Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Westward Ho!

We were away from Hazel Cottage last weekend for a long weekend in Devon, visiting family.

First stop, Honiton and its antique shops. Most of them are far beyond our simple means but there is one in particular that is crammed with vintage things from vintage fabrics through to old sledge hammers and garden tools. We came away with a lovely pewter candlestick, a cream and green enamel bain-marie, and a lovely little wooden box which we've no idea what we'll do with but we had to give it a home.

Champers Delicatessen in Honiton. 

As luck would have it the cafe we tried for lunch had run out of baked potatoes so we wandered on up the side street and stumbled upon the delightful Champers delicatessen.Nat King Cole was playing, shelves were laden with local produce and a rare thing indeed - gluten free pies and pasties!

Saturday to the market town of Tavistock and it really began to feel like Christmas with the local brass band playing Christmas Carols.

Crebers in Tavistock

Tavistock is also the home of Crebers, a marvellous delicatessen which is always busy but at Christmas was heaving with people.

Sunday to Buckland Abbey near Yelverton. A National Trust property I know very well and never tire of visting. Partly because my mother lived at a farmhouse that overlooked the Abbey and I loved to wander the grounds out of season, listening to the jackdaws and sometimes spotting a fox on the hills.

The house had been decorated for Christmas and there were games and crafts to try. 

Victorian Christmas Kitchen

Our favourite part of the Abbey, the lovely kitchens.

Gingerbread House

Not the best picture of the gingerbread house but we wanted to get the cake in front in as well. Dangerously, they also provided instructions for making a house. Now we just have to work out when between now and Christmas we can make it. One of us may have to start a night shift in the kitchens!

Father Christmas's Parlour

Father Christmas had apparently gone to feed the reindeer so we just had to make do with a quick peep in his cosy parlour.

It was a lovely weekend and was so nice to see the family but we're glad to be back at Hazel Cottage and are looking forward to those things that make Christmas so special - the candle lit carol service at our local church, the joy of giving some simple presents, and enjoying the company of our friends and family.


  1. I love this post, it is perfect. Your comment I think struck a cord with me, yes you are so right the more we try to do Christmas, the more we loose it. Thank you, I think I may be feeling festive!! xx
    p.s my brother in law lived in tavistock it is a lovely town.

  2. Am so glad you are feeling more festive Sophie! I expect either of us will post more Christmassy posts between now and the day itself as well. We love the new header too - its of our back garden last winter, it looked utterly beautiful.

    Liz x