What’s On This Week
MON 26 FEB - SUN 4 MARCH 2018
Exmoor Food Fest, various venues across Exmoor, 1 – 28 Feb
A perfect reason to fall off the healthy eating wagon this month. The Exmoor Food Fest is back, celebrating all that’s great about the food and drink here. You can literally eat your way across Exmoor, with lots of fab special offers that you wouldn’t normally see. Our fave? We have to give a shout out to the wonderful Swan in Bampton, who, on Sat 10 Feb will be breaking with the tradition of lunch or dinner and offering a very special Moor Breakfast, along with a glass of fizz and a talk from a local producer at Wellhayes Vineyard. Sign me up, it’s going to be special.
For participating venues, visit exmoorfoodfest.com
Dine out at Home Farm Cafe, Parke at Bovey Tracey, with a special Muddy offer, during Feb
If you haven’t seen this little February sweetener in the Muddy newsletter, then listen up! This brilliant cafe on the National Trust Parke Estate throws open its doors in the evenings on Thurs-Sat, for an intimate 3 course supper and it is FABULOUS. If you fancy checking it out for yourself, then book in on a Thurs or Friday during February and you’ll get £5 off a 3-course dinner, if you quote ‘MUDDY’. I highly recommend this one, super cosy, very romantic and the food is amazing.
Not valid on Saturdays. Quote ‘MUDDY’ when booking. homefarmcafe.co.uk
RSPB Avocet Cruises on the Exe Estuary, throughout the month, ending on 28 Feb
The Exe Estuary is an incredibly special place teeming with wildlife and birdlife. If you feel like giving something back and fuelling your mindfulness this Feb then book yourself onto one of the RSPB’s increasingly popular river tours during which, not only will you be able to admire this beautiful place in which we live but also, expert guides will help you spot various species of wader and wildfowl including the avocet. All the money goes into the protection of these beautiful birds and their habitats. In an increasingly frenetic world where emails zing like panicked guineafowl and junk mail piles up by the front door, can you actually think of anything more pleasant and calming then wiling away an hour on the river? We can’t. Booking is essential by the way.
Departure times vary according to tide times – cruises last 1 hr 15 mins, £18. ww2.rspb.org.uk
Women and Power, Killerton House, starts Sat 10 Feb
As 2018 marks the centenary of women (partially) achieving the vote in England, it would be remiss NOT to mention this fantastic exhibition which opens at the beautiful Killerton House this month. The National Trust has come up trumps again with a celebration of Suffragist Lady Eleanor Acland and her campaign for suffrage. Make sure you take your proud – and loud – opinions with you as Killerton promises to have a soapbox in front of the house, where ALL people can have their voices heard. Meanwhile inside there will be poll boxes where you can vote on current affairs too. A fascinating insight into his ahem sorry I mean, her-story.
11am-5pm £12.80. nationaltrust.org.uk
Wild Birds singing with Holly Ebony, Dartington, Tuesday’s, starting 20 Feb
Muddy – in Muddy Mum mode – is ridiculously excited about Wild Birds coming out of its winter hibernation and restarting singing round the campfire in the “deep dark woods”. Situated in the forest near to Dartington, this gorgeous muddy morning is magical, creative and fun. Wrap up warm and get you and your little chick involved as soon as you can!
10 – 11.30 am, £7.50 per family, booked half-termly or £10 drop-in. hollyebony.com
Toddler Yoga with Jess Yoga Wellness, Newton Abbot, starting Tues 20 Feb
By now you’ll know that Muddy loves to get out and explore this wonderful county, and we get giddy when we find treasures like this, for parents of small ones. Jess offers the most creative, fun, sparkly and stretchy toddler yoga sessions. If you fancy getting bendy and laughing and cuddling with your small human then we recommend booking a place on one of her courses before they (inevitably) sell out. It’s the perfect rainy day activity and, let’s face it, we’re getting plenty of those chucked our way lately!
10-10.45am £26 for 4 weeks courses www.jessyogawellness.co.uk
Stuart Lamble Craft Gallery Showcase, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, throughout Feb
Useful and beautiful crafts? We love this. Stuart Lamble makes striking handcrafted contemporary lighting and furniture – isn’t it pretty? Using sustainably sourced wood from the Cornwall and Devon border, there’s more than a hint of Stuart’s love of his natural surroundings. Go see, covet and, if you’re in the market for an interiors overhaul, buy!
Exhibition: Jerwood Makers Open, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, throughout Feb
The touring exhibition from the Jerwood Visual Arts Programme lands in Bovey Tracey this month. Jerwood Makers Open focuses on makers and making, supporting work in a diverse range of materials and progressive practices. Following a national call which elicited 271 submissions, five artists were selected for the exhibition (including sculptor Jessica Harrison, above) and will show works in wood, glass, parian porcelain, shellack, steel and organic waste and vellum.
