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.On the way home I ventured in to Waterstones as a sign outside had enticed me in with free coffee. The old Costa Coffee is being replaced with an independent coffee shop called The Cafe at Roman Gate and is unique to our Exeter Waterstones branch. I can’t tell you how good the coffee was. 100% arabica beans that were so smooth to taste. I will definitely be back when they open in a few weeks time. The next event in my busy week was a Secret Site tour at Absurd Bird. A new restaurant opening in the Queen Street Dining complex in the heart of Exeter’s city centre. You may remember I went to a bloggers event a few weeks ago held at Exeter Cookery School where we got to sample a few bits from the soul food inspired menu whilst learning all about the provenance of the ingredients. This event was at the restaurant which was so exciting. We got a sneaky peak of the interior and met the staff before they open to the public on the 29th September. I took along my friend Amber to share the experience with me. We sampled cocktails and a selection of treats off the menu. We had an education in moonshine by the charismatic Nicole and then a foodie education with chef Andy.
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.Thursday night was date night with my chum Serena. She popped over to the house and I prepared supper. I rustled up a salad with roasted beetroot, figs and goats cheese plus a couple of homemade dips and crudités alongside. I had seen a recipe for cannellini bean and anchovy dip that I had wanted to try so I made that. I am obsessed with homemade guacamole at the moment! Everything tasted so fresh and seemed perfect on a warm September evening. A few glasses of Prosecco added to the ambiance of the evening. It was lovely to catch up on all the news.
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 had been invited to Princesshay to the launch of the Honeyscribe light box called Honey Flow, designed and created by Amy Shelton. Lots of little pressed flowers taken from the rooftop gardens way above the Princesshay shopping centre. I was blown away by the beauty of it and it’s there on the wall right in the heart of Princesshay. A full post will follow.
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!
Have a great week everybody. Don’t forget you can check me out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too.
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