Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Here we are, returned from another lovely weekend in that wonderful West Country. Yes, we finally managed a couple of days at our cottage. We've been very busy just recently and have found it hard to make regular trips down to the cottage but it is a situation which will improve along with the good weather (it is coming, you know.)

It was interesting seeing these snaps today as I don't think I've taken Wintery views of the cottage before. It still looks attractive, just in a different way. Ahh, I can smell the woodsmoke drifting from the chimneys.

The view of the village on the drive-in was most pleasant, too. Hooray, finally an abundance of daffs (doing their best to outshine the dull day).

On Saturday, we were up bright and breezy to catch the train into Devon. Having seen Jane's post a few weeks ago, I realised I was overdue my fix. Any of you who have been here, will immediately recognise this street scene...

Yes, we ventured to the lovely town of Totnes. Sadly, it was a dull and drizzly day. This square is usually home to a bustling market scene but there were very few sellers on Saturday (and who can blame them).

I did appreciate the beautiful primulas on the plant stand.

Behind the square, there is a flea market which was also a bit thin on the ground. In fact, it was rather rubbish!

I always venture there, though. If you're lucky, you might see Amanda of "Shabby Chick" fame on a Friday (sometimes on a Saturday, too) and there is always this fabric shop which I visit. I bought a lovely Colefax & Fowler remnant for a pound and a few other bits (including 50p bags of buttons).

I wandered on up the street (you might be wondering but the boys had obviously abandoned me in favour of the South Devon Railway) and I paused to take a photo of the lovely Anne of Cleves tea room (but I was full after my sneaky millionaire's shortbread from the Riverford shop - divine!) Totnes is not short of tea rooms.

Up at the top of the hill, we find the area called "The Narrows" (I'll leave it to your imagination to work out why) and in particular, lovely Lesley's shop, This 'n' That. Always a delight! We had a natter and I bought some lovely '30's style bathing belles figures for our bathroom at the cottage (sorry, forgot to photograph).

Opposite is another tantalising shop and I picked up some goodies for my friend Vanessa (not telling, wait and see!)

Ooooh, but I am really desperate to rush headlong into my favourite shop, a mecca of Cath K, Greengate and Pip Studio!



I have to confess that I did succumb to the Pip Studio towels and the Greengate teatowels. Quite restrained, I thought.

Flagging by this point, I arrived at Lady Grey's Tea Room just round the corner, at the appointed hour, to rendezvous with the boys.

Decisions, decisions...

It's a very old-fashioned, eclectic tea room. (Sorry for fuzzy photo.)

Oooh, Mr HenHouse! You can tell he was raised by die-hard Devonians, he does love a cream tea!

Moving onto Sunday, we begin to wonder if all we ever do is eat (such a chore!) as we find ourselves at our fabulous local for a Sunday roast. Our pub has won several national awards and we like to take advantage of it when we can!

Feeling chubby, my lunch is rounded off nicely by bumping into the pub cat outside in the garden. I do my best to find cats to harass (at least they seem to think it's harassing!) wherever I go.

In need of a bit of activity, we head to the park, where the Munchkin lets off steam with gusto!

Daddy is more interested in reading about steam (of the railway kind!)

Mummy is most enthralled to see a spot of repainting has been taking place...

...and can't resist having a go!


  1. Oh, you have taken me away! What lovely pictures...Thank you!
    Have a wonderful day,
    Val in Kansas :-)

  2. What a wonderful blog post. Such lovely pictures. I love days getting out and about. We all need these. I really enjoy your blog.

  3. Wonderful post! I love the last picture in particular!!! x

  4. Oh you should have said... I would have met you for a cuppa again....we opted to go to Chagford but really weren't sure what to do as the weather was so naff!
    Glad you had a good wander around anyway!

  5. What a smashing weekend Hen! Such wonderful shopping in Totnes! I'd love to go , one day when I've finished my challenge!
    Have a lovely week!
    Rachel x

  6. Goodness me I am missing something ! I went to Totnes last week but I got as far as the lovely Gazebo then Mr V rang on mobile to say he had finished looking round and was waiting for me right down the bottom end. I have never got further than that, but I did spot another fabric shop over the road?
    One day I must start at the Narrows and work downwards !
    Best wishes
    Sue x

  7. You're always so generous with beautiful pictures..but how did you take such a hard decision???

  8. What a lovely cheerful post Hen.....how like Pickle that kitty is...!

    Cute spotty shoes!xx

  9. Hi Hen
    Thank you for sharing your weekend and the trip around Totnes (can you believe I've never been there? to be remedied this summer without a doubt!).
    As I sit here having just polished off two crumpets I can totally empathise with the need for tea and cake - and what wonderful cakes you had to choose from!
    I spy some very gorgeous spotty clogs in your photo - just perfect for Spring and Summer :-)
    Hope you are having a good week,
    Happy days,
    Denise x

  10. So funny, I was just saying at the weekend how much I miss Totnes market (I grew up round there) Will have to go again soon. Gazebo and Vintage Living are calling me!

