A Night at the Museum at the RAMM Lates Event, Exeter, Devon

A Night at the Museum at the RAMM Lates Event, Exeter, Devon

Night at the Museum

Have you heard about the awesome, quirky and fun nights at the museum The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, Devon are holding? If not then read on to hear about our night at the museum and see what we got up to at the first ever ‘RAMM Lates’ event!

Exploring the Museum After Dark

Back in February, we were invited to the first of the RAMM Lates events and my friend Charlie and I had an interesting night full of culture, music, art and history. Despite it having been on my bucket list since I moved to Devon, I hadn’t yet made it to The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and so was I was delighted to be asked to attend the first of these special events. I have always loved visiting museums; something I did a lot as a child. Still today I always look out for museums when I am visiting somewhere new. What I liked about the sound of the RAMM is the range of exhibits on display and the various changing exhibitions they hold. With the invite to the event promising a chance to explore the museusm, along with live music, dance performances and a cocktail or two I just couldn’t wait!

Upon entry to the museum, we were greeted warmly by staff and given a museum map and list of events for the night. Charlie and I decided to first explore the museum which was so interesting and excellent to explore with fewer people around! We loved reading about the history of Exeter and Devon and seeing all the animal exhibits on show. There was so much to look at and read we could have spent hours perrusing the displays!

One of the most interesting and captivating exhibits for me is the one with the huge lifesize animals – all created from real animal bones /skins. Some of them were so old it just blew my mind, especially given their excellent condition. It really gives you an idea of how big some of our wild animals are – especially elephants and giraffes!

There’s a lot of taxidermy in the museum which may not be to everyone’s taste, but we saw so many different species of animals  – some of which we don’t think we had ever seen before. There’s lots to learn about all the animals too with facts to read and interesting information about the animals habitats and countires of origin.

Entertainment Galore

The RAMM Lates promise lots of fun entertainment and we certainly enjoyed the range on offer. I stood for quite a while watching this entertainer with her crystal ball – it was strangely mesmerising actually!

We saw a really cool breakdancing performance performed by the University of Exeter Breakdancing Society. The dancing was accompanied by some live singing by a choir which was really uplifting and catchy too!

Live jazz music was provided too and we enjoyed watching the band play their funky instruments and had a little boogie!

Getting Creative

As part of the RAMM Lates there is the opportunity for guests to get involved in some activities. We definitely made the most of these and gave lots a go. I am not usually someone that is easily creative, although I do always find arts and crafts really therapeutic! Of course my scrapbooks used to be my creative outlet before it all became too much and I switched to a more modern scrapbooking mode – this blog!

We had a go at tile printing with the Double Elephant Print Workshop. Here, we were able to use an old fashioned printing press to make our prints – something new for both of us!

We gave weaving a go too – another new experience. I found this really pleasing and I bet it would be such a therapeutic activity to get involved with – maybe when I find some spare time…!

Finally, our last activity was inspired by the current eye-popping exhibition: Criminal Ornamentation. We grabbed our materials and settled down to get crafting and making some greetings cards. I found myself getting lost in the creating and for a brief while totally forgot where I was! I love it when that happens – I think that’s the power of art and crafts! I was quite impressed with our creations – not sure they would make it into the brilliant exhibition though! Make sure to check out the RAMM Instagram page to see more of the proper exhibition!

Final Thoughts and Further Info

We had a really fun night at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum at their first RAMM Lates event. We enjoyed the mix of activities and performances and the chance to take a look around the museum at night. There’s something a bit exciting and special about visiting a museum after hours and there was a real arty and cultural vibe – a different sort of Friday night for me!

There’s lots to see and do and for only £5 a ticket I think it is well worth the price! You can find more information about the museum and upcoming events here. Thank you for having us RAMM – I am sure it won’t be our last visit!

***Our tickets to the RAMM Lates even were gifted to us on a complimentary basis. All thoughts, pictures and opinions are entirely my own. ***

 

Premium Devon Dining at The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead, Devon

Premium Devon Dining at The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead, Devon

Welcome to The Coombe Cellars

We were lucky enough to be invited to the ‘first look’ media preview at The Coombe Cellars in Combeinteignhead, Newton Abbot and what a night it was! The Devonshire pub has recently undergone a stunning new refurbishment and we were invited to not only see the stylish new interiors but to sample the delicious menu too. Cosy, comfy and contemporary design, tasty food and scrumptious cocktails – what more could we want from a weekday Wednesday night?! I’ll take you through our evening, course by course, so you can hear all about the new refurbishment and our awesome experience at The Coombe Cellars.

