Folkies and Footsies

Sidmouth Folk Festival

Sidmouth Folk Week is a unique week-long seaside celebration of music, dance and song taking place right on our doorstep!

There has been a folk festival in Sidmouth in the first week of August every year since 1955, now attracting tens of thousands of visitors to over 700 diverse events with broad ‘something for everyone’ appeal.

From concerts to small intimate sessions, ceilidh dancing and lively roots parties, there is great family entertainment, story telling and youth-centred master classes, Spectacular dance displays and lots of informative workshops you can join in with. The whole town comes alive with a festive atmosphere as holidaymakers and festival goers join together in a music-based holiday like no other.

Our visitors love the festival and the weather this year was perfect, they danced, watched Morris Men battling in clogs with bells and sticks to win the Jig competition and joined in with Ceilidh, they sang, played and listened to bands. They sampled “Fancy That’s” Goat Curry on the seafront, and maybe a Burger or two! and loved a Tea and cake in Blackmore Gardens area listening to a storyteller and watching the hubbub of people looking around the craft stalls.

And when your coming back late at night a Festival Bus runs until midnight on a circular town route so no walking at the end of a busy day. You can wake up to another fantastic Breakfast and then off down town for some more fun and festivities. So book your room for next years event, the early bird and all that! and you may like us to pack you one of our picnics to enjoy on the beach for a tasty treat with no queuing!

A romantic Interlude

As I was confined to barracks ( in season!) the family deemed it necessary to trot off to a launch of a new East Devon Excellence initiative without me! And this gives me more work to do too with a new map listing places to see, stay and eat in our beautiful area. So I’m on a mission to pop my paws in to say hi at all the places you may need to know about. Cadhay House is a stunning Tudor Manor near to Ottery St Mary built by John Haydon in 1550 on the site of an earlier house. In the 1920s it was let to the William-Powlett family, descendants of Amias Paulet, who purchased the property in 1935, and have occupied it until 2002.
In 2002 the house was inherited by Rupert Thistlethwayte, a nephew of the last of the William-Powletts, and a furniture maker. He restored it to its previous splendour and introduced modern comforts such as heating and additional bathrooms, as well as contemporary furniture of his own designs to complement the antique furniture. It is now a fabulous wedding venue and beautiful local attraction in East Devon, and, although no doggie wedding was arranged this time, maybe it would be a first for them!
Next time I’m off to the Sidmouth Folk Festival, maybe I could wear a Gopro and you’ll get a dogs eye view!

Eating Thunder & lightening !

We’ve been renewing, renovating and improving, mum & dad don’t like to stand still so I thought I’d better catch you up before I set off on my travels again around and about East Devon.

Hopefully you have seen our boat, not for sailing in but for eating in!, novel but we don’t all have sea legs! and I have certainly never been in any boat other than ours!

After much planning, sawing and banging, the Studio fascia has been replaced and all the decking has been changed for non slip boards, essential for our normal weather! Our swinging chair has also been moved to the boat, it would be perfect for me to relax in but we aren’t allowed on the furniture so, I am reliably told that it is for customers to enjoy, maybe after dinner with a coffee or during the day with a Cream Tea, and with the new lighting its simply fab.

Talking of a Cream Tea, and notably our award winning Teas, we had a nice little write up about our more unusual Cream Tea “Thunder & Lightening” in this months Food Magazine. Served on our delicious Scones this historic variation of a Cream Tea has “Thunder” Clotted Cream and Golden Syrup or Honey “Lightening”. Wow we can cook up a Storm, even if we can’t sail through one! This tradition started in Cornwall served on a split, a soft milky roll, but we wanted to go one better so we use our Scones instead, although mum experimented with Black Pepper & Honey Bread, whilst a great combo it would be maybe a little too off the wall , mind you a customer once told us “we are a little bit crazy with a whole load of style”!

Of course we have Gardens to enjoy your Cream Teas in but we also have a cosy lounge in the winter months, and you can while away the hours with a Drink and a jigsaw or simply snooze by the fire like me!

Now with Folk Festival coming soon, you could escape and enjoy a tranquil Tea in our garden, whilst I’m out and about watching the Morris Men and checking out all the activities on offer @SidmouthFolkWeek and tell your friends we do have a few rooms left so they won’t miss out.

http://sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk/taster-programme/

 

 

 

Foraging Frenzy

Foraging Frenzy

The plant, native to Britain, is also known as Bear leek, Bear’s garlic, Broad-leaved garlic, Buckrams, Ramsons, Wood garlic and can grow to heights of between 45 and 50 cm.

