My Week in Pictures 39/16

All change

Sunday was a bright and crisp day and I had plans with my girls Chloe and Sarah. We had a lunch date at Sharpham Vineyard at Ashprington just outside Totnes.

Sharpham Vineyard is nestled on the hillside beside the River Dart. Two miles outside the historic town of Totnes. The aim of the Sharpham Estate is to produce world class wines and cheeses without harming the environment.

The Anchorstone Cafe runs seasonally and will be closing on the 3rd October for the winter. The reason being that most of the seating is outside with very little undercover. They serve a full menu of seasonal produce alongside the wonderful wines of Sharpham.

We ordered our drinks. Chloe and I both had a glass of Bacchus and Sarah had a glass of summer red. The Bacchus was divine. A really fruity flavour that was very drinkable. Sarah said her summer red was quite light and dry. Perfect for this time of the year.

Sarah had the catch of the day which was plaice served with a salsa verde, fennel slaw, fries and a green salad. Chloe and I both had the cheese soufflé that was served with a side salad with some beautiful sourdough and butter.

We all decided on a pud.. I had the peach cheesecake, Chloe ordered the pear frangipane and Sarah chose the chocolate brownie. All served with a good old dollop of Salcombe Dairy vanilla ice cream. Yummy!

I am so excited for our next get together now. The 5th of November will be a fish and chip night at my house. It’s making my mouth water already! 

Being a foodie and living in Exeter at this point in time is great. There are so many new restaurants opening up in the new Queen Street Dining complex. We are so spoilt for choice. On Tuesday evening Steve, Johanna and myself raced over to The Terrace to check out the new rooftop bar and restaurant. We were warmly welcomed and shown to our table. The views out over the city are wonderful. Once the sun had gone down the cathedral was seen in the distance lit up beautifully. What a backdrop for our late supper.

I would like to return when the restaurant is up and running in full swing as I think it will be a real asset to the city. Perhaps Steve’s birthday in a couple of weeks time would be a good time? I better get booking.

Wednesday was the turn of the Absurd Bird soft launch. You may know I have visited the restaurant before for a behind the scenes tour and tasting but I haven’t had the opportunity to order from the menu. I was teaching after lunch so wanted a lighter option! To be honest there isn’t really an awful lot of choice if you want something lighter but I did my best. I had heard lots of fabulous reviews about the deep fried pickles so they had to be on the list. Steve and I decided on getting a few bits to share so we could try lots of different things. To go alongside the pickles we had the jalapeño and cheese biscuits served with apple butter. I had tried these last week at the press night and loved them. They are what the British would call a scone and the savoury. With the sweet apple butter its a great combination.

To follow, Steve had the absurdly hot chicken. Fried chicken breast on chargrilled white bread with a hot chilli and lemon sauce. The chicken was moist and succulent and there was just enough heat in the sauce to make Steve get that chilli flush! He opted for the spicy sweet potato fries to go alongside. 

I had the watermelon and heritage tomato salad with a side of jalapeño Mac and cheese. The watermelon salad was ok but the tomatoes were cold. I have a thing about cold tomatoes. The flavour is so much better when they are at room temperature. The jalapeño Mac and cheese was incredibly cheesey with a faint hint of heat from the chilli.

Steve and I didn’t even look at the dessert menu as we were so full. The portions at Absurd Bird are massive so go hungry or be prepared to share.

When out in my garden I discovered little mushrooms growing in my hanging basket. A sure fire way to convince me it is no longer summer and we have moved into autumn. Plus, my heating came on in the week! The nights are drawing in .. it will soon be ‘you know what’!

My foodie week continued on Thursday evening with an invitation to my favourite chocolate shop in Exeter, Chococo. After teaching I hot footed it into town and made my way to Gandy Street. Gandy Street is situated just off the High Street and Queen Street. A hidden jem close to all the action but it feels far enough from the throng to have that independent feel.

I was warmly welcomed with a glass of fizz by Claire and Andy. The co-founders of Chococo. After chatting a little I explored the venue. My regular readers will remember my post all about Chococo from a few months ago. I know the place well as I have visited a number of times since it opened but things have developed and changed. Amazing wall art has been put upstairs that adds to the bright and colourful interior. I bumped into some fellow bloggers whilst on my exploration. Chris from Eating Exeter and Stephanie from Exploring Exeter. So we had a catch up on the brilliant foodie scene that is developing in Exeter at the moment. I also put a face to a name after an introduction. I regularly participate in various Devon and Exeter hours on Twitter and finally met the man behind Exeter Live – Darren. It’s always lovely to put faces to names because in the blogging world most communications happen via twitter, Facebook or email so meeting someone in the flesh is always nice. We all chatted together whilst trying out delicious chocolates as they were circulated around the room by the lovely chocolatier, Charlotte. My favourite of the night was the olive oil and sea salt followed by the Black Cow vodka truffle. The quality of the chocolate of course stands out and I felt very spoilt being able to try them all! It was a wonderful night meeting new faces as well as catching up with old. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and look forward to sampling more chocolates very soon.

It’s been another fantastically busy week but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience all these wonderful foodie delights. I have had so much fun!

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Have a fabulous week everybody!

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