Saturday Tea and Treats – Cakeadoodledo Quickes

Saturday’s are often spent apart for Dave and I (unless I am feeling generous and in the mood to get covered in car muck) – Dave is restoring a 1980’s Mark 1 Volkswagen Jetta at his friends workshop Resto Shack in Whitestone, he is there most weekends as it nears it’s final stages, meaning that I am at a loose end most Saturdays. What better way to spend my time than with lovely friends eating cake and drinking tea! This weeks trip was to Cakeadoodledo at Quickes we have visited here before when it first opened so we thought we would give it another try this weekend. It’s located on the A377 just outside of Newton St Cyres.

We found a table in the corner, ordered some tea and toast to start with while we pondered our choice of cake.

There was much more to choose from than when we last visited… so much so that we struggled to choose what to have, without being greedy and having a piece of everything!

There was something for everyone from Lemon Drizzle to a Tea Cake or something a bit different like a Creme Egg Brownie, or what Harriet and I went for Biscoff Bomb Cake!

The atmosphere is very causal, there can sometimes be a little bit of a wait but if you catch the attention of a waitress you will soon get seen to.

We very much enjoyed our morning at Cakeadoodledo and I am sure you would too. It’s dog and child friendly with a kids corner to keep your little ones amused. We will certainly be back again to sample more of what is on offer!

A Birthday weekend in Bude with an extra surprise!

This year will see us celebrating several 30th Birthdays, up first was the lovely Ellen’s! Normally we all go away for the weekend around this time of the year to keep away the January blues, however this year we thought what better way to keep them at bay than to tie it in and celebrate Ellen turning the big 3 0!

After trawling many sites online Ash (Ellen’s other half) came across a beautiful Farmhouse called The Old Farmhouse, located just 6 miles from Bude. It was a struggle to find somewhere that would fit all ten of us and a dog in with enough space that we weren’t all on top of each other. This Farmhouse was absolutely perfect and suited all of our needs and more! I know I say it often but the beauty of where we live in Crediton, is that Bude actually isn’t that far away from us, in fact it’s exactly an hour away so in no time we had arrived. We eagerly unbuckled our seat belts and jumped out of the car, even Buck the dog was excited to have arrived, I think he must have sensed our excitement. We explored each room in awe of the place, it was even better than we could have hoped for. We climbed the oak staircase in search of our rooms and again were amazed by what we found, the rooms were decorated very stylishly but in keeping with the 400 year old building, wooden beams lined the ceilings, even the door handles were lovely!

We all chose our rooms and unpacked our bags. Next on the list was to go and do the ‘the big shop’. Me, Ellen and Laura got back in the car and headed for the nearest Supermarket which was not too far away. We grabbed a trolley and filled it to the top, grinning when all of it came to just £90! We had enough to eat like Kings and Queens for the whole weekend all for just £9 each! When we got back to the Farmhouse Dan, Eliot and Laura had arrived leaving us waiting for just one more person. We packed all the shopping away and all stood about chatting for a while and cooked  up our first meal of the weekend… I say a meal in the loosest term, we went for party food and it was bleddy lovely. However before all of this happened I am missing one very important part to this post! Tom arrived shortly before and we were all stood around in the kitchen chatting, Ash had managed to get us all in there without us really realising, he cleared his throat and said he’d like to say a few words… we all thought he was going to thank us all for coming but oh how wrong we were! Before we knew it he had gotten down on one knee and asked his girlfriend Ellen to marry him!!! We were absolutely stunned, gobsmacked and delighted, all at the same time! All three of us Laura’s burst into tears of happiness and although they’d be too manly to admit it I am sure there were a few tears from the men too. That was it then, the Prosecco was popped and we all had a very merry night, partying into the early hours! What a lovely way to start our weekend away and what an evening to remember.

The next day we all woke up with grins on our faces, despite suffering some what from our night before! Dave and Joe cooked up a big breakfast which helped ease our tummies and we planned a trip into Bude to try and clear our headaches.

