Sunday was by all means a fun day last week when the first Fore Street Flea took place. Fore Street in Exeter was closed off to traffic and the shops that trade there and other local people set up tables in the streets to sell their wares. Second hand goodies galore, yummy food trucks and other treats were all doing a roaring trade as the street became a “posh” car boot for the afternoon! It was great fun to see what the stalls had on offer plus I got to eat yummy Greek food for lunch from Polly Nostimos. An old fashioned van converted into a fully functional Greek kitchen on wheels. My aubergine stew was immense. Slow cooked aubergine that melted in the mouth with a salty kick of feta was just what I needed. Especially with a yummy piece of olive oil drenched chargrilled bread to mop up the juices. I sat on the kerb in the glorious sunshine and watched the world go by whilst tucking in.
On Wednesday Cassie came for lunch. I prepared a recipe that I had recently had published on Help I’m A Student online magazine. A student directory full of helpful tips on how to survive student life. My spicy beans recipe on garlic toast was the second recipe I had prepared for them. A pimped up posh baked beans, made from scratch in next to no time. Perfect for two hungry girlies that both had long evenings of teaching ahead. Cassie is a ballet teacher too. We trained together many moons ago!
Thursday morning I took myself down to the weekly farmers market to stock up on some goodies from my faves Shillingford Organics. The sun was shining and it was busy, busy, busy.
Chef Andy Hazelwood talked about the provenance of the ingredients used in their cooking. Local free range chickens from Creedy Carver are obviously a high point in this Absurd Bird philosophy. Alongside this Andy talked about the high end training that is given to the chefs and how detail is very important to them. I like this about the brand. It sets them apart from other restaurants. The passion that Andy has for the menu and the brand is evident and if he passes this on to the employees of Absurd Bird, Exeter we are in for a treat when they open.
The decor is very old school American south. Think “How To Kill A Mockingbird”. Lots of rocking chairs, birdcages and big leafy palms. Imagine yourself sitting on a rickety porch in the deep American south sipping a Mississippi mud pie cocktail whist gently rocking back and forth in a rocking chair. If you can imagine that then you are halfway there to imagining the decor! I had a great few hours learning all about the food provenance and the history of moonshine whilst sampling snippets of the menu on the way. I would definitely recommend the jalapeño mac and cheese plus the cheese biscuits (scones to you and me!) with apple butter! That sweet and savoury combo is always a winner.
Friday afternoon saw me dolled up in a specially commissioned t-shirt by the wonderfully talented Abigail Gardiner. Abi is a textile designer that specialises in embroidery and embellishment. Her skills and attention to detail are second to none and I felt privileged to be able to model one of her pieces.
I have had the best week doing things I love, visiting new places plus seeing and tasting new things. Next week there is more of the same with a couple of new restaurants opening in the city that I have been invited to try out. It’s going to be busy but I am ready for it!