an appetite for lunch. We had booked with the new occupants of the on-site restaurant. The Cellar Door whips up a storm from a mobile kitchen serving local and seasonal produce of the highest quality to hungry diners. To complement the menu Sharpham’s wines are on offer to have alongside. With views over the Dart Valley to the river below it really is a great spot that I would highly recommend.
Chloe and I sampled Sharpham’s brand new Pinot Gris and Bacchus straight from the tank thanks to manager and chief winemaker Duncan Schwab. The Pinot Gris is going to be a great summer wine. So easy to drink as an aperitif or alongside food. The Bacchus being a little sweeter would fair very well alongside dessert in my opinion.
We dined on the biggest crab that I had seen in a long while with sorrel aioli, chargrilled lemon, salad and bread. It couldn’t have been more perfect for our lunch date.
My friend Natalie and I spent a girls night away on Dartmoor. We booked a lovely little B and B called The Dartmoor Suite in Poundsgate. A delightful stone cottage nestled amongst the rugged beauty of the moors. We spent the first part of our evening getting to know the property and the surrounding area.
We picked up some yummy nibbles for our supper and some Sharpham Vineyard Sparkling Pink to have alongside. I had visited Sharpham the day before so it seemed only natural. Plus, it was the first day of English Wine Week so I couldn’t imagine drinking anything other than a local wine for the occasion.
Once settled we popped the cork, prepared our food and spent the evening chatting and catching up. Before we knew it it was midnight and certainly time for bed.
The next morning after the usual pottering our B and B host, Mike Edwards of Jesus Jones (do you remember Jesus Jones?) fame knocked on the dividing door with breakfast. What a breakfast it was too. Pastries, bread rolls, toast, yoghurt, nuts, seeds, fruit, juices… the list really does go on and on. It was amazing to say the least.
It was a very short and sweet visit to The Dartmoor Suite but very much needed. With my dance show just around the corner, I needed a chance to switch off from that and I certainly did.
There you have it, my ‘Marvellous May’. It’s been a busy one with work which has meant the blog has been on a bit of a back burner of late. Apologies for that but it couldn’t be helped. On Friday my bi-annual dance show starts to sell out crowds. As you can imagine it has been taking up the majority of my spare time. As of next week, I will be back ‘on it’ creating recipes, getting out and about sampling local goodies and reviewing a couple of newly opened establishments.
I have an exciting dinner party planned with private chef Alistair Prichard from La Belle Assiette booked in. He will be whipping up a seasonal culinary storm in my own kitchen. I can’t wait to share that experience with you. A real treat indeed!
I am also heading over to the Cavern Club, Exeter for supper created entirely from waste food. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see what’s on offer.
The South West Food Collective are a charity that collect surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and deliver it to charities in the local South West area, completely free of charge. The charity was founded in early 2018, by Sophie, a project manager who was part of the establishment The Felix Project in London, and Graham, an engineer with several years experience in the voluntary food waste sector.
This fundraising dinner is a collaborative effort between The South West Food Collective, Worth the Salt, and Exeter Food Action, and all proceeds will go towards the establishment of the South West Food Collective. I look forward to sharing that experience with you all too.
I hope you have been enjoying the wonderful weather recently. Long may it continue so we can all get outside a little more. You can’t beat eating outside can you?