The leaves and flowers are edible. Young leaves are delicious and impart a delicate flavour. Leaves appear in March and are best picked when young. The flowers emerge from April to June and can add a potent garlic punch. Wild Garlic likes damp ground and has health benefits as well as been used in recipes.

Woodland walk sorrel and isca

Dad likes to make Pasta, vibrant green, tasty and healthy! As we get to eat the leftovers each day it’s a good job we are from Italian descendants!

Pasta is fun and easy to make

250g of Straong flour • 4 Egg Yolks • 1 whole Egg • 5g salt • 50g Wild Garlic Leaves

Blitz Wild garlic Leaves and flour together in Food processor, add other ingredients , Pulse until crumbed bring together by hand using a little water if necessary • Leave to rest • roll out & put through Pasta Machine • cook Tagliatelli 2 mins in salted boiling water with a little Olive oil.

If you don’t fancy making your own Pasta you can just make a great tasting dressing

Wild Garlic Pesto

1 bunch wild garlic • 2 packs basil • 50g of pecorino • 60g toasted pine nuts • 1 lemon, zest & juice • 30ml light vegetable oil • 30ml olive oil • salt & pepper

In a blender, blitz most of the wild garlic and basil (if eating with pasta leave a handful for later to fold through the pasta at the end) with the grated Pecorino and toasted pine nuts • Add the zest and juice of the lemon, then gradually add the two oils while the blender is on • Taste, adding salt and pepper.

Fantastic with Salmon or Chicken and some fresh garden Peas.

Sorrel

 

“Tails” at the river bank

“Tails” at the river bank

You can drive over the hill from Sidmouth the views are fabulous mum took this one through the sunroof!

A favourite on a hot day, because a girl loves to paddle! and Isca is a canine olympic swimmer and is essential for fetching my toys for me as they float away!

Otterton Mill is just 3 miles from Sidmouth

You can walk along a well trodden path down to the mouth of the River Otter at Budleigh Salterton or as Isca and I prefer up the River to Colaton Raleigh. The paths follows the river bank, Kingfishers, Ducks and if your really lucky maybe a Beaver or two! Find out more here – River Otter Beavers

We just love splashing about, and shaking over hoomans to cool them down! At the end of the path you can choose, turn left to go through a working farm and visit the Church.

The parish church of St John the Baptist was certainly in existence before 1226. It was substantially rebuilt in 1875 retaining some features of the 13th century interior and the 15th century tower. There have been bees in the tower for more than a century, which parishioners protect, there are also 6 bells which are rung regularly!

Or you can turn right and go over the bridge and head towards Newton Poppleford or for those that are really hardcore you can walk up to the top of the ridge my four leg drive helps me enormously hoomans huff and puff going up the steep track to the top and out onto Mutters Moor at the top of Peak Hill looking down over Sidmouth.

Here’s where we turn around and head back to the Mill. When you are nearly back take a minute to look at the beautiful weir with a fish ladder to help Salmon and Trout get up river to spawn.

There has been a working mill at Otterton since at least Norman times, when King William the Conqueror granted all the local land hereabouts to the abbots of St Michel of Normandy. The earliest written record of the mill is in the Domesday survey in 1068. The ancient mill workings are fully open for public viewing and our millers are always happy to chat to visitors and explain how the mill works. You can even taste the flour as it emerges fresh and warm from the flour chute.

Otterton Mill Shop

A welcome cuppa awaits at the mill on your return and if your naughty cake treats or a snack too! The little food shop sells bread made in their bakery using their own flour of course and other Devon artisan food too. There’s other unique gifts too glassware and ceramics, handmade jewellery, scarves and candles.

How about a visit to

Bicton Gardens on the way back, they have a little train that takes you around the grounds, It’s also something special for railway enthusiasts, because BWR runs on the only 18-inch (457 mm) gauge leisure line left in Britain. The train operates all year, making regular 25-minute trips, for which there is a small extra charge.

The Botanical Gardens have their roots in the early 18th century, but Bicton itself dates back more than 1300 years set in 63 acres with many rare plants with origins from all parts of the world, including one of the finest collections of trees in Britain.

Sorrels First Post

Sorrel and Isca at blackberry camp, East Devon
Isca left, Sorrel Right

Welcome to my new Blog!

 I am a 2 year old Spinone and with my best friend Isca, I’m going to be exploring East Devon. I want to find the best walks, attractions, places to stop for tea and to see which ingredients I can get dad to  cook with at The Salty Monk.

My First Outing in East Devon is going to be The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth watch this space for my day out.

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