Now that my ballet exams are over, I only have to work a half day on a Saturday until the end of term. It’s great. I feel like I can have a little bit of a life with my friends and loved ones.
Steve and I caught the train to Topsham as soon as I was ready from my quick work to “off mode” change. The sun was shining but it was chilly. I had wrapped up warm as I am prone to getting cold. I think I must have poor circulation. It’s a bit of a “Where’s Wally” moment with me in my red hat.. Thank goodness it’s not stripey or it really would be!
Once in Topsham we walked down from the station towards the High Street so I could look in the charity shops. I love all things vintage as I’ve mentioned on my blog before. I managed to find a cute cup and saucer that matched some gold and silver vintage pieces I already have. I was thrilled to bits as I have an event coming up next weekend called “Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents … Afternoon Tea” and I am short on vintage teacups and saucers.
After our mooch through the town we decided to head over to Darts Farm for a spot of afternoon tea and a look around the food hall. I hadn’t had lunch because of the rush from ballet so needed a well deserved cup of tea and a slice of cake. We chose two different slices so we could share a bit of both. Coffee and walnut which is always a winner in my books and a mincemeat and almond slice. Both were delicious. One old school and one Christmassy to match with the festive tunes that were playing. When you read this it will be three weeks to Christmas. It seems madness that time is flying past so quickly. It will soon be 2016!
Darts Farm were really embracing the Christmas vibe with lots of Christmas decorations, food displays and festive ales. I even tried a little tester of a Georgie Porgie Christmas pudding which made us buy one as it was so delicious. They are made just down the road from us in Budleigh Salterton. I love supporting local businesses. Steve chose a couple of Christmassy ales to add to our basket of goodies to take home too. He was in his element in the ale department. There must have been well over 200 to choose from and not that expensive either.
I fell in love with two things from Orange Tree at Darts Farm. The Christmas reindeer and this wonderful golden pineapple. The pineapple came home with me but the cute little reindeer had to stay behind to keep the gingerbread man company!
Whilst browsing at Darts Farm I discovered beetroot bread with a lovely pink hue. So I purchased a loaf. Steve and I had some that evening alongside our stuffed butternut squash and it was very nice. I just adore the colour!
A few weeks ago Steve, Alex and myself went to Bovey Castle for afternoon tea. We were celebrating Alex’s birthday. When I told my chum Emma about it she said “We have to go!”. So we booked and went!
The decorations were beginning to be put up which was a real joy. I feel with three weeks to go until Christmas I should be embracing the festivities a bit more.
Even the afternoon tea had a festive feel.. The jam had changed from strawberry to homemade plum and mulled wine. There were mince pies and turkey sandwiches for the carnivores. Emma and I opted for vegetarian sandwiches.
Once again I had a wonderful time at Bovey Castle. Three hours passed in a flash once more. On the way home Emma and I were talking about how you can forget yourself at the castle. All the problems or stresses that you may have just disappear here. We both said that we were truely relaxed there and that time just flies. I highly recommend a visit!
When I returned back to Exeter from the castle I had an event at my favourite shop to attend. Lorna Ruby is a fabulous shop nestled a stones throw from Exeter Cathedral. You could spend many an hour mooching around. They stock fabulous clothing, jewels, accessories and homewares. It is a one stop shop in my eyes!
Once again I have had a very full week. My work life will begin to slow as ballet begins to wind down for Christmas. That means I will have more time to do lovely things.
I have my first “Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents…” event this weekend too. I am hosting an afternoon tea “pop up” in my lounge. I am excited to see how it goes. I have some friends, foodies and like minded bloggers coming so it will be interesting to see how it goes. Fingers crossed for me please!
Have a wonderful week everybody.