We grabbed every item of clothing we could squeeze on under our coats to keep warm in the freezing weather, jumped into our cars and made the trip into Bude. We parked up and started our walk along Summerleaze Beach.

We clambered over the rocks and made our way over to Crooklets Beach, eventually making our way up into the town after a few picture stops.

We made our way into the town and stopped in a little shop called Coast and Country Interiors we were enticed in by the beautiful rugs we could see in the window. We ended up purchasing a lovely Welsh Wool rug, oops! I was very pleased with my purchase and the lady in the shop was so nice and helpful. Be sure to check her out if you ever find yourself in Bude.

We made our way back to the car park and returned to the Farmhouse, where we spent the rest of the day chilling out and had a huge curry feast for our dinner, in fact it would be very boring if I documented Sunday as well because we pretty much did the same thing. It was nice to just go away and not have to rush about here there and everywhere, so Sunday was spent chilling out, playing games, eating and hot tubbing. We also made a huge roast for late lunch and sadly said goodbye to Tom and Laura shortly after as they had to get back for work the next day.

Monday soon came around and it was time to pack up and leave behind our amazing weekend. It a weekend we will not forget in a hurry and will look back at with very fond memories. I am still amazed at Ash’s proposal and I think Ellen was still in a bit of shock when we got back. All in all it was a fab way to spend Ellen’s birthday weekend and I am glad we got to spend it with some of our nearest and dearest.

Thanks for an amazing time guys 🙂 and HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Ash & Ellen x

 

 

7 mile accidental pub crawl! Copplestone to Crediton

After eating and drinking far too much over the festive period it was time to drag out our walking boots and head outside for some much needed exercise!
Our friends around the corner were looking after our other friends dog so what better excuse than to get out with the hound.
We wrapped up warm, stuffed our pockets with left over Christmas treats and headed out the door, to the misty, slightly drizzly winter weather.

We weren’t quite sure where we were heading but Ash had suggested a local walk, off we went turning right at the bottom of the road and heading up the hill. It was suggested we walk to Sandford to try out their award winning local pub The Lamb Inn, with looks of surprise we agreed to see how we go, Ash helpfully informing us it was ONLY an hour and a half walk… I think it was a trick 😉
With the promise of beer and a pub lunch willing us on, we carried on up the lane, dodging the odd car and tractor as we went. Our first stop was Newbuildings, located just outside of Copplestone, roughly 2 miles up the road. We stopped outside a tiny little Church called Beacon Church which was originally built as the school for the village. Ash couldn’t resist a photo opportunity with Buck and the nativity scene!


We carried on along our way until we came to a sign post, one pointing left to Sandford and the other pointing straight on to Crediton, we made our choice and headed left up the lane to Sandford. The lane seemed to go on for a little while but the views a long the way were lovely.

We threw the ball for Buck up the lane, which soon started descending down the hill into Sandford.
Sandford is a pretty little village located just outside of Crediton. Considering the size of it it boasts two village pubs, we only tried one this time, The Lamb Inn. We walked through the village admiring the beautiful old buildings, villagers Christmas decorations and beautiful door wreaths.

We soon arrived at the pub and pushed open the lovely coloured wooden door, eager to get in out of the cold. The pub was quite small but then extends into a restaurant and even has it’s own cinema upstairs! It had a lovely atmosphere and was full of people leaving us struggling to find a seat. We approached the bar and ordered our drinks, when we asked if we could order food we were informed that the kitchen was at capacity and they weren’t taking any more orders! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed but we understood and ordered a couple of bags of crisps to keep us going. We soon found a table and tucked Buck underneath with a well deserved bowl of water. A couple of drinks later and we had come up with a plan! We were going to keep going on our walk and carry on into Crediton, it’s just under two miles from Sandford so we thought we would just keep going and find somewhere to eat there. We finished up what remained of our drinks wrapped ourselves back up and headed out the door, waving and saying our good byes along the way. The food in the pub looked amazing so we will definitely be back, but perhaps we’ll book next time!