I have never been to The Coombe Cellars before and so wasn’t quite sure what to expect. After driving through some crazy fog on a very miserable February evening we arrived at the waterfront, premium pub and restaurant and were immediately impressed with the interior design.

We were warmly greeted by the waiting staff and shown to the bar area. Here, the were lovely and enthusiastic bar staff were waiting to take our drinks orders and showed us to the fashionable looking gin bar. Neither Nathan or I actually like gin so we didn’t partake in this, however, I wasted no time in trying the house rose wine – delicious!

We walked around for a little bit, soaking up the bars funky new atmosphere and cosy fires. Once we found a spot we liked, right next to the instagramable flower wall, we took a seat and were presented with our first food course.

Canapes Anyone?

Oh my goodness the selection of canapes were just to die for! There was so much for us to try including fish, meat and veggie dishes – something for everyone! We particularly enjoyed the mini fishcake, deep fried brie and lamb kofta. I really enjoyed the salt and pepper squid too – something I wouldn’t usually go for.

All of the canapes were miniatures of the starters available on the main menu and were so tasty. As we gobbled them up our excitement grew for what was to come – and we were not disappointed!

Starters for Two

After finishing up our canapes, it was time for us to be seated in the restaurant. We were shown to our table by the general manager David, who told us all about the refurbishment. We just loved the look of the dining area – soft lighting, matching tones of blues and greens and big wooden tables. It all made for a very romantic feel and we commented on how this would be a great place for a special date night.

We sat admiring the decor and wondering what views the huge windows overlooking the sea would look like if it hadn’t been so dark – we made a vow to come back and check out the views one summers lunchtime. Be sure to check out The Coombe Cellars Instagram page to get a sneak peek of the views!

There was a real buzz in the atmosphere as we watched people trying new foods, celebrating the event and some trying just that little bit too hard to get the “right Instagram pic”. The a la carte menu had such a great range of food and there was even a full vegan menu for those that way inclined. It took us quite a while to decide what to order as there was just too much choice and too many options that took our fancy – not really a hardship and a good reason for us to come back another time to try some other dishes! Here’s a link to the menus so you can have a peruse and see what you would choose!

Our starters were super tasty with Nathan opting for the crispy karaage chicken. This was really yummy and slightly spicy when dipped in the sauce. Nathan enjoyed the fancy salad too!

Having enjoyed the sample on the canape plate I just had to go for the deep fried brie. Wow, a huge crispy coated slice of brie, all warm and delicious! My perfect starter made even better mixed with some salsa and greens. I think I ate it all without pausing for breath!

We were lucky enough to be able to try lots of different drinks throughout the night including some classic cocktails. I really enjoyed my raspberry mule – a perfect combo with the brie I think!

The Main Event

Our mains arrived swiftly and were beautifully presented. I had chosen the pork belly – a favourite of mine whenever I am out for dinner. If I see it on the menu you can 99.9% guarantee I will choose it! It was accompanied by some green beans, dauphinoise potatoes and almonds. So tasty – perfectly cooked and a winner in my eyes!

Nathan, apparently following a chicken-themed meal, chose the classic spitroast chicken. It came with fries, gravy and garlic aioli – simple yet effective! It was really tasty, well cooked and Nathan ate every morsel!

To accompany our mains we opted for a traditional mojito and a peach bellini – definitely my favourite from the night! I could have drunk a few more of the bellinis I think!

Delicious Desserts

Now, anyone that knows us, knows Nathan and I are pudding people! We loved a good old dessert and for me, it is often the highlight of a meal. Did we save the best till last? I think so!

As soon as I saw it on the menu I just had to go for the melting chocolate and peanut bomb – who can resist that amazing sounding combination! Brought to the table whole and then drizzled with a hot, sticky chocolate sauce, we watched the ‘bomb’ dissipate in front of our eyes, ready for me to devour it! As well as tasting delicious, I thought the presentation was superb too and very pretty with the edible flowers.

Nathan, like me, has a rather sweet tooth and is a sucker for a chocolate dessert. He opted for the chocolate brownie which was served with smooth vanilla ice cream. Despite being quite full from all the other food, he managed to scoff this down within what felt like seconds – I blinked and it was gone – a sign of a good brownie!

We enjoyed some after dinner drinks too. I haven’t had an espresso martini for years so really enjoyed indulging in one. Nathan was the designated driver so settled for a rich hot chocolate – a great end to a truly scrumptious meal.

