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Teignmouth at sunset

I’ve blogged before about the idyllic little Devon seaside village, where my husband grew up – Teignmouth.

For those who haven’t been, check out this drone video taken at sunset – it’s a little moment of zen.

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Straight Outta Teignmouth

Oh, Interwebs … you are a true time suck, but so many gems abound.

Take, for instance, this little beauty I found on my Facebook feed.

For anyone who has passed through the west coast of Devon, you may know Teignmouth. It’s a pretty little seaside town, where my husband grew up, and I find this video so amusing and evocative – I feel like I’ve just visited. Amazing.

4.1 earthquake in Devon?!

British earthquake

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is reporting that an earthquake measuring 4.1 hit Devon at 1:21 p.m. BST today.

Tremors were felt in areas including Dartmoor, Bristol, Taunton, Swansea, Llanelli, Barnstable, Gloucester and South Molton.

What in the world is going on? I’m still trying to get over Devon images like this. Waves hitting our favorite quiet seaside Devon town of Teignmouth:

Devon waves

And the flooding in Dawlish:

Dawlish

* Sigh *

A West Country map

West Country Map

I was amused by this – and I think my West Country friends and relatives will be, too!

Totnes Cats Cafe

Totnes Cats Cafe

Photo credit: Driftwood Vegans website

Cat cafes have taken Japan, Hong Kong, Moscow and Vienna by storm. But I’ve just discovered that the U.K. has its first cat cafe, a “feline therapy lounge” serving teas and coffees in Totnes, Devon. It’s not a BYOC (bring your own cat) facility. Instead, it’s a place where you are invited to spend quality time with resident cats and unwind with a spot of tea.

File this one under “Only in Totnes,” but the concept sounds pretty purrfect! Have you ever been to a cat cafe?

Anniversary dinner at Ode

Ode

Interior of Ode

One of the highlights of our recent trip to England was celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary at Ode in Shaldon, which has been named UK’s most sustainable restaurant by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

The food was absolutely amazing, delicious, fresh and exciting from beginning to end. Service was friendly and helpful (owner Tim Bouget was lovely!). And all of this for a great price! Our wedding anniversary fell on a Wednesday and Ode features a reduced price menu on Wednesdays: three courses for 29 pounds! We added a couple of glasses of kir royale to start and a very pleasant French white wine to accompany our main courses.

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A walk on the seawall in Teignmouth, Devon

After Paris, we hopped back on the Eurostar to London and then caught a train down to the southwest coast of Devon. We headed to a quaint, seaside town called Teignmouth, where my mother-in-law and lots of family friends live.

The train takes you right along the coast. Gorgeous views, despite the unseasonably cold spring weather. A few days after we arrived, we took a brisk walk along the seawall, which runs right alongside the train tracks.

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Teignmouth seawall

Teignmouth Seawall

Saving Castle Drogo

My MIL volunteers regularly at Castle Drogo, which is the last castle built in England in the 20th Century. Located in Drewsteignton, near Exeter in southwest England, it is a National Trust property which was formerly home to grocery magnate Julius Drewe. It is every bit the fairytale castle that you would imagine, but has sadly sustained water damage over the years, due to waterproofing problems during its early construction.

A fundraising campaign is currently underway to help raise money to repair the roof, replace windows, repoint walls among other necessary fixes in order for the castle to remain open to visitors. I hope that they are successful. See the video below to find out more about the castle and be sure to visit if you’re ever in Devon!

An ode to Ode

I love the story of the tortoise and the hare, of David and Goliath, or any time when the little guy triumphs over the big.

Best case in point this past month: Ode in Shaldon, a charming little Devon seaside restaurant that has been named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Photo credit: The Telegraph

It beat out Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage, which took second place.

Chef-proprietor Tim Bouget got top marks for local sourcing as well as energy and water efficiency and waste management. Check it out the next time you are in the West Country!