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Nice Things To Do: A Trip to Topsham

by Margaret Powling-

After several days of rainy weather today dawned sunny and bright.  I suggested to my husband that we drive to Topsham and those who have been reading my blog for a while might recall that we went there about a month or so ago when we visited the Quay Antique Centre and I bought three chubby cut glass tumblers, a cut glass jug and a small Vaseline glass basket.  

Today we were in search of a cut glass tumbler (or two or more) for our elder son but we didn’t see anything that quite fitted the bill.  But that’s the nature of looking in such places; sometimes you just happen upon something that is lovely and the right price, but if you actually go in search of something in particular rarely do you find it. Never mind, we enjoyed a good browse.  I even saw two more Vaseline glass baskets, identical to the one I bought on my previous visit.   I left them there, though, as they were much more expensive than the one I bought (£49 the pair) perhaps because they were a pair and pairs invariably are more expensive than single items.  And, of course, different dealers often charge different amounts, it’s not an exact science. 

After a good mooch around we went in search of a light lunch.  It’s a pretty little town and on one shop windowsill were pretty cowslips (photo above) a real sign of spring.

We decided to have lunch in the Salutation Inn ( www.salutationtopsham.co.uk ).  This is a former coaching inn but it was thoroughly refurbished a few years ago.  We have not eaten there before;  today was our first experience of the place.  And it was a good one. We will return!

This is called the Glass House café (it isn’t the main dining room) and we were met by one of the female waiters who welcomed us and showed us to our table.  This area had obviously been a courtyard before, perhaps – judging by the arched entrance – where coaches and horses would’ve entered, but which is now covered by a glass atrium-style roof. 

We didn’t want a large lunch and so chose from the light lunch menu the Mini Platter of Creedy Carver Duck which was prepared and cooked in three different ways (which is the current style of cooking):  confit/crispy/parfait, and we decided to share one portion, each of us having small appetites.  With a cup of excellent Americano it made for a delicious light lunch. 

I made the suggestion – whether this will be adopted remains to be seen – that they could make this into a proper sharing platter by presenting it on a slightly larger board, adding a few extras, and charging just that little bit more.  The duck parfait was in the lidded jar and in the bowl was a delicious chilli sauce. 

I hope you like the borders I am now adding to the photos, and I’ve even ‘shadowed’ the above food photo – this is getting all a bit arty, isn’t it?  Perhaps I should just stick to a plain photo!

At the table next to us the female waiter was explaining to a couple about the desserts, and then she brought a platter showing some of the individual cakes and pastries (there were other desserts but I was quite captivated by these – well, who wouldn’t have been been!)

And so we decided to have a different one each, and then cut them in half so we could try two of them that way.

We both agreed this was an excellent light lunch.  We then made our way back to our car and drove home.  What a lovely time we had had.

Do you, like us, sometimes share a meal?  I do think that it is usual these days, unless in fine dining restaurants, to be over-faced with too-large portions, so husband and I often order one meal and ask for an extra plate.  It just seems sensible to us. 

 

 

Margaret Powling

18 Comments

  1. Elaine

    I agree! We don’t like eating large meals either, so we often share. Both platters look very tempting.
    Yesterday I browsed a couple of antique shops and thought about you – I was checking out the beautiful cut glass at the time! I guess there are worse things to be associated with! There were some lovely pieces but not exactly what I wanted. Another day, perhaps.

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yay! Someone else who prefers to share a plateful of food (having asked for an extra plate) rather than pay too much only to send uneaten food back to the kitchens!
      I love cut glass and right now, in the 2nd hand shops, antiques shops and charity shops, it is (usually) a very good price because it is no longer considered ‘fashionable’, much like ‘brown’ furniture has been considered unfashionable for some time although good pieces will always be sought-after. I think there is nothing more lovely than polished oak, walnut or mahogany(those three woods represent the three ‘ages’ of furniture) on top of which are some pieces of find porcelain or cut glass, so I’m deeply unfashionable, but since when did fashion and style go hand in glove? Yes, you had the same experience, seeing some lovely pieces but none exactly what you wanted.

      03 . Mar . 2017
  2. Eloise

    Those cakes look delicious. Oh how I wish I had a small appetite! I have spent my entire adult life wrestling with the fact that I have a rather large one. Being mindful of the fact that I gain weight very easily, this does mean that I eat copious amounts of vegetables to compensate for the fact that I have to cut down on the things I really want to eat. I prefer going out for lunch than for dinner and if I do eat a bigger meal at lunchtime then it’s soup or some other lighter option in the evening. I also have a very sweet tooth. Fortunately, I manage it most of the time by being a member of Slimming World. For me, this is a life-time commitment – I need the discipline.
    I like the photograph borders; they look very professional.

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I enjoy my food, Eloise, but I can’t eat a lot in one go. But we eat lots of fruit and veg, all the same, it’s just volume I can’t eat. We haven’t been out to dinner in more than twenty years, unless staying in an hotel (therefore not having to go out for the meal). We just don’t enjoy going out at night and as we’re older, we don’t like eating late in the evening either. Yes, I’m sure if I went to Weight Watchers or Slimming World I would be encouraged to lose weight. We eat the right things overall but I do eat biscuits … my one weakness!
      Thank you for your kind comments regarding the borders. I just thought it might be fun to try them. I also ‘shadowed’ the photo of the duck platter, again just to try it out.

