My Week In Pictures 16/16

Tara's Busy Kitchen presents afternoon tea

My lovely friend Emma (Tatts) came to visit this weekend which was an absolute joy. She escaped the bright lights of the city and hopped on a train from London to Exeter for the night. The main reason for coming (apart from wanting to see me) was the afternoon tea I had planned for Sunday! 

We met up at the house after I had finished teaching and spent the best part of the afternoon catching up on all of our “goings on”. Once caught up we decided to open a bottle of fizz to celebrate her visit and get us in the mood for our pizza date with Steve and Serena. Serena arrived at 7.30pm to join in on the fizz and then it was a short walk up the road to Base + Barley. A bottle of Chenin Blanc was ordered for the girls and Steve was on the American pale ale. Pizzas were ordered and devoured over lots of nattering. It was a really fabulous evening. Base + Barley really is a great place to dine with friends. The atmosphere is always buzzing on a Saturday night.

After pizzas it was home to bed for a relatively early night. We didn’t want to waste our Sunday morning. Breakfast at Harrys was planned!

We arrived at Harrys at about 11am and ordered. Both Emma and I had the avocado smash with extra poached eggs and Steve had “The Works”. A full English cooked to perfection. We were served by the wonderful Amy. The friendliest and loveliest waitress in the whole of Exeter for sure! My avocado smash was to die for and just what I needed to set me up for the busy day ahead. I had lots of baking to do for my afternoon tea party.

Later on that day I held my third Tara’s Busy Kitchen presents afternoon tea event. Thirteen friends old and new popped along to the house for a spot of afternoon tea. Lots of yummy homemade savouries, cakes and scones with jam from Clare’s Preserves were served alongside Sharpham Vineyard pink fizz and Plymouth Tea. My guests were given a little goodie bag to take away that had the cutest cupcakes made by the wonderful Kate Shirazi of Cakeledoodledo fame. Plus a selection of teas from Plymouth Tea as well as flyers and postcards detailing all the local businesses that had been involved. Three hours of tea party later my guests started to drift off leaving Steve, Emma and myself to do a spot of tidying up. We plonked ourselves down on the sofa and relaxed a little before Emma’s train back home. I walked her to the train station for her 7.30pm train where we said our goodbyes. It was lovely to have her visit and I hope she will come again sooner rather than later.

On Tuesday evening Steve and I walked over to Exeter Cathedral. They were holding a Cathedral discovery evening where you can visit the cathedral for free and talk to the guides, watch short films and take in the overall grandeur of the building. We arrived a little early and managed to catch the end of evensong. The choir were singing the most beautiful songs that were echoing around the largest medieval vaulted ceiling ever built! With our free ticket we were offered a glass of wine. Steve and I both opted for a glass of Merlot. We enjoyed our glass of wine whilst mooching around the beautiful cathedral. Whilst we were there we signed ourselves up for a residents pass which is free to do providing you live in the EX1-EX4 postcodes of Exeter. This pass enables residents to free entry to the cathedral which is something that I will use frequently I think. There is so much to see inside and so much history. It really is a historic gem and only a five minute walk from my front door!

I popped down to Exeter’s Quayside to check out the building developments at Exeter Cookery School on Thursday. They plan to open for business on 15th June. I can’t wait to try out a course or two. Check out my full blog post on my visit out next week.

We popped into The Ridge Cafe which is just across the street for a quick drink before we walked back home. I went for one of my favourite Luscombe drinks… Damascene Rose Bubbly. Steve had an americano.

Some of you who read my local newspaper in Exeter would have heard that Alfie my fluffy black cat had disappeared. It was completely out of character for him to be away for much more than 24 hours so we were both really worried after six days had passed. We had fly posted in the surrounding neighbourhood and knocked on doors but nothing had come of it. After phoning all of the local vets in Exeter, the RSPCA and the Cats Protection we decided our only other option was Twitter. Luckily for us, Steve’s tweet about missing Alfie got retweeted by the famous “my sad cat” of “Why is my cat so sad?”. This had a snowball effect and after about 400 subsequent retweets, the Express and Echo got involved. They posted a little article online which in turn helped us find Alfie. Within a few hours there had been three separate sightings. All in the same place. A kind lady had read the article and recognised Alfie from the photo. She phoned Steve who went off with a cat basket to go rescue him! We are thrilled to have him back home with us. A massive Thank You to everyone who helped us find our fluffy cat. Whilst Steve and I had visited the cathedral on Tuesday, I had lit a candle for Alfie and his safe return. I guess that helped too!

It’s been a pretty busy but fun week. I have lots more planned for next week so look out for next weeks blog posts. My friend Amber is getting married, I have a trip planned to the Exeter Festival of Food and Drink plus a couple of tea dates with friends. I wonder if anything else will crop up?  In the meantime you can always follow what I am up to on Facebook, Snapchat (tiara-tara), Instagram and Twitter. Have a great week!

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