My February

My Valentines / Galentines Gift Guide

February has been a very pink month all in all. ‘Pretty in Pink’ Pasta, ‘All You Need Is Love’ Biscuits, Blood Orange Bundt Cake… Was it the abundance of Valentines hearts, roses and chintz all over the city that inspired me? To be honest, I am not entirely sure. I do like a touch of pink here or there but normally in subtle peach/nude shades or it’s polar opposite, neon.

Whatever it was that inspired me, I have felt very creative in the kitchen which is no bad thing. Spring is on its way, the lighter evenings are beginning to show themselves again and I feel a lot happier in myself.

If you missed out on my “Pretty In Pink” Pasta recipe click here. For my “All You Need Is Love” Biscuit recipe click here and for my Blood Orange Bundt Cake click here.

Chinese New Year

My friend Angel and I headed out with the InExeter Gift Card in hand to see what oriental treats we could find to spend our money on to celebrate Chinese New Year. We lunched on bao buns from Red Panda which were amazing as always and hunted out all things Chinese in a few of Exeter’s top independent stores. Willow Hilson Vintage and Peachy Tipi came up trumps with vintage treats a plenty. My celebration outfit was pitch perfect with Willow having so much choice. Her shop is perfectly dreamy. Faye at Peachy Tipi had the most perfect piggy salt and pepper shakers to adorn my table to celebrate the year of The Pig. On top of that Angel and I visited the top independent fruit and vegetable shop Eat Your Greens for all our Chinese ingredients to celebrate. Read more here.


This year I wanted to highlight the strong female relationships in my life with a tribute to my friends in my post ‘Be Mine, Galentine’. It delves into why my female friends are important to me. Read about it here.

My Valentines Gift Guide highlighted a few independent businesses as well as showcasing some fab recipes for the celebrations. Read it here.

Saveur Exmouth

I had the pleasure of visiting a gem of a restaurant in the seaside town of Exmouth. Saveur is a family run and independent restaurant serving modern British cuisine. I tried out their good value lunch menu on my visit. A blog post will follow so watch this space. In the meantime here are a few photos to tease you!


I spent a few days in the wonderful city of London visiting my sister Estella as well as catching up with a few friends towards the end of the month. I couldn’t have hoped for better weather. The sun shined and shined and shined and I even managed to go big coatless twice. Could this mean that Spring is on its way? I think I felt like this last year and then the dreaded Beast from the East struck. I don’t want to jinx anything but everything and everyone seem so much happier when the sun shines; myself included. I don’t know if it was the change in scenery, spending time with my sister and friends, not working or the weather that put a spring in myself but I felt completely and truly happy. I discovered some amazing eateries including The Coral Room, The Good Egg and Pizarro as well as the most hilariously named coffee shop., Fuckoffee.

I managed a couple of museum visits which was unusual for me. I rarely have time whilst in London but on this visit I was travelling alone. With my sister at work, it meant I had some free moments to soak up a bit of culture. The first culture fix was at The White Cube on Bermondsey Street. Tracey Emin was showing her latest collection of work, “A Fortnight of Tears“. What an amazing space and what an amazing collection of sculpture, film, photography, painting and drawings. I was blown away by the content. It seemed far more grown up and honest than previous works. I loved it.

My second museum visit was at the Tate Modern. I stopped in with Estella for their Tate Late. An evening of art, dance, spoken word and culture celebrating women. The Tate Modern has undergone quite a transformation since my last visit a number of years ago. It seems to have doubled in size. It really is something special and I loved my visit immensely. Every room throughout the gallery was buzzing. I would highly recommend a visit.

My final day was spent at Maltby St Market which is luxuriously close to Estella’s apartment on Bermondsey Street. We sauntered across for a late bite and a couple of beers. Like typical Brit’s we followed the sun and ended up sitting amongst cars in a car park complete with debris from a building site and some fly-tipped furniture. We obviously set a trend as the great and the good of society decided to join us to all steal their own few rays of sunshine. We drank amazing beer from Hiver and ate gyoza from The Gyoza Guys and pistachio brioche buns from Comptoir Maltby. Delish indeed.


I hope you have enjoyed reading about “My February”. I feel it has been a productive one. I wonder what exciting things March will throw my way? Will we be visited from the Beast from the East again!? Who knows, but watch this space to find out. In the meantime, enjoy the lovely spring-like weather.

For more Tara’s Busy Kitchen daily goings on check out my Instagram here.

Additional photographs by Willow Hilson, Angel Wade and Chloe Upton. The Tinkture Gin photo used with permission.

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