On Sunday I woke up and looked out the window and was devastated to see torrential rain. I had a date with the Exeter Food Festival and was praying for fine weather. None the less I got myself bundled up and made my way to the festival grounds. It was busy despite the poor weather but not too busy that you couldn’t get to where you wanted to go and see the bits you wanted to see. Apart from all the wonderful local suppliers and producers that we have in the region displaying their wares I was there in another capacity. I had been asked to participate in a little BBC Radio Devon Q & A alongside fellow Eating Exeter blogger Chris Gower and Harry Wild from Devon Food Hour. Our discussion was on how being a blogger has become a little cottage industry and how blogging influences our readers to try new things amongst others. It was a great experience and one I would relish doing again.
Despite the rain and cold temperatures I enjoyed my day thoroughly. Plenty of local delights were consumed alongside a few glasses of local fizz. I even got to witness and sample a local wine tasting with Suzy Atkins in the Darts Farm Teepee. Pebble Bed and Lyme Bay Winery were the wines on offer and I have to say they were very good. Especially the sparklers. Apparently they fair very well here due to our colder climate. I love learning new things. I would have thought that all wines needed heat from the sun to develop the sugars and flavours, but no! How cool is it that we can make such great wine in the Exeter area? Exeter Food Festival is such an asset to our city so roll on next year.
On Monday Steve and I got an early train to Winchester to visit my aunt and uncle. We were staying at a little B & B called The Black Hole which is virtually opposite where they live. Such a great location for the city centre. After a cup of tea and a chit chat we made our way over to one of the nicest pubs I have ever frequented. The Wykeham Arms is always on my list of places to visit when I am in Winchester. It has such a lovely atmosphere. A mere stones throw from our B & B and Lorraine and Dai’s house. It’s a perfect destination. We were booked in for lunch and it was a busy bank holiday service. Despite a bit of a wait for our food to come out it didn’t mar my enjoyment. Between us we ordered lots of starters and small plates to share. A lovely way to sample many things from the menu.
The following day we went for a long walk before making our way to the Forte Kitchen. A hidden gem situated on Parchment Street that you might blink and miss. You have to look for the entrance as it’s not particularly visible at street level. Take the stairs to the first floor and you find a modern and bustling restaurant specialising in breakfast, brunch and lunch. A great place to meet friends and have a good, well cooked, seasonal and local meal. All the staff were friendly and attentive. What more would you need?
On Friday I felt well and truly spoilt when I visited my friend Wanda for lunch at her house. Salads galore, roasted fennel, fruit and cheese all washed down with some delicious bubbles made for a very enjoyable afternoon. She had even lit the fire so coffee was taken fireside. It was pure bliss.
Wanda also has the most wonderful walled garden full of amazing plants, fruit trees and bushes as well as an abundance of herbs. It’s a city centre delight! What a lovely way to spend my Friday afternoon.
Enjoy your week everybody. Let’s catch up next week!