We’ve now learnt after being shouted at by a passing car that there is actually a pathway from Sandford to Crediton, it’s called the Millennium Green & Path which leads from the village into the top of Crediton though a woodland trail. Now we know it will make it a lot easier for next time! It took hardly any time at all to get to Crediton, passing some nice sites along our way, including pigs and a door for tiny people!

Ash and Dave dropped Buck off to Joe and Laura, while Ellen and I headed off to the local Wetherspoons – The General Sir Redvers Buller we found a seat and awaited the boys arrival. We all ordered our food quite swiftly, we were starving after our trek. As it usually does in a Wetherspoons our food arrived in no time and we had soon devoured the lot! We stayed for a drink and then decided we would head on to another pub in the town square – The Three Little Pigs, at this point we had already decided to catch the train home, there was no way we would make it back before it got dark! The Three Little Pigs is a bit of a mad pub (in a good way) it’s full of lots of retro things all over the walls and ceilings and is just a bit crazy. We played a few games of Uno all of which I lost in spectacular fashion. Keeping one eye on the time it was soon time for us to drink up and make our way to the train station. We quick marched through Crediton, took a little short cut and stood on the old fashioned platform waiting for our carriage to take us home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our unexpected and unplanned day, I think days like this are often the best, you can over plan things sometimes and doing things on a whim can often we much more fun. Now we know the way to go I am sure we will do this walk again in the summer. We think we walked over 7 miles in total, I’m sure we burnt off all the extra Christmas chocolate we ate! I hope it’s also given you an idea of some new pubs to try too 🙂

 

 

 

 

A tour of Haytor

A little break was needed from all the over indulgence that comes with Christmas. Our good friend Stu was down from Scotland for the festive season so we thought what better way to burn off some of those extra calories than a trip to the moors. We picked up Joe and his dog Buck on our way through to Exeter to meet Stu. Everyone accounted for we left Exeter and headed on the dual carriage way. On arriving at Haytor it seemed like everyone else had the same idea and we struggled to park. We eventually found a space… or rather made a space for ourselves on the end of a row, wrapped ourselves up and made our way across the road to the Tor. 

Buck was keen to lead the way, only running back to us to see if we had his favourite tennis ball out for him yet. We trudged on up to the tor but rather than climb it we bared left away from the growing crowds. We soon came across some of Dartmoor’s native ponies and rather a lot of people trying to take selfies with them, poor buggers!

We went along a little further admiring the view as we went, Dartmoor really is a natural beauty and somewhere I would like to explore more of in the coming months… if I can drag the husband out with me!

As we went along our way the boys found several rocks to climb, while Buck ran backwards and forwards chasing his tennis ball.

When eventually, after we could no longer feel our fingers or toes, the boys got down from the rocks (Dave had wiped out on his bum in the process) and decided we had had enough for the day and headed back to the car. Our next stop was one I was looking forward to very much – Ullacombe Farm shop for lunch!

Ullacombe is on the way back from Haytor, literally mins away, so it would have been rude not to pop in on our way home. We parked up and made our way in enjoying the warmth that greeted us. We managed to find a table for four and browsed the menu for our lunches. Upon ordering we were informed the kitchen had just closed for hot food no…..! We all made different choices and warmed ourselves with tea and coffee. After a short wait our food arrived, satisfying our hunger. Despite not being able to order hot food we still enjoyed our second choices.

Once we devoured every last crumb we decided to call it a day and made our way home. It felt good to get out in some fresh air, after all the excitement that Christmas brings and we’ll be sure to pop back to Ullacombe again soon, remembering to get there before hot food ends next time! It was also nice to catch up with Stu before he left to go back to Scotland.

If you have time this year go and explore the many places Dartmoor has to offer, I am sure you won’t be disappointed and there are always some hidden treasures to be found, like the lovely Ullacombe Farm Shop or maybe even a country pub!

