Gourmet Afloat

Gourmet Afloat

Last Saturday was one of those special days that you can put in the memory bank, knowing that whenever you take it out it will put a smile on your face.

With family staying for the weekend, daughter, son-in-law and lively 9 year old grandson, as soon as breakfast was cleared away it was off to Topsham for a little light shopping.

Pink String, in the main street, is a shop made for me. Full of Tuscan pots and lamps, plates and cushions, all whites and greys, where every item is calling out to be picked up and carried home.

Enough already, we have a lunch date at The River Exe Café. A short drive to Exmouth Harbour and a seat on the Puffin Water Taxi that will take us out to the “café”, moored in the middle of the River Exe.

On the 25 minute trip we saw seals sunbathing on the sandbanks and cormorants flying alongside. A warm welcome awaited us and we were soon into the garlic bread, olives and prawns, while we took stock of the restaurant and our surroundings. On the port side you look across to the seaside town of Exmouth and on the starboard side is Starcross and its famous Atmospheric Railway, built by Brunel. A smidgen further up river is Powderham Castle and Estate, the ancestral home of the Earls of Devon.

Back to business, yours truly ordered fish soup followed by monkfish wrapped in pancetta, accompanied by mussels in a light curry broth. Other family members had fish & chips, moules mariniere and for the unsophisticated taste of a nine year old, catch of the day with samphire!

The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and the food was delicious, hence “café” would be misleading. Perhaps we were a little too laid back as we drank our coffees on the boat returning us to dry land.

So, for good health and a lasting memory, take some family or close friends, a large portion of good food and a bottle of Macon Villages, add a sprinkling of warm weather and sun and you have a perfect recipe. Does being at Topsham get any better?

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