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A Saturday Saunter

We really didn’t need to go out this morning, but as the heatwave had broken and it was simply mild (but windy) we decided to pop over to Wellswood, on the other side of the Bay, for a morning paper and a stroll.

After husband had parked our car and we had bought a paper, we strolled up to Me and Mrs Jones, the deli/café where the hanging baskets are spectacular.  On a little table I then saw …

What a great accoldate for a great emporium!  Congratulations to Me & Mrs Jones and all their staff

Of course, I popped in and bought pork & apple sausage rolls and we will have those, with cheeses, sourdough bread and pickled onions for our lunch (which we bought a little while later in St Marychurch –  I wonder if pickled onions are popular in other corners of the world?  I really wanted to buy Ede’s pickled onions are they are bottled right here in Devon and are lovely and crunchy, but the shop where I usually buy them had sold out, and so I bought another brand in a nearby shop) …

We have had Garner’s Sweet Pickled Baby Onions before and they were good

Once we had bought the paper, we decided to have morning coffee in Ilsham’s Tearoom …

We hadn’t been in this tearoom for a long time, but it looked as if new owners were there (I enquired and they are new owners, having taken over on 1st June).  It really is a pleasant small café, with pretty polka-dot oil cloths on the tables, and plants that enhance the mint-green décor.

We enjoyed a pot of coffee for two, excellent value I might add, and very nice coffee.

Of course, I had to have a quick browse in the Rowcroft Boutique (charity shop)and while I saw several things I liked, I had no need of them (there is a huge difference between like and need, isn’t there – rhetorical question!)  I was intrigued by what appeared to be an Art Deco silver teapot, sugar bowl and cream jug, but when I saw the price I think I actually gasped.  It had been reduced from over £300 to around £275.  Yes, in a charity shop.

The silver tea service on the top shelf – lovely, isn’t it?

There were also some pretty pieces on another display stand …

Sadly my ‘tart’s trotters’ days are over! I will never be able to wear ‘heels’ again!

And by the entrance, a rather pretty dress …

The faux- flowers were also rather attractive, but they had a price tag of £10 per bloom.  A good job I prefer real flowers, even though they don’t last, because I then didn’t have to wrestle with my conscience about spending £10 on even one of these blooms!

And now it’s time for lunch.

PS  Coming soon:  Edwardian Gardens

PPS Marlene has asked me for the Watercress Soup recipe.  I have posted this previously, but I’m not clever enough to categorize my posts, so I’ve no idea where it might be, and therefore I’m posting it again – this might vary very slightly from my original recipe post, but only very slightly.

You require watercress (obviously), a couple of medium sized potatoes, a medium onion, and about 4 vegetable Oxo cubes or vegetable stock (plus oil for sautéing the onions and potatoes, and a little crème fraiche or cream).

Chop and saute the onion; chop and add the potatoes to the onion and continue to saute; roughly chop the bunch of watercress and add to the onion and potatoes; add sufficient boiling water (or veg stock) to cover; add the crumbled Oxo cubes. (if you haven’t used stock).  Now simmer for approximately 15 – 20 minutes with lid on the saucepan.  After 15 – 20 minutes turn off the heat, add a dollop of crème fraiche or cream, and blend with a hand-held blender.  Serve with crusty bread, and perhaps a little extra dollop of cream and some parsley or watercress on top of the soup, even a grating of parmesan.  Simple, nourishing and tasty.

Until next time.

About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. It is so nice that it is a little cooler, nice to get out and about, without suffering from heat exhaustion.
    I have seen in your previous posts about the tea room, how lovely for them to win this award, they are obviously very passionate about what they do and put everything into making it a success. I love the colour of the mint-green decor in the other tea room, I find that shade of green rather calming. I love the phrase tarts,trotters that made me laugh, I am not keen on high heels anymore, I will sometimes where a wedge sandal though.

    Thankyou very much for the soup recipe I have just copied and pasted and printed the recipe and will look forward to making it.
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, it was lovely to go out this morning, Marlene, and feel fresh air on our faces, and to breathe in fresh air, too. Indeed, as I speak, the rain is just beginning to fall – very lightly, not heavily, but at least it’s raining! I’ve ever been so glad to see rain since the summer of 1976!!!
      Yes, I’m delighted that Me and Mrs Jones has won this award and the other owners of the other tea room have chosen a delightful mint green colour for the décor, different from the usual sludgey green that has been so popular for a good few years. Yes, “tart’s trotters” is an old phrase I think used to describe a certain kind of high-heeled shoe that no self-respecting woman would wear (ankle-straps were certainly not the things to wear when I was a young woman, or ankle bracelets, they sent a certain message which no decent female wished to send.) I like wedge espadrilles and used to wear those in the early 1980s with my Indian cotton skirts and dresses – I never dressed in a hippy manner, but I just loved some of the Indian cotton dresses, and I had one in deep blue that was a firm favourite.
      Now for the little zzz I’ve promised myself this afternoon!

  2. You look lovely Margaret!

  3. Mary-Louise Mielcarz

    Love your photos Margaret. So looking forward to the Edwardian garden prints post.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, I will post about Edwardian Gardens tomorrow, Mary-Louise. So glad you like the photos on my blog posts.