Final Thoughts

We both really enjoyed our meal at The Coombe Cellars – a real gem of a Devon pub in my eyes. Part of the Mitchells and Butlers Premium Country Pubs range it offers locally sourced produce and relaxing and opulent interiors, all located in a waterside, rural location – the perfect escape from everyday life! I can imagine the views from the restaurant’s large windows are beautiful in the daytime. I can’t wait to return one sunny lunchtime to sit outside and eat al fresco.

We loved the menu – everything we sampled was super tasty, well cooked and stylishly presented. We enjoyed all the drinks, especially the extensive cocktail selection. Whilst our dinner was provided to us on a complimentary basis, I made sure to check out the prices and I believe them to be very reasonable given the quality and taste.

The staff were really friendly, chatty and happy to answer any questions about the refurbishment or the menu. We enjoyed chatting with them and we felt very well looked after. Make sure to check out the pub’s Facebook page for special events and seasonal menus.

Finally, we really enjoyed the new look –  it had a really relaxed and cosy vibe and would be perfect for a chilled lunch with friends or a romantic date night with a loved one. Thanks so much for having us – we will certainly be back!

The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead, Devon

The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead, Devon

***Our dinner and drinks were provided to us on a complimentary basis in return for this review. All thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own ***

After Work Walks at Dawlish Warren Beach, South Devon

After Work Walks at Dawlish Warren Beach, South Devon

Back in the summer months last year I was on my university placement in the lovely seaside town of Dawlish in South Devon. With the evenings being lighter and longer, I often tried to make the most of the summer vibes and take myself down Dawlish Warren Beach to enjoy an after-work walk. I mean why wouldn’t you – look how gorgeous it is!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

I love all these cute and colourful beach huts – they are so pretty sat constantly above the beach. I wonder how much you would have to pay to own one? There is only a small row of them so I can imagine they are pretty sought after!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren is a blue flag beach and it seems super clean. It’s got lovely sand – perfect for building those sandcastles with the kids! There is lots to do nearby including crazy golf, children’s theme park rides and cool shops with plenty of surfer gear.

If you visit don’t forget t check out the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve too which is over 500 acres of protected grassland and has some pretty impressive sand dunes! I need to check out the visitor centre next time I visit.

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

There’s also a small arcade too which my friend Charlie and I couldn’t resist when we visited on our last day of placement. Of course, we partook in the 50p challenge, I can’t remember who won though!

Dawlish Warren, Devon

On our last visit, we also popped to The Boat House Tavern and Grill where we treated ourselves to a tasty dinner with views out to sea – it’s a shame the wasn’t a bit nicer – it was August after all!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

I can recommend Dawlish Warren Beach for a lovely seaside walk and some tasty grub. I love the beach huts the most and the cute seaside vibe it has. If you’re going with family then there’s loads to do and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

If you like the sound of Dawlish Warren then check out my previous post from when Nathan and I visited the main town and enjoyed a spot of Safari Adventure Golf!

Dawlish Safari Adventure Golf and the Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

Dawlish Safari Adventure Golf and the Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

On a sunny Sunday in August Nathan and I went to Dawlish in Devon for a spot of crazy golf. It was super hot but not too busy and we had a good yet competitive round of golf!

Black Swans

Dawlish is famous for its black swans – something I have never seen before! Quite the site, especially as we didn’t see any white ones like we are used to!

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish is such a lovely little town to walk through. You can wander along the river watching the swans and it feels really green and luscious.

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

I loved all the flowers along the river and the pretty lights too – I bet it looks nice all lit up at night.

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Safari Adventure Golf

After our gentle stroll along the river, it was time for a round of golf at the Dawlish Safari Adventure Golf course. The course was themed with safari animals which were dotted around the course.

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

I like the fact that in amongst the safari animals there are the famous Dawlish black swans too!

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

It was quite busy on the course meaning we had to wait a while between the holes but it was super sunny and warm so we didn’t mind too much!

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

The course is home to this giant gorilla statue that actually made the local papers when first placed there due to it being an obstruction to the local neighbours. It is quite funny reading all the newspaper articles detailing the complaints about it invading their privacy

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

After all the competition (and Nathan beating me.. again) we had some lunch in one of the local cafes. We had fish finger sandwiches and chips and sat outside enjoying the sun.

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour

On our way back home we stopped off for a cheek ice cream at the Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour at Taverners Farm. There were so many choices of delicious homemade ice cream it was hard to decide what we wanted.

