On Friday morning, leaving poor hubby hard at work, Granny, DC & I headed over the border into Devon (it's only 8 miles away, so not too arduous a journey) and on to the little town of Axminster. Although we've driven through and round Axminster many times on our way to and from Lyme Regis, we'd never actually stopped before. The main reason for making an actual stop-over in Axminster was to have a bite to eat in the River Cottage Canteen; hubby and I have eaten at the actual River Cottage and we've been en famille to an open day there as well - both visits were very enjoyable and the food was delicious, so a trip to the canteen was definitely called for.
First though, we had a little wander round the town, all the while trying to keep DC in check as he picked up and examined what seemed to be the entire display outside an ironmongers (ie dustbins, plant pots, sweeping brushes), ran into the newsagent next door for chocolate buttons, rubbed his hands along all the dirty windowsills he could find and generally acted like a two-and-a-half year old... By the time we'd got half way round Granny & I needed a drink; DC was in his element since the cafe we chose had an outside area with a hose and pile of logs for him to play with, and when the drinks arrived he was able to 'help' by adding the milk to my coffee and stirring vigorously.
Finally, we made it to the River Cottage Canteen, where Granny enjoyed a very tasty ham roll and I had the most delicious tomato and pesto soup with courgette and croutons -we ate in the front section of the canteen which serves more of the deli food, rather than at the back where the more substantial fare was on offer. DC had a few sips of soup and then decided he was so tired from playing with the sugar bowl/vase/tomato ketchup pot that he had to lie down. At that point, I popped him in his pram so Granny & I could spend too much money at the deli counter buying pies, pasties, cakes, beer and cider. Below are a cheese, potato and onion pasty and a pork pie; I also bought a butternut squash pie for me and a steak and ale pie for hubby, plus some cakes which got eaten before I had a chance to take a photo!And then it was time to head home - a fun trip was had by all and the food was as good as I'd hoped it would be. YUM.
On the way home from Axminster, DC fell asleep so I was able to leave him in the car with Granny and have a quick whizz round an antiques/junk shop which we've passed several times but have never had chance to visit. I'm really glad I had the chance to have a look round as I think this could become a favourite hunting ground for all sorts of tat that we really don't need. And some that we do, such as this apple rack - hope it's still there the next time we get to call in.
Making the most of a willing babysitter, on Friday evening hubby and I drove up to Bristol to see Duran Duran playing a rehearsal show; I was so pleased to have been able to get tickets for this since it was a small venue with a capacity of just 600. It was only a short show (1hr 15mins) and we arrived about 15mins late unfortunately, but it was still a really great evening and I was able to wriggle my way quite close to the front for a good view of the lovely John Taylor and the posturing/pouting Simon Le Bon (and his little paunch.) It seemed so weird (and slightly 'am I really here?'-ish) to be seeing them "in real life", having been such a fan when I was young, with a bedroom covered in posters and the lyrics to their songs constantly in my head. I was pretty sure John Taylor would spot me in the crowd and realise I was the woman of his dreams, but there was a rather annoying man in front of me who kept waving his arms and blocking John's view at all the vital moments. Oh well, maybe next time...
Although Saturday dawned grey and blustery we decided to be brave and head for the Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival. And I'm so glad we did as we had a fantastic day - there was cheese, cheese and more cheese to sample and purchasethere was cake, chocolate, fudge, coffee, liquers, beer and cider to sample and purchasethere were crafts to admire and purchasethere was music to listen and dance to, there was Punch & Judy to laugh and shout atand there was an old school friend of mine to meet up and chat with. All in all, a rather grand day out!
On Sunday I had to work at the gallery, but when I finished at 4.30pm I whizzed along the coast to meet Granny, hubby & DC at West Bay.It was blowing a gale when we got there, but it wasn't cold so we braved a walk along the harbour and had lots of fun laughing as the wind blew our hair here, there and everywhere.We managed to find a shelter where we were able to sit and enjoy our fish & chips before retiring to the pub for a drink and some ice cream (for DC)
All in all, a very busy and enjoyable weekend.