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Superflashy news! Fun, food and goss this way…

Want to know ALL the most exciting things happening in our hood? Of course you do! Here's what's getting Muddy hot under the collar this month.

New pool house and wine launch for Lympstone Manor

Chef Michael Caines MBE, who never lets a year go by without snaffling a Michelin star or launching something fabulous (hello, vineyard, shepherds huts, Cafe Patisserie Glacerie) has welcomed in summer 2022 by unveiling a zhuzhy Pool House Restaurant and Bar and a 15mx5m outdoor heated pool at his 5 AA-star hotel near Exmouth, Lympstone Manor.

Costing a cool £1.3 million, it’s a tasteful glass-sided wooden affair, with a central fire pit, a bar and outdoor kitchen, and neutral decor which allows the breathtaking views across the LM vineyard and sparkling Exe estuary do the talking.

Caines also introduced another newbie at the launch – a very quaffable red wine, called Triassic Pinot Noir, named for the ancient stretch of coastline where the grapes are growing, and created in partnership with Lyme Bay Winery. This is the first baby from LM’s 2018 planting of 17,500 vines which line the sun-drenched south-west facing slopes, plus there’s also a sparkling in the offing, made in traditional Champagne style and due in 2023. As you can see, I got my chops around the red (excuse my overexcited chins) and like everything Caines turns his skills to, it tastes and smells divine – rich, fruity and very more’ish.

Corrie actor, Connor McIntyre opens art show in Plymouth

News alert for Coronation Street fans and art lovers! Corrie actor Connor McIntyre who for years played nasty builder, Pat Phelan, is also a talented artist with an MA in Fine Art. Until Monday 23 May, his new show, Funny Weather, is on at St Saviours in Plymouth. A collection of his latest paintings, it’s inspired by the crazy times we live in – Covid, Brexit, war in Europe et al. If you want to know more (and some insider soap goss), check out my chat with Connor. He’s a lovely, insightful guy – nothing like Pat!

Seahorse al Mare is back for 2022

If you love The Seahorse in Dartmouth, then you should know Mitch Tonks’ topnotch pop-up which launched in lockdown, Seahorse al Mare, has taken to the road for a second year. So, if you fancy scoffing and quaffing Seahorse-style in the comfort of your own pad, you can hire out their mobile plancha grill and team, including director chef, Jake Bridgwater, to cook for you and your lucky guests at home.

I had a chance to try it and lord, if I could do it all again right now…we’re talking salt-baked beetroot with ricotta, peas and mint, tuna a la plancha, leg of Devonshire lamb with black olive and maple, monkfish with savory and olive oil. (Dribbling yet? You should be!) Catering is available for a romantic tete-a-tete two to a partaaaay of forty-two, costing £175 per head (plus £1500 for the grill hire).

If you’ve got a big day or birthday coming up, get hinting now. It’s like a foodie trip to the Med without getting on the plane. As it says on he menu, “A good lunch starts at 1 o’clock and finishes a week later in Monte Carlo”, which sums up both Seahorse al Mare and how Muddy likes to do lunch exactly.

The Millbrook Inn at South Pool re-opens

If you were in the Kingsbridge ‘hood over the Easter weekend, you may have heard the locals giving a mighty cheer as new owner Caitlin (above) cut the ribbon of their newly re-furbed Millbrook Inn. Much missed since it permanently closed during lockdown, and a three month closure for a refit – this creek-side pub is back with an ace new look, including a state of the art kitchen, a beautiful new dining room upstairs under the original beams and Wednesday to Saturday opening hours, including a slap-up Sunday lunch. Known for their seasonal farm-to-fork menu from the organic rare breed family farm at Fowlescombe, fans of charcoal grill book now, as head chef Iain Dawson is known for his passion for butchery, fire and smoke and a classical French technique. Ooh la la!

Teignmouth hits Rock Bottom

The seaside town, and one of Muddy Best Places to Live 2022, Teignmouth, has a hip new all-day bar and brunch spot, Rock Bottom, offering a Camden street food menu, and live music events. I popped in last Friday and it’s looking good… we’re loving the cool neon signs, and graffiti vibe.

England rugby hero gets selfie with Muddy

Selfie with a celeb? Oh no, I couldn’t possibly… errr, not really! I mean, what’s a girl to do when she bumps into England International Exeter Chief’s rugby hero, Jack Nowell?! Naturally, I gave the good-natured Jack my sporting wisdom on offside rules, scrum rucks and flankers *JOKES*. Anyway, rugby just got way more interesting. Booking my season ticket with Sandy Park, pronto.

Sad new for Josie’s

We’ve waved a teary goodbye to Josie’s, Bideford’s multi Muddy award-winning homeware store, but the good news is Josie’s entrepreneurial owner and all-round great guy, James, has swapped cushions for cake, and is now general manager at another award-winner, John’s of Instow. We’ll have one of your legendary brownies, please James (and a gin.)

Muddy Awards 2022 are GO!

Not nominated your favourite local indie business in the Muddy Awards 2022 yet? What are you waiting for?? It’s a great way to support local Devon businesses, and it’s free for all involved. Winning a Muddy Award is a huge accolade, with over 32,000 people voting last year in Devon alone, and over 750k across all the counties.

There are 27 categories, from Best Art Space, to Family Attraction to Wedding Venue, so if there’s a cafe or beauty salon you love and want to big-up, nominate NOW! You’ve got until May 20 in the first nomination round, then the top five nominated biz’s in each category go head to head in the final voting round. Go, go, go!

Find more ideas here

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