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter
Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

The ice cream parlour has won many awards for their ice cream so it’s certainly the place to go!

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

Nathan is clearly enjoying his ice cream a little too much here! It as so hot it melted fast! The parlour is not far from Exeter so I think we will certainly be back next summer!

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

I went for kiwi and peach in the end as I fancied something fruity. They were really nice although I feel I could have gone for some stronger flavours as they didn’t taste that strong! I can’t say I’ve ever had kiwi or peach flavoured ice cream before so that was a first!

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

We had a lovely day out in Dawlish and at the ice cream parlour. I feel like a round of crazy golf, some shine and ice cream is the perfect way to spend a Sunday for Nathan and me!

If you like the sound of visiting Dawlish then be sure to check out my next post all about Dawlish Warren Beach.

My Parents Visit Me in Devon – Visit to Tiverton and the Crediton Museum!

My Parents Visit Me in Devon – Visit to Tiverton and the Crediton Museum!

I have lived in the South West for 4 years now and finally, my parents came together to visit me in Devon at the end of August last year. I had a lovely time showing them around my flat and the local area. It was great to spend some quality time with them which actually felt a little odd at times as normally there are at least one of my three sisters around too!

Trip to Tiverton

We enjoyed a lovely trip to Tiverton where we visited the visitor centre and took a stroll along the canal.

Grand Western Canal Visitor Centre, Tiverton, Devon

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

My Dad was rather impressed by the horse-drawn canal boat – maybe an activity for next time they visit!

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

We had a lovely cream tea at the Canal Tea Rooms and Gardens where we sat outside and tried to swot all the wasps away from our scones and jam!

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

For dinner, we went to The Stables in Cowley where we enjoyed a tasty dinner. The only problem was there were tonnes of flies buzzing around which out us off a bit and meant we didn’t stay for pudding!

Crediton, Devon

Exploring Crediton

The next day we went for a wander around Crediton where my Dad got himself a new toolbox and some sherbet lemons from the sweet shop! We stopped for a coffee at Ashton’s Coffee Lounge and enjoyed sitting outside in the square chatting and watching everyone go by. They do the best hot chocolate here!

We had a look around the Crediton Museum which was actually really interesting. I learnt a lot about the town I am now living in and it’s history. My parents enjoyed looking back at the old fashioned toys and TV programmes.

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

There was actually so much more in the museum than I imagined there would be and the man working there was so sweet and happy to answer questions and tell us about Crediton in days gone by.

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

All too soon it was time for parents to head off and drive back to Kent. It was so nice to see them and show them around my new home. I hope they come back and visit soon – they are welcome anytime!

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

Scrapbook Adventures’ 2018 Round Up – Part Two!

Scrapbook Adventures’ 2018 Round Up – Part Two!

Welcome to the second part of the Scrapbook Adventures 2018 yearly round up! In this post, I will talk about adventures from the months of May to August and feature some of my favourite blog trips. If you missed part one of the years round up then check it out now to catch up!

May

May was yet another busy month for me and the blog with lots more attraction reviews and our first glamping trip of the year.

I enjoyed a trip to Carnglaze Caverns in St Neot, Cornwall, where I was shown around the caves and enjoyed a pretty fairyland walk.

I visited the lovely National Trust gardens at Trelissick House with my friend Emily where the spring flowers were just divine.

I took another garden walk, this time around the impressive Dartington Hall in Totnes with my friend Lucy. We enjoyed a scrummy hot chocolate and cake in the cafe too!

Nathan and I got some exercise by walking around Siblyback Lake in Cornwall which had some stunning views. We topped off our walk with a cheeky ice cream!

Continuing with the walking theme I walked a few miles of the pretty Grand Western Canal in Tiverton and had a naughty couple of treats to eat too! The weather was just lush!

The best bit of May was certainly our trip to Just Us Retreats in Crediton, Devon. Here we stayed for three romantic nights in the wonderful bell tent named Gabriel. We had an awesome time cooking on an open fire, relaxing in the hammocks and falling asleep by candlelight. This place is just the bomb!

June

Summer was well and truly here by June with many of our adventures starting to make the most of the sunshine and the quietness of attraction and beaches before the hoards descended in the school summer holidays.

We kicked off June by heading to Somerset to the magnificent Forde Abbey. Here we wandered around the incredible gardens and enjoyed a homemade pizza making workshop too!

I took a solo trip to Torquay where I enjoyed an overnight stay at the Heritage Hotel followed by a trip to Cockington Court the next day. I loved all the different craft and art shops and walks around the gardens.