  4. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Good photo of yourself, Margaret! I was quite hippy influenced in my dress when in my teens and twenties and loved the Indian cotton printed long flowing skirts. I still like a bit of embroidery and beading. There is a brand of clothing called Nomads and they sometimes have some 70s reminiscent pieces in their ranges which I like.
    I’ve eaten watercress soup in restaurants but never made it. I still make your minted pea soup regularly.
    It’s nice to see hardworking small businesses rewarded and I like to support individual cafes and coffee shops rather than the big chains. We have a couple of nice ones nearby.
    I did smile at your trots-trotters! I remember a pair of gorgeous red leather ankle strap wedge sandals that I wore to death. I’ve always loved red footwear!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, I’ve seen the Nomands clothing, they look very comfortable to wear. Go on, have a go at making watercress soup. It’s so easy, a bit like making pea and mint soup, only u sing watercress instead.
      My favourite evening shoes from the 1960s were scarlet silk, very high heels and a lovely diamante strap across the vamp. Never had anything better since then, sadly. They were gorgeous. Wore them with a black satin Frank Usher cocktail dress in a Grecian style, it was gorgeous, too.

      • Those shoes and dress sound very elegant and fashionable, Margaret. I think your keen sense of style covers all areas. I only wish the styles today were as elegant. Regards, Pat

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          My red (and they were really a bright red and shone as they were satin) shoes were gorgeous, Pat. I loved them My outfit was totally black apart from that, and my hair cut like Liza Minelli in Cabaret. I wore long black gloves (a la Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and had a diamante bracelet (a 1930s one, borrowed from my mother) over one of the black gloves. The dress had a drape over one shoulder, the other shoulder was bare and the drape went right down the back of the dress, It was just like a Grecian dress, but boned as dresses were in the 1950s/60s. It was absolutely beautiful and I felt so good wearing it. Yes, a pity styles aren’t as elegant today.

  5. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Tarts trotters!

  6. You look lovely! You always look as if you have made an effort, which I love seeing in anyone. I read about 94 and 99 degrees F temperatures that Britain has been having, massive thunderstorms in Scotland and big fires in some areas. OMG – I think that covers my reaction……. but that is so extreme. Good that it has broken.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Ratnamurti, for such a lovely compliment. I do try and make myself at least look clean and tidy I couldn’t go out unless I’d showered, done my hair, put on some makeup, and applied a spritz of perfume.
      Yes we have had thunderstorms in the UK, but as yet not where we live. It’s just gone 9 pm on Saturday evening but right now the sky looks like we might have a storm here any minute now. It would certainly clear the atmosphere. At last it doesn’t feel hot, for which we are thankful.

  7. Hi Margaret,

    I too want to comment on how fresh and lovely you look on your photo. Good cleaning up girl!

    Regarding the pickled onions…….they’re not as common in the USA unless you look in the “British” section at the grocery store. Sometimes the tiny onions (not pickled) are served with green peas, but I’ve never had dinner at anyone’s home that has served it and I have only served them once and people picked them out and left them. Just different food customs in different countries. I would eat them at your house though. Lucy

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Lucy, and thank you, too, for your kind compliment re my photo. I like the tiny silverskin onions, too. They used to be known as cocktail onions, although I can’t think of any cocktail into which I’d like an onion but perhaps there is one! I’ve never served those tiny onions either, and I don’t know anyone who has, and I don’t think I’d serve them, either, so you’d not have to be polite and eat them, ha ha!

  8. Pickled onions are not the done thing in Australia – at least not in places where I have lived 😉 I have a recollection of a scene in a UK tv show where there was a jar of pickled onions on the bar in a hotel (pub) and people ate them with their beers. I was horrified…. but then we love Vegemite so who am I to comment ? Ha ha.

    Lovely photo of you in the tearoom. It looks like a lovely place. I like the pale mint-green on the tongue and grooved walls.

    I wonder if someone will buy the silver set in the charity shop. It’s a good cause but a lot of money. My friend recently bought a teapot from Gumtree (a website where people can buy / sell all sorts of goods) for $20, only to later use Google out of curiosity and discover similar teaports being offered on eBay for $100. She was thrilled !

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      No, you’d certainly not put a jar of pickled onions on the table, Lara, but they are an acceptable accompaniment to a ‘ploughman’s lunch’ which is what a meal of crusty bread, cheese and chutney has been called here for decades. But these days, a ploughman’s has gone up-market with poncy salad ‘leaves’ and other things on the place, even olives, and what ploughman would eat an olive – he’d perhaps never have seen one let alone eaten one! So I like a ploughman’s lunch to be simple – bread, cheese, chutney and a pickled onion. I think your Vegemite is a bit like our Marmite – a love or hate thing, too.
      I was surprised to see the tea set out on display with such a high price tag. Maybe I read it incorrectly? I must pop back in there next time and see if it’s still there and re-check the price. But it certainly stood out to me as looking good among all the lesser-quality (but still good quality) items.
      Thank you for saying it is a nice photo of me in the tearoom, and yes, we will pop in there again.

  9. We do eat pickled onions here in India as an accompaniment to flat bread and curry, though it might taste quite different from what is available in the UK 🙂
    That is a lovely picture of you..
    Could you please post a picture of the sausage rolls from Me and Mrs Jones? I am very curious to see them, they sound delicious 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, I will try and find the photo I took of the sausage rolls I bought – I did post a photo a while back, Kavitha, but I will post one again (next post). They are sausage meat (i.e. pork) with other seasonings, and all inside a pastry case (usually a puff pastry). They are often used for picnics.

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