Today, we have been to Topsham, a small town situated on the River Exe just a few miles from the county city of Exeter. I said to husband, “This beats going to work, doesn’t it?” His grin said it all!
We go to Topsham so that we may visit the Quay Antiques’ Centre. We weren’t looking for anything specific, but I have a mental list of things that, if I happen to see them, might find their way home with us; things such as quality linen or cotton table cloths, small salt spoons for my pair of amethyst glass table salts (see below) which are minus spoons …
and Fulham Pottery vases (these were made specifically with flower arrangers in mind.) Also, if there happened to be an attractive canteen of silver-plated flatware and cutlery, that might find it’s way home with us, plus any items of yellow (but not pink) Vaseline glass.
But even if we don’t find any such items, the Quay Antiques’ Centre is a very nice place for a browse. It’s in an old warehouse beside the River Exe, with antiques and collectables on three floors.
Not a pretty building, but it was a warehouse!
I could spend hours in there but husband soon gets back ache, standing around, looking in all the cases, so I have learned to scan very quickly. And then I saw them, residing on a bottom shelf, half hidden by other items of pottery: six perfect Royal Worcester ‘Evesham’ design cups and saucers at just £3 each for a cup and saucer, a total of £18 for the lot.
Royal Worcester, Evesham design, cups and saucers
I wasn’t going to argue with that! Yes, one might find them more cheaply at a boot fair but heaven’s above, these traders have to make a profit and I thought £18 a more-than-fair price for porcelain in perfect condition. Indeed, they looked to me as if they had been part of someone’s ‘best’ tea service, not even used (their undersides are pristine), they had a straight-from-factory look to them. So, we bought those and they will replace our old ‘Evesham’ cups and saucers (also from the Quay Antiques Centre some years ago!) which have now lost much of their pattern and their gold-leaf edges. Thank you, dishwasher!
(I don’t haggle in such places; I’m not on Bargain Hunt or Antiques Road Trip. These TV programmes give a false impression of the kinds of discounts that are available. Only dealers get discounts in such places and I’m not a dealer. If I think a price is fair, I pay it. If I think something is over-priced, I ask the person looking after the Centre (for there are about 38 individual traders selling things there) to ask the particular trader what is the best price he or she will accept? Then, if they say “the marked price” it is up to me to decide whether I wish to pay that amount or not.)
We asked if we could leave the cups and saucers in the Centre so that we might seek out lunch somewhere, and off we went. We decided on The Salutation where we had eaten in March, and again we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. As before, we decided to share a platter, this time a medley of seven different cheeses, with chutney, crackers, bread, walnuts, grapes, butter, etc. Please don’t ask me what the individual cheeses were – I should’ve made a note of them (I usually photograph the menu) but I was enjoying myself so much I almost forgot to photograph the platter, let alone the menu. This is actually a platter for one, but there was more than sufficient for two people in our opinion …
A cheese platter for one, as a main meal (bread was an extra) but we think this is sufficient for two people to share (you might, of course, disagree!)
The Salutation is a smart hotel which offers fine dining as well as the Glass House café, which is where we had our meal …
This would’ve been the carriage way in the days when horses and carriages would’ve been arriving at this old inn
A glimpse of the guest’s lounge
And so you can see me for once not in navy and white, but in …
black, with a coloured bead necklace, one I particularly like in shades of green, amber and purple (and a change of nail polish: Sally Hansen’s Enchante, number 331). This necklace was a charity shop find for less than the price of a monthly magazine, but I choose costume jewellery carefully and I sincerely hope that it doesn’t look as if it came out of a Christmas cracker.
As you can see the old girl needs a hair cut; my appointment is booked, but not for another two weeks when not only will it be trimmed but also highlighted and so I hope it will, once again, look more like it is on the header photograph to my blog. I can’t bear it when it goes all frizzy at the sides as grey hair is wont to do. Fussy? Moi?
It was a rather dull day today, and so we didn’t go for a walk around Topsham or by the River Exe. Besides which, husband wasn’t well the day before yesterday and is still suffering a bit, and I was also suffering slightly, but I won’t elaborate. Everyone is under the weather from time to time, and therefore I don’t mention our aches and pains on my blog; it’s far too boring! I prefer to focus on the pleasant things in life. I’m no Pollyanna, but I am pragmatic: we all get aches and pains and upset tummies, why broadcast it? (Oh dear, by mentioning it, I am broadcasting it, am I not? But this is just to explain why we didn’t go for a walk, not to moan about a few aches and pains and tummy troubles!)
But even though we didn’t have a walk, I will post a few photos here so that you can have a virtual walk around part of this lovely little town, with its Dutch-influenced gabled houses …
This photo above is the modern-day equivalent of the painting of Topsham in 1945 (leading photo). A pity that there was scaffolding around one of the buildings, but the position from where I took this photo is where the artist would most likely have been positioned to paint her picture.
These photos were obviously taken on a warm, summer’s day. Unlike today, which has been cloudy but still quite mild
And finally, a photo of the River Exe, just a few miles upstream from Exmouth and downstream from the city of Exeter
Until next time.
Still coming soon: Follies