      03 . Mar . 2017
  3. Luna Crone

    Oh dear, I hope all the refurbishing, didn’t completely erase all its past… That’s me. Loving a place with real, true, historic ambiance. 🙂
    ~
    It’s fun to do different things, with our photos. We both use all white backgrounds on our blogs. But it’s fun to do something colorful, now and then. To change the look of our blog.
    ~
    I change my Header pic, almost every other day! 🙂 Which I love doing! Since it does some “pick-up” to my white blog background. 🙂
    ~
    And I have a small gray line, around my photos/pics. To kind of make them more noticeable.
    ~
    All fun, with our blogs, is good. 🙂

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I have no idea what it looked like on the inside before the refurb, Luna, but it was closed down and in a bad state of repair so even if the former carriageway has been made into a café, at least it’s given the old building a new purpose in life.
      I don’t know how to change the style of my blog or the header as my computer man set it all up for me, and as yet I’m happy with the look. Perhaps I will change it in the future. But I can still do things with the photos, which is fun.

      03 . Mar . 2017
  4. Luna Crone

    Ohhh my!

    Oh bother!!!

    Look at all those “yellow smiley faces”!

    Eeeek!

    Eeek!

    Eeeeek!

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I don’t mind how many smiley faces you attach, Luna! They brighten up my day!

      03 . Mar . 2017
  5. Eloise

    I rarely go out in the evening and know several people who are the same. Their reasons are all similar –
    used to eating earlier and a strong dislike of driving at night. It’s not so bad on summer evenings but in the winter there is little that is more enticing as an early bath, a dressing gown and curling up in a warm cosy room with a cant-put-down book or a good TV drama!

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I could have said those exact words, Eloise, but for me it would be a warming shower rather than a bath (arthritic hips have put paid to getting in and out of a bath) but then my dressing gown, a cosy room and a book or a good TV drama.

      03 . Mar . 2017
  6. Eloise

    Oh dear, I do sympathise. I LOVE my bath. I do have a slightly dodgy right hip which meant fitting a handrail to the wall which helps so far. Did you watch the new drama “The Replacement” this week? I thought it very good.

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Actually, Eloise, I don’t miss a bath at all. I had my last bath in, I think, 2004, when I was in an Edinburgh Hotel. It had a smart roll top bath but there were no handles to hold on to – I’d not realized this when at first I climbed in, as my hands weren’t wet at that stage – but as I tried to get out my hands kept slipping as I attempted to hold the roll top to support myself and lever myself out. I kept slipping back into the water. In the end I managed to out of the bath far enough to grab a towel to put over the side to prevent my hand slipping. It was an experience I do not wish to repeat, I find the shower is both convenient, fast and safer.
      Yes, I enjoyed The Replacement although some of it was a teeny weeny bit predictable and when someone wanders into a deserted place, alone, at night, you know full well Something Nasty is about to happen. No surprises there, then. But I will watch the next episode, none the less.

      03 . Mar . 2017
  7. Eloise

    Goodness Margaret, I think I would prefer a shower if that had happened too! apologies for making you re-live the experience! You’re quite right about the predictable outcome of visiting a deserted place at night though I did jump when she plunged to the floor!

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, I jumped too when she plunged through that glass roof! I knew something nasty was about to happen … but not that!

      04 . Mar . 2017
  8. Lara

    So sensible that you shared the one meal so that you could then fit in dessert. A woman after my own heart ! My paternal grandmother was an excellent cook and loved her sweets – there was always a choice of dessert in her kitchen. Like Eloise above, I too, have a ‘good appetite’ and also put on weight easily so I make sure that when I have a treat that it really is a treat. I put it on a nice plate and really enjoy the taste, texture, etc. Life is too short not to enjoy food – and all of the other wonderful things in life – and I’ve found that moderation is the key. My husband was once described as ‘a professional eater’ by my much-younger cousin (he has a very active job as well as daily exercise and an appetite that’s 24/7) so sharing a plate doesn’t work for us. I rarely eat a full serve when out as portion sizes are too large. Husband eats his full meal and my leftovers – or I simply take leftovers home.
    I prefer eating out for lunch or an early dinner. We eat dinner early at home as going to sleep on a full stomach isn’t comfortable and we both are hungry early ! Late dining is not for us.
    I love dark wood furniture and have a few pieces that came from my mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I doubt any is of monetary value but sentimental value is important to me. I like furniture with a sense of history and modern furniture can be very cheaply slapped together.
    Well done on the new photo layout.

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      That is an excellent idea – making a treat really special, putting it on a nice plate and savouring every mouthful. As your husband has a very active job it’s little wonder then that he has a healthy appetite to go with it.
      Yes, little furniture has real monetary value unless by some of the great cabinetmakers of the past, but if something has lasted for over, say, 100 years, and been lovingly looked after, dusted and polished, it will surely outlast some glued-together, stapled-together flat pack stuff that is now being sold.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  9. Paula

    Years ago, probably in the 1960s, we went to a lovely coach house, stable yard to find supplies for building a sailing dinghy. It was on the outskirts of Topsham and I remember the clock on top of one of the buildings. I wonder if this was the sale place!

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      The Quay Antiques is a large brick-built warehouse on the quay at Topsham, there are three levels, the ground floor and two more floors. It doesn’t remind me of a coach house with stable yard, but who knows that it might’ve been like in Victorian times?

      04 . Mar . 2017

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