Like anything I go through phases as I am sure you do. Phases of things I eat, places I like to visit and also having the mojo to get motivated to write a blog post. I guess with the various limitations through lockdown other things have been prioritised and that’s all good. It’s not like I meant to neglect my writing but I suppose I just always felt something else was more important. That’s not always true may I add as quite often I have found myself sitting on the sofa scrolling Instagram! Even that’s ok in moderation. It’s when you get sucked into that black hole that you have to worry! I never get that far without snapping back out but I did once or twice get slightly sucked in and found myself watching old Prince videos and clips. Snippets I hadn’t seen for years so it actually felt quite cathartic.
Anyway, I feel like a new chapter is emerging as lockdown gradually eases and things open up. I am back at the studio teaching the kids which initially made me extremely anxious but in reality, it was nice seeing their faces in person again. Some children I hadn’t met in a physical sense as I had only taught them online so that was lovely. The initial anxieties I had didn’t manifest into anything more and it’s nice to be back.
As we have been able to entertain a little more in outside spaces, I have had the opportunity to invite friends and family over to soak up the sunshine in the garden. #Terracelife is in full swing once again. I am so thankful that the weather has been on my side when people have come over otherwise it might have been a different kettle of fish. Steve and I purchased a pretty large gazebo to cover all eventualities when it comes to the often inclement English weather and our new outside furniture has got plenty of use. Long may that continue. Without any holidays or weekends away booked the terrace will be my little sanctuary. That said, I really must get a couple of things in the diary. I can’t go another year without leaving Devon! Last year during the various lockdown stages I only manage one trip to london and even that wasn’t overnight as at that time it was forbidden. Crikey! That’s nuts. I must rectify that this summer. A trip or two to London to visit friends and family definitely needs to be a priority as well as a trip to Bristol and Bath. There are so many bars, cafes, bakeries and restaurants I have seen on Instagram that I really want to try so I need to make that happen.
British Cheese Weekender
Last weekend was the British Cheese Weekender. A weekend set aside in my diary to enjoy all that is fabulous about our British cheeses. As you can imagine there was a lot of indulging as cheese is one of my all-time favourite foodstuffs in its many forms.
The highlight of the weekend being on Saturday night when I created a simple spaghetti Pomodoro e Basilico and pimped it up fully with the addition of British made burrata from La Latteria. Anything topped with cheese just has to be good in my opinion and this burrata is simply heavenly. For a full oozing video head on over to my Instagram page to check it out. It’s one not to be missed. In the meantime here are a few photos of the evening. It’s making me hungry just now thinking about it.
Of course, what do you follow cheese with on the British Cheese Weekender? More cheese of course! We are and drank like kings and queens as we watched the sun go down. It was completely idyllic.
A Trip To Gelato Paradise
A week or two ago (who’s counting!?) I hopped on the train to Exmouth to sample the delights of the newly opened Cafe Patisseie Glacerie. I managed to sneak in just before the doors opened to the general public to meet the owners and sample the delights on offer.
Cafe Pattiserie Glacerie is co-owned by chefs Michael Caines and Sylvain Peltier. Two well-respected chefs not only in the southwest but far and wide. I couldn’t have been treated to a better first outing beyond my garden perimeter after lockdown.
Champagne, fancy French patisserie and THE best gelato I have tasted this side of the Amalfi Coast certainly elevated the views out over the sandy dunes of Exmouth beach no end. Exmouth has been calling out for a few more places to visit and it would seem that with this new venture and the upcoming opening of Michaels newest bistro, Mickey’s scheduled for the middle of May there is more than one reason to hop on the train from Exeter.
It felt good breathing in the salty air and catching up with a few foodie friends that I have met over the few years I have been writing for Tara’s Busy Kitchen. It won’t be long before I return as that pistachio ice cream is calling my name.
Trying Somewhere New
I was invited by Lucie Stoneman to my favourite street in Exeter to visit her new (ish) salon Fika. If you don’t know Magdalen Road local readers you are missing out. It feels like you are in London with bustling cafes spilling out onto the pavements, delis, farm shops.. in fact pretty much everything you would need. It’s a one-stop shopping venue and now it has a rather lovely hairdresser too.
Fika really is a salon with heart. It was born out of Lucie’s longing to have a boutique hairdressers on the street. She told me she waited patiently three years before a premises opened up. Since opening, Fika has gained a great reputation for its ethical ethos and strong cuts and colours.
I couldn’t have been happier with the service I received and wouldn’t hesitate to go back. My blow dry was exceptional and I loved chatting to Lucie about her background and her extensive knowledge of the industry. The Oway products she exclusively carries in this area are biodynamic and all completely natural and have minimal impact on the environment. All the packaging is paper-free and the amber glass fully recyclable.
So, if you are looking for a new hairdressers that takes the environment and you seriously then I suggest you give Lucie a call at Fika.
I had my first vaccination last week and suffered no ill effects. I was so relieved as many of my friends seemed to have been sofa bound for a few days afterwards. If you have any worries let me assure you as someone who suffers from trypanophobia, (the fear of medical procedures involving needles) it really was nothing to get worked up about. I barely felt a thing and was in and out in the quickest time. The NHS are doing wonderful things as always. Steve has had his too and like me didn’t suffer any more than a bit of fatigue.
I am looking forward as I am sure you are to the upcoming bank holiday weekend. I really hope that the weather remains warm-ish and it doesn’t rain. I have a barbecue planned on bank holiday Monday. The first of the year on our new (to us, it’s secondhand) barbie. My sister Juliet and stepdad Tim will be joining us so it should be a nice family affair.
I am also going on a wisteria hunt with my friend Viki. We have heard there is a wisteria walkway here in Exeter so will check it out and report back next week.
I hope you enjoyed my latest musings and please do let me know if you try out or visit any of the places or products I talk about. I’d love to hear your feedback too. Have a great rest of your week and enjoy the bank holiday.
Disclaimer; this post contains gifted products for PR purposes. All views are my own as always and I wasn’t paid for posting.