Until next time Stu 🙂

Ullacombe Farm Christmas Fair – Bovey Tracey

Ullacombe Farm Christmas Fair saw then end of our run of Christmas Fairs for 2016.
After a disappointing day at The Big Sheep the day before I was feeling a little more hopeful about Ullacombe.
Mum and I packed up the car yet again and headed on our way to Bovey Tracey, we were meeting Laura from Handsome Hound Bandanas there and hoping to set up together.
On arriving we noticed the drop in temperature, it was absolutely freezing! We had dressed for the weather but I think you can always have more layers, something which I wish I had added to!
We parked up and went in search of our pitch. We were located in the outside barn/shed which was also the location of the big man himself Father Christmas and his Reindeer!
We set up our table and carefully arranged all of our goodies on display. We warmed ourselves with coffee and soon the farm started to turn in to a bustling hive of activity. Despite being technically outside in the freezing cold I think we had a good spot, we were in good company with lots of other lovely stalls and the main barn across the way had even more stand so a huge choice for people to browse.

I had never been to Ullacombe Farm before but had been recommended it by Laura from Handsome Hound Bandanas. It was a beautiful place with an amazing coffee shop/restaurant, with cakes on display that would make even the person on the strictest pre-crimbo diet crumble! There is a lovely outdoor play area for the younger ones and fields with different animals in, my favourite were the Alpacas!


The day soon went by and it seemed to get busier and busier, friends popped in to say hello which was lovely and made the day go even quicker. We watched as the queue for Father Christmas grew and delighted children left with big grins on their faces after their meet and greet with him and his elves.


Soon the light started to fade as the evening drew in and we were forced to start packing up as it was starting to get quite dark in the unlit barn. We packed away our crafts for the last time this year and loaded them in to our cars. We went and found Lucy the organiser of the day and thanked her for a lovely day, she did an amazing job!

We will definitely be back at the farm over Christmas to enjoy one of their amazing looking cakes, perhaps after we have worked up an appetite on a moorland walk beforehand. I even managed to purchase a lovely Christmas Tree before leaving – hoorah!

Unique Boutique Christmas Market – Exeter Phoenix

You know Christmas is on it’s way when all the Christmas markets start popping up here, there and everywhere! Mum and I have been meaning to give a Christmas market a go for a little while now. We are both quite crafty people and this year I have been particularly busy sewing together lots of felt Christmas decorations, Robins, Gingerbread Men and Puddings. I have been making these for friends and family for a couple of years and thought this year I would have a go at selling them.

With a few bits and pieces put together for our stall we loaded up my brothers van on Saturday morning (he’d kindly offered to give us a lift so we didn’t have to faff about trying to find a parking space in town for the day, thanks Bro) and headed on our way to the Exeter Phoenix Centre just off of Gandy Street. We unloaded our boxes and headed up the stone staircase to set up for our day of craft madness!

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We arrived inside to a calm but busy Phoenix centre. After locating our pitch we went in search of a table and started setting up. Mum and I were squeezed in between two lovely ladies – to our right we had Gilly who was a Potter and a stunning one at that, she is a member of Crackpots, a small group of potters from Middevon, you can find some of her work here.

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To our left we had another lovely lady Lisa, who makes very pretty things cut from paper, you can find some of her work here. I bought a lovely card from her stall for Christmas.

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With our stand soon set up we were in great company for the day. Mum was selling her Pebble Pictures and me my decorations and some hama bead cards.

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The doors opened at 10am and it soon started filling up. There was a steady flow of people throughout most of the day which we were very pleased about. It was quite a varied crowd, some older faces and younger faces, all enjoyed what the market had to offer.

When wandered round I was amazed by the talent of some of the other stall holders. These were a couple of my favourites –

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We were entertained by different musicians on the stage behind us throughout the day and mince pies and treats were given out to the stall holders.

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The day seemed to be at an end before we knew it and people started to slowly dismantle their thoughtfully put together stalls. We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the market and sold several of our pieces making it even better. We enjoyed chatting to all the different people we met throughout the day and felt in very good company with lots of like minded people. I bought several little bits and pieces from a few different stands and am now wishing I picked up a few more bits, it’s not often you see such lovely hand crafted things all together in one place.

