Despite the cold and the rain, and it being Monday, I am warmed today by the memory of a great weekend, wonderful company, and good food. Having travelled to Newton Abbot, Devon with Gary to celebrate his Mum's 60th birthday for a surprise even Cilla would have been proud of, I was truly touched to be involved in a celebration that included not only the aforementioned 60th birthday, but two additional family birthdays, and the 61st wedding anniversary of Gran and Grandad.
The venue for the meal was a wonderfully quaint restaurant called The Thatched Cottage, located in Kingsteignton. A beautifully converted 16th century building, the thing that struck me most from the minute we entered was the cosy, welcoming atmosphere that the team have created. Greeted with warm smiles, the staff could not have done more to make sure that the evening ran perfectly.
As for the food, The Thatched Cottage seem to me to have perfected a balance of the kind of heartwarming homely dishes that suit their setting, with a beautifully professional finish. The end result is absolutely fine dining with none of the pretencion and stuffiness. I left the restaurant feeling like I had spent a relaxed night with family, and yet knowing that the meal had been as special as the occasions we were celebrating.
I guess I do have a second reason to wake with a warm feeling inside this morning as well... The weekend celebrations gave me the perfect opportunity to create the first official Pantry Door cake, and for a newbie I think it came out pretty well - I'll let you all judge for youselves...