My July

My July

My oh my, what a July! I can’t get over the weather we have been having. Week upon week of sunshine is virtually unheard of in Blighty but it just keeps on shining. I love it! Spending time outside, warm summer evenings and alfresco dining have been highlights for sure. The sunshine also gave me the opportunity to get a pre-Sicily mini tan too.

July has been a busy month work-wise with the end of term bringing Royal Academy of Dance ballet exams. Extra classes and coaching have meant I have had very few days off but when I have had the opportunity to explore I have jumped at the chance.

Good food festival Plymouth

Steve and I headed down to Plymouth for the Good Food Festival in Royal William Yard. A buzzing foodie hub that turns into a mini food festival the first Sunday of every month. Food and craft stalls galore set up camp on the grass to sell their wares. We sampled a delicious West Country Raclette from Say Cheese. A stall offering all things cheesy from scones to cheese boards. For a cheese fanatic like myself, there was never any doubt that I would try anywhere else. The Raclette was cheese heaven. Sautéed potatoes, smothered in oozing melted cheese and homemade pickles. Oh, my! It was a taste sensation. You really must give them a try if you see them around. I believe they attend the Totnes Food Market too.

Le Vignoble

Whilst in Plymouth I popped into Le Vignoble to say “hello”. Having visited the premises in Bath not so long ago I was eager to try what Plymouth had to offer. With an amazing outdoor seating area and the sun shining it seemed foolish to sit inside so we jumped on the last available table in the gorgeous summer sun. Read about my visit here.

If you want to know more about Le Vignoble in Bath then read my blogpost here.

Comptoir Libonais

Not my first visit to Comptoir Libonais and it certainly won’t be my last I am sure. One of the better chain restaurants in the Queen Street Dining area in Exeter. Their mezze platter is like a magnet for me. The pull is strong! Read my latest review here.

Picnics In The Park

My friends Viki, Chantelle and I have been getting together weekly in this glorious sunshine for lunchtime picnics with a theme. We have celebrated National Cream Tea Day, Wimbledon with strawberries and cream and the most recent Bastille Day!

Of course, I don’t really need excuses to have a good feed. If there are opportunities to get my “bake on” all the better!

The Ginger Peanut – Bampton

Steve an I took a rather lovely night away at The Ginger Peanut in Bampton. A beautiful town nestled just outside Tiverton. Read about my stay here.

My “Go To” Celebration Cake

I love baking. I am not going to lie but it hasn’t always been the case. In fact, I was a very unconfident baker after having numerous cake and bake fails over the years. I have since learnt that you just have to be very precise. Baking is a science and each little component comes together in its correct measurements to create delicious wonders. This cake is my “go to” bake for celebrations. It’s incredibly easy and uses a few ingredients that I always have in my store cupboard. If you missed my blog post with the recipe never fear. Here it is again for you.


I have recently discovered these little squares of yumminess by Joyfuel. The perfect snack and tiny enough to fit in my ridiculously small handbag! Clocking in at just over 100 calories each and made fresh with good quality ingredients what’s not to love? I am a convert with the “Very Berry” and the “Peanut Butter Choc” being the winners. I felt that the “Raspberry Almond Butter” was a little on the dry side though. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance.

As I sit here in Cefalù I wonder what August will bring to me. The summer holidays have started which means no regular teaching work. My evenings and weekends are my own again so I shall be looking for things to do and places to visit. Do you have any recommendations? Please do get in contact.

I do however have a few things in the pipeline. A visit to One Mile Bakery to do a spot of baking with Boudicca Woodland. Plus a trip to Brickhouse Vineyard in Mamhead for a cheese and wine pairing which are both very exciting. Watch this space.

I hope you have all had a rather wonderful July and have some glorious plans for the summer. I will be back posting with a vengeance so do look out for regular Tara’s Busy Kitchen updates.

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