Tag Archives: branscombe

Fountain Head Beer Festival

You must be thinking by now, “why don’t you just pack up and move to Devon”? I know, I know. I’m working on it.

The arrival of June starts the count down to Branscombe’s annual Fountain Head Beer Festival. In this tiny little village nestled deep in a Devon valley, 2 pubs and a post office serve the villagers from day to day. Being miles from the nearest town and needing four wheels to get anywhere, life can be pretty limiting.

That is until summer when villagers come to life and open their arms (and their village) to thirsty, folky festival goers. Of the two pubs, The Fountain Head and The Masons Arms, the Fountain kick things off with their infamous Beer Festival.

Revellers like this one join the cue for the local ales and ciders lined up in their barrels behind the makeshift bar.

Even Ozzie’s venture over to join in the fun.

The beers start flowing and the music begins. The makeshift dance floor is taken over by fine country men and their wellies. Friday night draws to an end after the bands encore and inevitably ,the rain starts pouring for our drunken decent back to the house.

Saturday morning starts with breakfast fit for a king and a large cup of coffee on the terrace. Around midday, after a stroll to the beach with the dogs, day two begins in full British fashion.

A game of Rummikub.

Of course, I lost.

After several bottles of Pimms, its time to hop next door to join in the festivities. I choose my new favourite H&M dress, H&M Fedora and Zara booties.

Did a little dance…

And pranced into the tent like a musical fairy.

There weren’t many other pictures from the Saturday evening, mainly due to an afternoon of drinking bottle after bottle of Pimms. It all ended in a bit of a haze and covered in mud.

And my last view from the village is this one. Hobbling to grab my camera with a severe hangover to snap this picture of what life is all about.

Tea Party

A few weeks ago, my sister from another Mr touched down in the UK from her new “home” New Zealand. She didn’t come alone this time. Natalie got engaged to Adrian over Christmas and we were all eagerly awaiting our introductions. As far as great British celebrations are concerned, an English Tea Party is as good as it gets.

So as a welcome home to Natalie, we threw a big engagement party in Lynne’s little green garden in Devon.

Of course there was lots of homemade cake involved.

And lots of tea…

And Pimms.

The entire cottage was decked out with balloons and bunting.

Scott discovered that White Chocolate cheesecake is best washed down with a large glass of Pimms. As nominated driver, I discovered that cake is best washed down with more cake.

Once the drizzle had stopped, