What a week it’s been. Obviously for people living in Exeter, my home town, we have all been very emotional about the horrific fire in our city centre that engulfed a number of historically important buildings. The Royal Clarence Hotel is the oldest recorded hotel in Britain and was devastated by fire on Friday. Watching live updates throughout the day and subsequent days thereafter on the television and internet has been so upsetting. Exeter will never be the same again. I think we all need to give a huge round of applause to the brave firefighters who tackled the blaze.
On a lighter note I have tried vegan, gluten free and sugar free brownies and raw tarts by Liberty Cakes UK, Scandinavian nibbles at the newly opened KuPP in the Queen Street Dining complex, great pub grub at The Rugglestone on Dartmoor and delicious home cooked food at Harry’s (post to follow). I often wonder why I am not the size of a house!
Let me show you some pictures from the afternoon tea I put on for a few friends to showcase the delicious chocolatey treats from Liberty Cakes UK. There will be a full post next week.
We have had some fabulous weather this week and it has barely felt like autumn. Tuesday was one of these days where the sun was shining and there was a mildness in the air that seemed very unseasonable. Not that I am complaining! I got myself on a bus up to the moors to meet my friend Alison for lunch at The Rugglestone. One of my favourite pubs with amazing homemade real pub grub. There are no airs and graces here when it comes to the menu. Just good quality hearty pub food that never dissapoints. Alison and I both ordered the soup of the day which was courgette and Stilton. We also shared some whitebait. I always forget how big the portions are at The Rugglestone and felt so full on my way back to the bright lights of Exeter!
On Thursday night I was privileged enough to be invited to the launch party at KuPP. One of the last remaining restaurants to open in the Queen Street Dining complex. KuPP sets itself apart from other restaurants in Exeter by having a Scandinavian inspired menu. Delicious sharing platters loaded with pickles, smoked fish and cheeses alongside other traditional dishes of meatballs grace the menu. I can’t tell you how excited I am that something like this is opening. The decor is just what you would expect from a scandi inspired restaurant. Cosy yet minimalist, lots of natural wood and soft lighting. They even have a living wall!! I really liked the vibe and I can’t wait to get myself back in there to sample the menu in full.
It’s been a week of highs and lows. Obviously the whole city of Exeter is still coming to terms with the loss of one of our most iconic and oldest buildings. It will take a long time to recover from this I think. We can only look forward and hope that the hotel can be rebuilt keeping its charm and that the people who work there find an alternative for the time being. The city folk have been remarkable though and many local businesses have helped support the emergency services by providing hot food and drinks. I love that we are all pulling together as a community. It reminds me of why I love this city so much.
Hopefully by the time you read this on Sunday the fire will be out and normality can begin to resume in some way or another. It will be a long process of recovery but seeing the way the local community have come together on this I think we will come out of the other side stronger.