Firstly, apologies are needed. I have been rubbish and neglected you all on here. I have found May a really difficult month and haven’t really been myself for the most of it. Firstly, my cat Archie was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his stomach. His health rapidly declined and he lost his battle a mere week later which was devastating for both Steve and I. Our cats are our babies and losing one so quickly really took the wind out of our sails.
Normally I look forward to the month of May. It’s my birthday month and it holds many a fond memory for me. Birthday celebrations just aren’t complete without a trip to the Devon County Show or watching the Eurovision Song Contest on the telly. Many a childhood birthday revolved around these two events and even to this day I have happy memories of both. Being able to stay up late to watch the Eurovision was such a treat as a kid, especially when we got marked fairly and not politically. Nowadays we rarely get a look in and hover at the bottom of the results table with the random techno act from Sweden and the death metal duo from Russia!
The Devon County Show was ALWAYS my birthday treat. A day out with the family and if I was really lucky, a day off school. This year I didn’t make it. Work got in the way as it usually does and the weekend passed me by. I will make a point of trying to go bi-annually from now on as I really do still enjoy walking around looking at the animals, sampling the odd cider and seeing what delicious foodie offerings I can nibble on.
So, what have I actually done this month? Well, my gorgeous friend Sarah married Mark at Lewtrenchard Manor near Okehampton and I got to share their special day. Steve and I got to hang out with my lovely friend Chloe and her husband Duncan. My chum Angel was in charge of capturing the day on her camera so we managed to catch up in between shots too. I can’t wait to see the images. Angel is such a wiz with a camera. Chloe and I were the chief cake makers and spent a couple of days pre-wedding baking a selection of marvellous cakes. Chloe made a two tiered Victoria sponge cake filled with cream and strawberries and I made a Tunisian orange cake, a rose and lemon bundt cake and an almost flourless chocolate cake. It was a festival of sweet treats! We decorated them with fresh flowers and I have to say I was rather proud of our achievements. Unfortunately the light in the cake room was pretty poor so I didn’t get any snaps but when Angel’s images are ready I will be sure to share some with you.
I was invited to the 16th annual Exeter Food Festival bloggers breakfast where I had the opportunity to walk around the event, led by chef Michael Caines before the doors were opened to the general public. We got to chat to producers on route and sample their wares without the queues. Perfect! I got to catch up with Jenny from Butter Bike Co too. If you haven’t discovered her peanut butters then you really must. They are so darn good.
I stayed on to explore more, meeting up with Steve and Johanna for lunch. We spent the best part of the afternoon eating delicious food and drinking cider in the sunshine listening to live music. It was such a lovely, sunny afternoon. It felt like summer was finally on the way.
Bill’s in Exeter has recently undergone a huge refurbishment. Goodbye partition walls piled high with chutney’s and jams and hello colonial Caribbean/1930’s speakeasy. Plush velvet banquette seating, lush palms and sparkling chandeliers created the most wonderful setting that is so “on point” at the moment. I love, love, loved the interior. A huge congratulation to the designer for coming up with a fresh, laid back vibe that is perfect for gathering with friends and family over breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you felt so inclined you could always pop in and have one of Bill’s signature cocktails at the bar, take in some fine tunes and soak up the buzzing atmosphere.Instagram to witness my adventures whilst I am there. Insta stories will be going nuts I am sure.
Next month I promise to be more proactive. I have plenty of recipes in the pipeline and some new products to sample. There are also a couple of restaurant reviews on the cards. Once the dates are finalised I will of course share everything with you here and through my Instagram account.
Have a marvellous bank holiday everybody. Be sure to take time out with your friends and family and relax.