  11. You Hen have just bought back beautiful memories of my trips to Totnes! My parents built a house in a tiny tiny village there in the eighties and when we visited we either stopped off on the way to them or stopped of on the way home and sometimes we did both! Easter Saturday was special because the Friday Market was held on the Saturday (no market is held on Good Friday) and we would arrive about 7.30am just to get a parking space, we would have breakfast and watch the stalls being set up and the shops opening.

  12. You lucky girl! I'd like to be in Totnes right now...especially in that Gazebo shop! We usually get to Devon once a year for a holiday but we don't venture into Totnes because we have the dog with us,and we can't leave her alone in our rented cottage.

    Bellaboo :o)

  13. Sounds like you had a lovely weekend Hen. I love a Saturday of mooching around lovely shops and a spot of lunch or a tea out - nothing can beat it in my humble opinion.


  14. Oh Hen, What a lovely trip you've taken us on. Thank you.
    I love your style, almost like mine, that style being 1 shop = 1 cake stop! Love Claire. xxx

  15. Hello Hen!
    What a lovely set of photos from your weekend in the Westcountry. I'm sorry that I didn't see you at Totnes...I was getting wet at the Shepton Mallet antique fair instead!
    Just to let you and your readers know...the fleamarket is now on, on Good Friday and Easter Saturday this year and I intend to be at both! If you are down for the weekend, it would be lovely to see you!...let's hope for the return of Spring sunshine!
    Best wishes...
    Amanda (Shabby Chick) xxx

  16. looks like you had a fabulous weekend - lovely pics. I didn't know there were so many lovely shops in Totnes - time for a trip down there i think!


  17. Ahhhh...thank you so much for taking me along on your holiday! I needed that bit of shopping and the tea and scones were lovely...haha

    I love your "tours"!!! I'm from the US and we don't have these quaint shops and lovely tea houses. Maybe one of these days I can visit them myself :)

  18. Oh I absolutely neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to go to Totnes - this instant! One day I must get there, preferably when my numbers have come up on the National Lottery!

    Looks like you had a perfect weekend Hen, even if the market wasn't up to much. What a wonderful thing to have a bolthole in the West Country. I adore the West Coutnry, Cornwall and Dorset most especially so I think some exploring of Devon is called for. Thanks to Sky we even watch BBC Spotlight regional evening news instead of the version from Birmingham which is supposed to over our area (it never does). Last night there were stories about new lifeboats etc - much more my cup of tea!

    Talking of which, your delicious pictures have made me really fancy a cup. Off to make a brew; have a lovely week.

  19. Hello Hen!
    Oh, what a lovely post! Wish I could go there for real.. Such an enchanting place! The virtual tour you gave us was a delight!

    kisses from Brazil!

  20. What a great post!! You clearly had a fantastic weekend!!! Loved all the photos!!!

  21. Ooooooooo! I'm almost in your Totnes photos. I was looking at your pictures trying to spot me! We were there saturday afternoon, strolling around the shops. I succumbed to the delights of Gazebo and bought some gorgeous spoons!xx

  22. What a lovely post. Never been to Totnes but needs to go on my'to visit' list this minute. Bric-a-brac, CK and cakes! what more could a girl ask for.
    Keep this fabulous blog coming.
    Jenny x

  23. What a wonderful weekend to share with you! I think I remember those bathing belles from Lesley's blog...

  24. Great post Hen! All those tea rooms are very tempting....and why are you wearing my shoes??


  25. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend!
    Would love to go to one of those Gazebo shops, it looks like they have gorgeous things.
    Take care
    Bridie x

  26. What a lovely trip. And your walk you have pictured would draw me to your cottage in a minute! I had a weekend away also but with some girlfriends. We went on a quilt shop hop. Nine shops total nine blocks to put together. I posted about it also.

  27. What a gorgeous day!
    Sent you the stuff for munchkin, although it looks like Daddy might like some too!!!
    Has he looked on the LU museum website? There are some fab film clips?

  28. Oh! Thank you for the lovely tour Hen! I love to see your photos of what seems like a far, far away place to me. Someday, I hope to visit there with my hubby.
    Lovely post :) Rebecca from Las Vegas

  29. Looks like such a lovely weekend Hen. I loved the Totnes shopping trip, the redhouse is my favourite haunt...I felt as though I was there with you, THANKS!

    Sarah x

  30. I like to give cuddles/stroke/harrass cats I don't know too, they're like magnets to me! Love your spotty clogs, fab! What a lovely day out you had on Saturday, boys busy with their own interests, and you free to amble around to your hearts delight, meeting up together in a tea room, how wonderful a day is that! I've just found out about Pip Studio, and I'm smitten, it's like a funky colourful version of Cath K and I love it. Those towels I've seen appearing on people's blogs are amazing, yummy infact. Glad you had a lovely time at the cottage. Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  31. I love Totnes but rarely go, it's not far on the train so I'm not sure why! The cream tea looks lovely, I could eat one right now!
    Looks like you had a great weekend even though the weather was rubbish :( x

  32. Thanks so much for the daffodil pictures. I've been pining to see some. They must be everywhere now you lucky things

  33. That was fun to walk the streets with you and window shop ,thanks for the trip...


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