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From Exeter to Cornwall: December 2021

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

With Christmas looming on the horizon I leave Exeter, beginning the holiday season with a long weekend in Cornwall.

"When will all these shadows of God cease to darken our breakfast?"

Today began in the best way - with a full English breakfast overlooking Exeter's Gothic Cathedral. Eat on the Green, formerly known as Tea on the Green (perhaps they enjoy anagrams?) is a go-to spot in Exeter for a proper cup of tea and a good quality brunch.

I am always marvelled by the grandeur of Exeter Cathedral. A prime example of Gothic architecture, the Cathedral of St Peter was built between 1112-1400AD on the site of a Roman army camp. Despite the fact that I have spent the majority of the last four years living in Exeter, it was only a few months ago that I stepped inside the cathedral for the first time. I am always keen to visit the cathedrals when I am in Italy, primarily for the historical and artistic experience; yet for some reason, I never dared to venture inside the famous Gothic cathedral standing right on my doorstep. It should have been no surprise that the interior turned out to be just as striking and impressive as the exterior of the building.

Whilst the Christmas Market is in full swing, entrance to Exeter Cathedral is free of charge - so if you haven't already visited the Cathedral, now is the perfect time to check out these magnificent views:

Cream first then jam... or jam and then cream?

After breakfast and a quick walk through the Christmas market (I'm still recovering from the £7 I spent on a single duck wrap last week), we headed for Cornwall.

A crossword puzzle from The New York Times passed the time as we drove West along the A30. This will be the fourth trip to Cornwall I have taken in the last four months. The journey is deeply impressed upon my mind. I now see the A303-A30 route the way I imagine a cat senses and remembers the most minute details of its environment, remembering every tree, every twist and turn of the road like a mental map submitted to memory.

Arriving in Cornwall, I was delighted to receive a beautifully hand-written letter of thanks along with payment for my first sold painting 'Hypervigilance.' This was my first experimental piece in acrylic paint completed in early October. It was an expression of the anxiety, fear, and overwhelm that I felt at the time. 'Hypervigilance' is a brutally honest reflection of my experience in the midst of ongoing cognitive-behavioural and trauma therapy. I am delighted to sell this painting and feel inspired to carry on in my original intention of creating abstract and authentic art that is a truthful representation of my own lived experience.

As Oscar Wilde once said:

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

“Hypervigilance,” Acrylic Paint on Canvas (12"x12”), 2021.
Red River Inn

Once we settled into our house in Cornwall, we booked dinner at the Red River Inn. The food at the local pub is spectacular, who would have known that a small pub hidden in a seaside village with nothing but a church and a few houses could offer such marvellous food?

I had lunch and cocktails at the Red River Inn for the first time in early November, and I was blown away by the quality of food. I was especially taken with the mussels in creamy marinière sauce, a dish I had fallen in love with in a Belgian Bier Huis in St. Ives a few weeks earlier.

I was in no doubt about what I would order tonight, I had been raving about the mussels all day. However, what was in November a small starter of mussels to share between two had now become a colossal mountain of shells accompanied by warm ciabatta and french fries... and all for me! If I had not started with the roasted garlic and asparagus risotto, I might have been better equipped to face the challenge.

Although my eyes are bigger than my stomach, I enjoyed every mouthful. Once again, the food was incredible. I recommend the Red River Inn to anyone in West Cornwall.

Plus, if there's anyone out there with vampire-related problems... the garlic risotto will definitely do the job.

Thanks for reading. Hit subscribe on my blog to keep up to date with my travels in Cornwall this weekend.

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