Open daily 10am – 5.30pm, free, crafts.org.uk
New opening: JoLi’s, Totnes Mon-Sun
For all the Muddy Mummas out there, this may actually be a dream come true. Not only is this new play café host to some ridiculously good cake and an amazing selection of toys, books and messy play activities for your tots, it also has a hairdressers and beauty salon for them and us! Yup, that means that whilst your bambinos play, you can be beautified! Why did no one think of this before? Perfect for a rainy day with your mini or a sneaky bit of TLC for yourself.
£0.50- £1.50 (depending on the age of the child), 10am -4pm / 9am -12pm . Facebook.com.
Sharpham vineyard wine and cheese tasting, Sharpham (near Totnes) Thurs 1 MARCH
We’re very VERY excited that Sharpham vineyard – and its fabulous produce – is reopening this month. For only £9.95 you can sit, admiring the absolutely knock out view of The River Dart, and sip on 3 wines and two cheeses made by Sharpham. It’s kind of Muddy Law, then, to stay for lunch at The Cellar Door. The wine is amazing, the cheese is amazing, the food made at the café is AMAZING. Trust me, you’ll be wanting to book a taxi back home! Booking essential.
£9.95, 10am -5pm. sharpham.com
An evening with Levison Wood, Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, Thurs 1 March
He trudged the length of the Nile, dodged Honduran gangsters and was almost arrested for vagrancy *erm* on a motorway in Champagne, but the burning question is… will explorer & TV presenter, Levison Wood, brave Barnstaple? We’ll find out tonight, won’t we? Read our Muddy Q&A with the man himself here.
7.30pm, tickets £24.75, ticketmaster.co.uk
Crab Cracking, South Sands Salcombe, Thurs 1 March
Ooh. A celebration of crab at a fab hotel in Salcombe. Led by FAVIS of Salcombe, expect a menu of carefully curated crab dishes paired with fine local wines. There’s a welcome ‘Cracking Salcombe’ gin cocktail too, along with a demo. Sounds like a fabulously informal, tasty, erm, ‘cracking’ evening, to me.
6 – 9pm, tickets £45. southsands.com
TREESURFING Tavistock. Open daily in March
If the sight of the sun (albeit in sub-zero temperatures) has got you keen to get outdoorsy again then let this be your first step out of hibernation. Your adrenalin will be pumping as you work around a series of ladders, rope bridges and zip wires IN THE TREES! Mad? YES. Fun? Absolutely!
From £10-30 Open daily 10-4 www.treesurfers.co.uk
Spring walks at Greenway. Dates throughout March
One of the best things about March has got to be the colourful emergence of the Spring bulbs. And, what better place to get a guided tour of these feisty – frost defying – flowers than in the romantic woodland gardens of Agatha Christie’s Greenway house. The walk is a fabulous way to find out what is in flower whilst also gleaning some tips for your own gardens too.
Times vary, check the website for details. £12.80 (adult charge). nationaltrust.org.uk
Totnes Timehouse Museum, Totnes, throughout March
Whatever you think might be hiding behind the door of this innocent museum, you’ll be wrong. Literally NOTHING can prepare your mind for the absolutely mind blowing experience that is this totally Totnes experience! Intrigued? Go check it out and let us know what you thought!
£6, 11am -5pm (you’ll need to allow 1-2 hours inside) the-timehouse.business.site
Michael McIntyre at Plymouth Pavillions, Thurs 1 – Sun 11 March
Mark my words, there’s going to be a stampede on at Plymouth Pavillions this month as acclaimed, side-splittingly hilarious comedian Michael McIntyre returns for a run of stand up shows. Book soon as tickets are almost gone and take tissues because snotty hysterics are never a good look.
8pm, £38. plymouthpavillions.com
Book launch with Joanna Trollope at Rockfish, Dartmouth, Thurs 1 March
This March, bestselling author Joanna Trollope OBE is dropping in to Devon (Dartmouth, to be precise), to promote her new book An Unsuitable Match. If you, like Muddy, are avid readers then head along to Mitch Tonks’ Rockfish restaurant, who’ve teamed up with Dartmouth Bookseller, to meet Joanna, get a copy of her book and indulge in some canapés and a glass of wine.
7pm, £25. dartmouthbookseller.co.uk
Gluten free cooking at River Cottage Sat 3 March
If you’re ready to take your gluten free cooking to the next level and tackle puff pastry and choux pastry, bread and treats then head to Mr HFW’s bucolic River Cottage HQ. With lunch included and six practical workshops you are going to be kept busy all day learning how to master “free from” baking with nutritional expert Naomi Delvin. Not only will you go home laden with treats, you will be inspired to bake up a storm in your own kitchens too. Just don’t forget to invite us over to share the goodies!