This years market was the last of the Unique Boutique Markets and having only done this one I will be sad not to see it again next year. Thanks to Eleanor for all her hard work in putting it together, it really was a great day had by all and will be sorely missed next year.

 

Frolicking in the forest – Deer Park Liskeard

The girls and I have often talked about going away together on a trip that doesn’t include inflatable willies and tacky hen do paraphernalia (that’s all good fun of course but there’s a time and a place for it)!

After a lunch date with one of the girls we decided to have a little search, crunch some numbers and put it out there to the rest of them. We decided on a Forest Holidays location, opting for Deerpark. I had been to the Forest of Dean location earlier in the year with another group of friends so thought it best to mix it up a bit.
It had been the main chat of the group in the weeks leading up to the trip, for some it was their only holiday of the year so a chance to get away from it all.
The weekend soon came round, we agreed a meeting point and time and were soon loaded into the cars and on our way, excited for our long weekend ahead! The drive to Liskeard flew by with lots of excited chatter and we soon found ourselves trying to find a car park so we could stop to get some lunch. We quite quickly discovered that Liskeard didn’t have a huge amount to offer us but as a small town it had everything you needed. We had a little wander about and after popping our heads into a hair salon to ask where they recommend for lunch we settled for Olive & Co. It was a small cafe which was already quite busy but they managed to shuffle a few tables around to accommodate us all. Most of us ordered toasties of some kind which were all very nice and freshly prepared. We left shortly after finishing and went in search of a supermarket to do a big shop before checking in. We found a Morrisons and started the mass shopping mission! We were probably in there for far longer than was needed but we left with a bulging trolley and probably more food than we would ever need or eat, we didn’t care we were on holiday! We managed to ram it all into Bekie’s car and made our way to our final destination of the day!

Deerpark is set on the edge of an ancient millpond, deep within a wooded valley, you can almost feel your worries leaving you as you descend down the winding road into the valley. We quickly located the reception and I ran in to check us in. Our home for the weekend was Number 7, it was little more special than all the other wooden lodges because it was the only one to have a tree house adjoining it. We unloaded some of our bags from the car and tumbled through the door to suss out our new surroundings.

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The main lodge consisted of three bedrooms, two with two single beds and one with one double bed, there was then the tree house over the wooden walk way which was absolutely stunning.

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We all chose our rooms, unpacked our cases and put the kettle on for a well deserved brew! The rest of the afternoon/early evening went by in a flash. The lodge came with a hot tub out on the decking which was another draw to the location. With some time spent in there it was soon time to get out to prepare our first evening meal. On then menu for Friday was a chilli broth cooked by Zoe and Bekie, it was absolutely delicious and i’m looking forward to cooking it soon. Once we had finished eating and the dishes had been done we grabbed a drink and settled in for an evening of games, it all got a bit heated as it always does but lots of laughs were had too.

The next morning we all slowly rose from our slumbers (after being woken by the honking of geese) in search of breakfast, a couple of the girls went out for a little run before everyone else was up but once they returned we all sat around together. The plan for the day was to go out nearby, Anna and I decided we would prefer to stay where we were and explore the area, so that’s what we did. We waved off the other girls and got ready to go out on a little wander. Deerpark in early autumn/winter is a beautiful colour, the leaves were still dropping and it was also quite muddy but we came prepared with welly boots so we weren’t bothered. We left our lodge and walked up and down various pathways, across bridges and stepping stones and up leafy lanes until our tummies started rumbling telling us it was time for lunch! We acquired a bag of kindling wood on our way back for our little log burner later that evening, cosy toes here we come!
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We trudged back to the lodge yanked off our wellies and fired up the grill for a good old bacon sarnie. The rest of the afternoon was spent sat in front of the TV chatting and watching a film whilst I sewed together some Christmas decorations.