Nathan and I spent a weekend at the cool Andrewshayes Holiday Park, Dalwood where we enjoyed a two-night stay in a glamping pod. It’s a great site with a games room, swimming pool and fields full of friendly cows to watch!

We spent the day at Wildwood Escot where we saw lots of amazing animals and really enjoyed a great bird of prey show. Definitely, a great place to take kids for a treat.

We visited the gorgeous Landram Bay and Otterton Village where we nearly died walking in the relentless midday heat and by nearly getting chased by a herd of cows! I have never appreciated a pint of cold lemonade so much!

The end of June was fantastic for me as I spent a relaxing night at The Wood Life in Devon. I stayed in a beautifully crafted shepherds hut and had the most amazing bath in the accompanying bathing wagon. I cooked my dinner on the open fire overlooking the gorgeous Devon countryside – a highlight of 2018 for me for sure!

July

July started with a trip to the circus! We really enjoyed entering the big top at Paulos Circus and watching all the acts – fun for all the family indeed!

We enjoyed a lovely trip to Bideford in North Devon where we stayed at Owl Valley Glamping. We were lucky enough to stay for two nights in a wonderful bell tent and had the woodland site all to ourselves. It was a lovely few days and we enjoyed play games in the parliament building!

Whilst in North Devon we visited Westward Ho! beach for ice creams and a chill on the beach.

I took a trip to West Bay in Dorset to meet up with some friends from my university days. We spent the day exploring West Bay including seeing all the sites from BBC’s Broadchurch. I had some Dorset orange marmalade flavour ice cream too which was a bit random and not as nice as I hoped it would be!

Nathan and I enjoyed a weekend staying in a camping pod a the Forest Glade Holiday Park in Cullompton, Devon. Here we enjoyed BBQ cooking, a cosy camping pod and games of pool in the games room.

We spent a random Sunday at Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre near Okehampton and played for ages on the old fashioned arcade games. We enjoyed riding some of the old fashioned theme park rides too, enjoying the dodgems the most! We followed up our visit by taking a wander around Roadford Lake before stopping for a chill in the sunshine and an ice cream!

I enjoyed a fun-filled and action-packed family holiday at Brean Sands Holiday Resort Unity with my sister, niece, nephew and nan! We stayed in a really nice caravan and had a great time making loads of awesome memories!

We topped the month off with a stay at Freshwell Camping in Croyde, Devon. We stayed in a unique stargazing getaway which allowed us to watch the stars from our cosy cabin. We enjoyed a walk around Croyde and to Baggy Point, of course ensuring we ate lots of ice cream! We visited Sandleigh Tea Rooms too which were really pretty.

August

August saw us head to Somerset and enjoy Nathan’s birthday weekend at Petruth Paddocks a camping and glamping site in Cheddar. We stayed in a rather lovely yurt called ‘Mr Yurt’ for three nights and had a great time despite some wet weather.

During our time in Cheddar, we visited the infamous Wookey Hole Caves which was a great day out. There was so much to see and do and we loved the tour of the caves and crazy golf them most!

I also visited Bishops Palace in Wells, Somerset – a wonderful Palace and gardens full of colour, history and perfection. I had the best time taking two free guided tours and soaking up the sunshine. I would love to go back here and would recommend for garden lovers and history buffs!

I spent some time doing university work at Reed Hall a grand old building and cafe on the Exeter University campus. It’s such a lovely place to go for some reflection and is a nice quiet place to work (and write blog posts!).

I also went on a lovely spa weekend with my friend Katherine. We went to the Hilton Hotel and Spa at The Agea Bowl in Southampton. We enjoyed a super relaxing massage, made the most of the spa facilities and enjoyed dinner in Ian Botham’s restaurant.

Nathan and I took a trip to Tintagel in Cornwall and enjoyed exploring the coast and the National Trust Old Tintagel Post Office.

My parents visited me in Exeter for the first time and we took a trip to Tiverton to explore the canal and have a tasty cream tea. I also took my parents to the Crediton Museum to check out some local history!

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

On another weekend Nathan and I went and played crazy golf at Dawlish Warren and stopped off for ice cream at the Orange Elephant on the way home.

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

I had a really great summer! So many fun glamping trips and lots of lovely days out to beautiful; gardens and beaches. I loved the holiday with my family too – defo a highlight!

Certainly another busy few months! What adventures do you like the sound of the most? Let me know in the comments!