This week I decided to take an impromptu week off work; to make the most of the unexpected sun we’ve been having in Cornwall, and to have some much needed lie-ins! But before I delved in to the sun, sea and surf of Cornwall, I made a trip back home to Devon to see family for a couple of days.
It was lovely to spend time with my mum, doing the things we love the most…shopping, eating and drinking wine! My aunt also joined for a day of lunching and shopping in Exeter; in which I must admit I purchased a couple of unethical summer outfits (eeek well I am still learning…!) But all in all it was really rejuvenating to have some down time with some lovely ladies, having a giggle.
One of the highlights of my Devon break, though, was visiting the lovely Bulleigh Elms Farm Shop today, and getting to chat to some of their beautiful animals. Off the beaten track just outside of Ipplepen, Bulleigh Elms farm isn’t somewhere you would necessary pass by when in South Devon. However the quality of the produce and natural customer service has kept my mum going back time after time. Plus I love their motto: “We don’t pretend to be ‘grand’ on scale – just ‘grand’ on quality!”
The farm shop sells home reared beef, eggs from free range hens, home-made preserves, cakes, meringues, fudge and ready meals. They even produce their own honey! Now, as a vegan, none of the above is particularly appealing to me. But seeing the freedom of the cows and the hens roaming around as they so please (even popping into the shop…) I was certainly less inclined to give mum the usual lecture about the treatment of farm animals; these did look pretty darn happy! That said, I browsed past the animal products and treated myself to some fresh veg, home-made raspberry jam, and a bottle of locally grown and produced cold pressed rapeseed oil (gotta get those Omega 3 where I can!). As farm shops go, this was all very reasonably priced. And if you do eat meat, eggs or cheese, it’s so nice to be able to meet the animals on the farm; and be assured of how they are treated.
From the farm we headed back toward a bigger, more well-known farm shop and garden centre – Fermoys – to explore their larger (and more expensive…) range of Devonshire treats. I had nearly escaped with my basket empty and my bank balance intact, when I passed the wine section near the exit. I got very excited to see that not only did they have “vegan friendly” marked up on their labelling, but they had Organic and Biodynamic wine (as mentioned in my Understanding Ethical and Vegan Wine post!) So I treated myself to a couple of bottles, including: Meinkland pinot Noir rose (biodynamic Austrian vegan wine), Toscar Tempranillo (Organic vegan wine) Organic Rosso Italian red (vague?!) and a mini bottle of Natural Star Shiraz (Organic vegan wine). On this (very expensive) note, I decided to head back to Cornwall, as word had reached me that the sun was blazing back in Cornwall; whilst Devon was just muggy and overcast.
But as I approached Plymouth at about 3:30pm I realised that with all this food shopping, I’d forgotten to actually eat! So I couldn’t resist one more stop off, to my favourite vegetarian and Vegan restaurant in Plymouth (perhaps even Devon…) Samphire Brassiere. Here I treated myself to one of their seitan subs (an interesting mock duck like substance made from wheat protein, and surprising lovely) with caramelised onions, guacamole and homemade vegan Monterey jack cheese. Absolutely stunning and completely naughty!!
Now I have the rest of the week off to munch and drink up by Devon goodies (and to exercise it back off…); trying to avoid spending any more money!! I’ve got a nice surf planned for the morning, followed by a scout for some gardening bits and bobs to begin my much awaited Cornish kitchen garden (as pledge for world environment day) so watch this space!