The girls came back a little later with tales of their afternoon adventure, we weren’t sure where they were going when they left but they had chosen to spend the afternoon in lovely Looe.
The rest of the afternoon was spent with everyone having a bit of a chill out, some in the hot tub, some on the sofa and some in the kitchen.
Jade had tagged me in a recipe on Facebook for something that looked deadly but also divine… slow cooker hot chocolate! Once we had finished our film I sploshed all the ingredients into the slow cooker, set a timer for two hours and awaited our chocolatey mess! Zoe, Anna and I started a game of scrabble and before we knew it the two hours were up! We all had a great big mug filled to the top with marshmallows and squirty cream, it was a chocolate lovers dream if not a little sickly!
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It was fast approaching dinner time for the second evening. Saturday nights chef’s were Jade and Leanne, cooking up a Raclette feast. For those of you who have never experienced Raclette it’s basically a melted cheese-fest! You have the grill plate on the top and then several paddles underneath to melt the cheese. You can put whatever you like on it really, we went for beef, chicken, peppers, onions and mushrooms. We also had new potatoes and a tomato sauce to add to the mix. You cook it all up on the grill and pour the cheese, once it’s melted, all over the top, yum!

The dishes were loaded into the dishwasher and we all sat down for a humorous game of Card Against Humanity. If you haven’t played this game before it’s not for the faint hearted or easily offended! Lots of belly laughs were had at some of the obscene cards played, after we laughed our selves silly we settled back into the sofas and watched a film for the rest of the evening.
Sunday was when everything changed, Leanne and Bekie left early in the morning to get back for various commitments, leaving the 5 of us remaining wondering what to do with our day.
After a slow start and a breakfast of Bacon, Eggs and Toast we decided to take a trip to Polperro. We all jumped in Jade’s car and took a 15 minute or so drive to our destination. On arriving and parking up Polperro seemed like a funny little place, almost like you would have to pay to get in. We walked along concrete pavements admiring the village as we went.
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We soon stumbled across our first shop, a cute little sweet shop selling lots of different fudges and confectionary. We couldn’t resist and ended up buying several different sweet treats.

Our next stop was a lovely quaint Christmas shop! It was bursting with lots of twinkly decorations for my Christmas obsessed lot, it was like their version of heaven 🙂
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We dragged them away and ended up in another Fudge Shop Roly’s, they have several around Devon and were sampling their Christmas Pudding Fudge which was delicious!
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Resisting the urge to buy any more sweet treats (or at least I did) we carried along through the little fishing village. We eventually ended up at the Harbour Side which was very picturesque with boats bobbing up and down, fishing nets in baskets and dogs bounding about the beach. We stopped to admire the view for a little while trying to decide how much further we should walk. We slowly turned around and made our way back up through the village. It was such a pretty little place and full of lots of quirky little features

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We wandered back to the car park, jumped in the car and headed back to our retreat. Jade parked up the car and we settled on the sofa with a cup of tea and a rematch of scrabble and films while the fire roared away in the corner. Tonights menu was a good ol’ Sunday Roast cooked by me, Anna and Harriet. We prepped it all well in advance so there wasn’t so much to do, the chicken had been cooking away in the slow cooker all day so that was easy too! It was soon time to sit and eat and we all enjoyed our last evening meal together whilst chatting about the weekends events and future events to come.

Sunday eve was spent playing even more games (it was a weekend made for them) and watching a bit of Strictly and I’m a Celebrity. The evening rolled on and soon we were heading up to bed for the last time that weekend.
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Monday we woke up to the task of packing up and clearing up! We were right in that we didn’t need as much food as we thought but divided up between us to take home. We had our last breakfast together to eat up the bacon and eggs. Once we’d fuelled ourselves for the day we packed up Jade’s trusty wagon, waved good bye to our lovely home for the weekend and begrudgingly handed our key back to reception.