9.30-5pm, £195. rivercottage.net
Alun Cochrane at The Beehive, Honiton, Sat 3 March
The master of observational comedy and one of the best stand-up comedians on the circuit (you’ll have seen him on all the top TV panel shows) is coming to Honiton as part of his UK tour, Alunish Cochranish. Jokes, ideas and (possibly) movement will be deployed for your viewing amusement, apparently. Sounds fun!
Doors open 7.30pm, tickets £12.50, thebeehive.savoysystems.co.uk
Canoe and bike hire at Saddles and Paddles, Exeter, Throughout March.
Muddy is determined to enjoy the water this year and, while looking for inspo, we’ve discovered that you can get out on the river Exe in a canoe. Hire one for an hour, a few hours or the whole day and potter off down the river taking in the beginning of this year’s warmer days. And you know us, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as appealing if there wasn’t a pub en route; fortunately, you can stop off at the excellent Doublelocks pub: great grub and an excellent play area for mudlets too.
£10 per person. 10am -5pm sadpad.com
Spring Feasting with Wild Artichokes, Kingsbridge, Sat 3 March
Team Wild Artichokes is hosting another of their excellent-sounding pop up dinner events at their HQ in Kingsbridge which promises to welcome the Spring. Expect mouth watering flavours, seasonal dishes and veg, a fish or meat course and scrummy pud to top it off. You can indulge guilt-free if you’ve been canoeing (see above)!
7-10.30pm, £35. wildartichokes.co.uk
Anna Morris at The Dartmouth Comedy Festival, The Flavel, Sat 3 March
In need of some laughter therapy this month? Then you’ll be pleased to know it’s the Dartmouth Comedy Festival. Our pick? Book tickets for It’s Got To Be Perfect in which “Georgina” (star of Georgina’s Wedding Blogs) is getting married and it’s, err, got to be perfect. Performed by critically acclaimed character comedian Anna Morris, this humorous romp will be sure to entertain… just watch out for the twist in the finale!
8-9.30pm, £16. theflavel.org.uk
Cocktails at Charlie Franks, Plymouth, Throughout March
This one’s such a hidden gem that we haven’t even managed to ferret it out, yet and we LOVE a cocktail. Is it Plymouth’s best kept secret? Based on a 1920s Speak Easy theme this restaurant and bar sounds as though it has the pizazz going on, so if you fancy getting a “glam” on this month then totter down there for cocktails and jazz!
11am -9pm charliefranks.co.uk
Tattoo: British Art Revealed, Torre Abbey, Starts Sat 3 March – Sun 3 June
“From ruffians to royalty; from sailors to socialites; from pilgrims to punks: tattoos have been etched into bodies throughout British history. Now a stunning new exhibition is coming to Torre Abbey Museum, which promises to get under the skin of this worldwide phenomenon.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves! After a hugely successful stint in Falmouth (that says it all!) it’s now Devon’s turn to check out this weird and wonderful art form. Sounds like a kooky and creative way to spend a rainy day!
10am -5pm, £8. torre-abbey.org.uk
Helen Round Contemporary Homeware Shop Launch. Mt Edgecumbe Country Park, Sun 4 March
Ooh, we love a new opening and won’t let a matter of a tiny bit of water stand in our way! Muddy is sneaking across the water into Cornwall this month to check out the opening of Cornish designer Helen Round’s new homeware shop, you coming with? Peruse Helen’s first collection inspired by the Cornish landscape and see the team at work. We’ll be tying it in with a stroll around the magnificent Mt Edgecumbe gardens too. Our credit card is not feeling so optimistic! Ooops.
11am -5pm FREE, helenround.com
Wild Tribe at Castle Drogo, near Exeter, Sun 4 March
If you fancy getting out and getting muddy with your tribe then head to Castle Drogo for their Wild Tribe bushcraft activities’ day for 5-12 year olds. You can build a nature box and enjoy some good ol’ fashioned outdoor fun! Cobwebs blown away – guaranteed.
Adult £4 Child £6, nationaltrust.org
Muddy Walk of the Month: Noss Mayo
Surely the absolute best thing about living in Devon is going for a walk? The scenery, the ocean, the landscapes; they are all soul food for us busy people. This month Muddy recommends turning off your screens for a few hours and heading out to Noss Mayo in the South Hams and then completing the cliff top ‘loop’ walk around the headland. It is challenging, hilly and muddy but (starts) and ends at the lush Ship Inn where you can reward yourself with a big bowl of hot chips and muse on the awesome vistas that you’ve just witnessed.
When? Whenever you want! FREE, (although “reward chips” are extra) Southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/91/