Wow! November.. where did you come from? A short while ago we were basking in the warm summer sun (when it decided to show its face of course). Now my fingers are numb as soon as I leave the house and my nose quite often resembles Rudolph. Pretty apt I guess now that the Halloween festivities are over and we glide towards the big ‘C‘. I am really looking forward to Christmas this year. Steve and I will have a house full of friends and family and I can’t wait! I don’t go in for the big corporate Christmas. I prefer homemade and thrifted gifts plus keep my food shopping to local suppliers as much as possible. It’s the feeling of Christmas I love not the big show! Anyway.. I think that is quite enough of that for the time being don’t you? I am always the first person to moan when Christmas gets rammed down our throats way too early!
It’s been another busy week travelling around Devon seeing what yummy things I can find on my way. Luckily for me I was on half term at the beginning of the week so I took full advantage from my time off from teaching.
I made my way down to Totnes with Steve and our friends Nick and Harry. We had a dinner date at The Seven Stars to sample their brand new autumnal menu. Head chef Dan Archer stepped up to the plate (excuse the pun!) with his brand new seasonal menu. We all found it so difficult to make our decisions from the menu as there was so much on offer to tempt us. I don’t mean the menu was large but Dan made it difficult to choose from his selection. What a predicament to be in. I opted for the scallops with a raisin and pine nut dressing and herb salad followed by a lightly spiced acorn squash and sage pithivier, roasted heritage beets and a warm salsa of autumn greens. I think between the four of us we probably made a pretty good dent in the menu. We couldn’t fault the service from start to finish. The icing on the cake was when head chef Dan popped his head out of the kitchen to say “hello” and ask for our feedback which we dutifully gave him. Good work team Seven Stars on your new menu launch night!
On Saturday I caught the train to Totnes. I was spending the day and night with my friend Carmen. I had been invited to Riverford Field Kitchen to check out their annual Pumpkin Day so took Carmen along for the ride. Virtually on her doorstep in Staverton it was so easy for us to get there. We arrived to a throng of people all eager to see what was on offer. For Carmen and myself the main draw was the food and a chance to take a walk around the grounds. For many of the families the pumpkin carving and kids activities were the main focus. I think a highlight for me (apart from my delicious lunch of chickpea tagine) was our exploration of the poly tunnels. It was great to see what was growing inside and to chat to the gardeners who were so busy maintaining the high standards.
From Riverford’s Pumpkin Day we headed back the short distance to Carmen’s house via Ben’s Farm Shop for a few provisions for supper. The rest we picked from Carmen’s kitchen garden. We made a delicious kale, garlic and anchovy salad, a chickpea and carrot salad with a sesame dressing alongside a marrow gratin. What a feast.
You might remember I held a competition earlier in the month to win a £50 Princesshay gift card. Well, we have a winner! Well done Janette Hill. Happy spending!
Have a happy week everybody. As this is published I will be with my friends selling our old bits and bobs at the car boot sale. I really hope it doesn’t rain and that I manage to keep the feeling in my fingers and toes! Next week I have a few foodie dates with friends. Steve is away with a friend in Paris celebrating a birthday so I will occupy my free time with plenty of tea, cake and veggies!