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip away and it was just what we all needed. Forest Holidays are fab and have never let me down so I will always recommend them!
We were sad to say goodbye but already planning our next trip. Thanks for a fun weekend Girls xx
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The Granite Way – Okehampton

Recently my parents purchased new bicycles and Mum wanted to go out on them to give them a spin! She suggested The Granite Way in Okehampton, which I had never heard of before seeing as it’s only down the road from us. It sounded like a good idea especially with the promise of it being fairly flat, even better!

Dave and I packed our bikes into the car and awaited my parents arrival, they soon turned up and off we went following my Dad as we had no clue where we were going!
The Granite Way is actually sign posted in Okehampton (the little brown touristy ones) but I had never noticed them before, so it was easy to find and we were soon pulling into the car park at Okehampton Railway Station (there’s also parking at Lydford).
After we unloaded the cars, pumped up my tyres and clipped up our helmets we were on our way.
The Granite Way is an 11 mile route which takes you through some beautiful moorland scenery. It wasn’t long before we reached the first impressive view which was the Meldon Viaduct built in 1874 it stretches 165 meters over the remains of the mineral mines. It stands at almost 50 meters high, so perhaps not the greatest if you are afraid of heights! However the views from it are stunning.
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We carried on along our way until Dad spotted a sign for a coffee shop, stating ‘it must be coffee time now?’ we veered off the track and down a little side path in search of a steaming cup of the brown stuff. The shop was just at the bottom of the path and turned out to be Devon Cycle Hire the only cycle hire shop on The Granite Way with direct access to the trail. It was their last day of the season so the coffee shop was a little limited for choice but we didn’t mind that at all, three cups of coffee and a bottle of coke were ordered along with a packet of biscuits for dunking. It was a lovely little place with friendly staff that seemed like they would help you in anyway they could, I even made a pumpkin friend!
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We made our way back up the path and carried along on our way. We passed through some beautiful autumnal scenes this has to be one of my favourite pictures I’ve taken in a little while. The colours are just stunning!
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As we went along we found everyone we met along the way to be so friendly, most said hello or morning which was nice. We eventually got to our next stop which I really don’t know what was called but think it might have been another lake viaduct but a stone one this time. I couldn’t get a very good picture but tried my best, it was a very impressive view!
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We set off on our way again but came across a sign post for a pub… it was nearly lunch time so we took a detour down a different track and headed for the pub! We navigated our way along the track and then through some quite muddy and wet patches, perfect for rocking up at the pub! We rode into the car of the Bearslake Inn it looked like we could have been the fist people there and we were worried they were shut, however after Mum gave the door a good shove we tumbled inside. We were met by some very friendly staff at the bar, ordered some drinks and sat in the bar by the window. Dave and Dad both went for Roast Beef and Mum and I both had Sweet Chili Chicken Sandwiches, the food came out in no time which we were very impressed with and we were soon placing our knives and forks back together with full bellies!
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We finished our drinks and went back outside to unlock our bikes and go back through the mud. We carried along the cycle path a good few miles more until we got to the deciding point… do we carry on to Lydford or not? We decided we’d had enough for one day and thought we’d do that another day so we turned around and made our way back. On our return we found even more lovely scenery.
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There are so many lovely spots to take photos that the ride probably took a lot longer than it should have but it meant we could admire the views a little more. We got back to Meldon Viaduct and stood there for a while to just look at the views around us… oh and to take an obligatory selfie. very smiley faces! 🙂
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From here it wasn’t too far back to the car, following the railway lines. We came across some old derelict train carriages and buildings which looked like a something from a unused film scene, it was quite eerie and spooky looking, I can imagine at night it would be terrifying!
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We carried on along the trail back to the car park, Mum nearly wiped out on her bike after getting a little friendly with a bush she collided with but all in all we made it back in one piece, albeit with sore bottoms from our hard seats!
We loaded our bikes back in the car and headed home for a well deserved cup of tea!
I would highly recommend this ride for people of all abilities and walkers, it has many beautiful views to offer, especially this time of year. We will certainly be back again soon, thanks for the recommendation Mum!

Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe – Approach with caution!

I woke up on Sunday with an urge to bake something… a chocolate fudge cake in particular! After a quick search online I soon found recipe. I raided the cupboards to see what I did and didn’t have and made a quick trip to our local Tesco to pick up some bits.
I tied up the strings on my Cath Kidston apron (bought for my by my lovely friend Jade a couple of Birthdays a go) and got to work.
I set out all the ingredients I needed on the side to make it easier to find what I needed

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients –
For the Cake:
175g Self-Raising Flour
2tbsp of Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
Dr Oetker Bicarbonate of Soda Sachet
150g Caster Sugar
30ml (2 tbsp) Golden Syrup
2 x Medium Eggs Beaten
150ml Sunflower Oil
150ml Milk

For the Icing:
75g Unsalted Butter
175g Icing Sugar
3tbsp of Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
30ml (2tbsp) Milk or Warm Water

You will also need to Pre-heat your oven to 180c/350F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line (I just greased mine) two 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins.

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I started off by sifting the flour, Cocoa Powder and Bicarbonate of Soda into a bowl.

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Next I added in the sugar and mixed well. You then need to make a well in the centre and add the syrup, eggs, oil and milk. Beat well until smooth.

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Once it’s smooth you’re ready to spoon the mixture into your tins.I gave mine a little bash on the side to try and get rid of a few air bubbles.

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You then need to bake them for 25-30 mins depending on your oven. Once it has risen and is firm to touch you can take it out. I normally poke a skewer in mine just to be sure, if you pull it out and it’s clean you are done! Remove from the tins and leave to cool before icing. I think mine were a little too high in the oven and cracked a little.

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We made double the amount of icing as one lot wasn’t enough.                                                To make the icing place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft.
Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and then add enough milk/water to make the icing fluffy and spreadable. Sift and beat the Cocoa powder in to the icing

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Sandwich the two cakes together with butter cream and then cover the sides and the top of the cake with more buttercream icing and use a pallet knife to create swirls or whatever pattern you would like.

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Enjoy with a lovely cup of tea and a big dollop or cream or ice cream!

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Recipe courtesy of Dr Oetker

Christmas is coming!

So a few years a go now (I don’t know where the time goes?) inspired by something I had seen on Pinterest my little craft obsession began…
I raided the sewing box my Aunty gave me as a wedding present, bought some felt from my local  The Range and found some cotton wool for stuffing and started making Felt Christmas decorations.
I started off making Gingerbread Men and wondered what else I could try my hand at, after a quick search I soon found lots of lovely ideas and added Christmas Puddings and Robins to the collection (there would be many more designs if I had more time, but perhaps these will come next year!).
I originally made just a few for our Christmas Tree and a couple for family and friends. Word soon got out and I found myself with requests form work colleagues other friends and so it went on from there.
I got myself a little more organised and this year have decided to try my hand at a few Christmas Craft Fairs. It was thanks to my friend Laura from Handsome Hound Bandanas who got me thinking about it. She lovingly hand makes dog bandanas and has been to several shows this year selling them, rather successfully, you might have seen her out and about over the summer.
After a little search on google we both found some local fairs and booked a few up, I will give you a few dates for your diary a little later on.

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It got me thinking what else I could add to my range to fill up my stall a little bit and after a bit of searching I found some fun little cards. These are made out of Hama Beads with little letters attached, they are fun to make and actually quite therapeutic! Again I only have a couple of designs at the moment because that is all my time will allow, but do keep an eye out for other designs hopefully coming soon.

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Here are some dates for your diaries –

I will be at the 26th November and 4th December fair with my Mum who is also a very crafty lady, she will be selling her Pebble Pictures, you can find her on Facebook by searching for @homemadepebblepictures and I will be with Laura from Handsome Hound Bandanas on the 3rd and 4th December. So come and find us and buy some of your Christmas Presents/Decorations locally this year! Failing that my lovely husband has set me up a shiny new shop in which you can purchase all of my goodies online. You can find them all in the shop section of my blog, on the top far right.

Hope to see you soon x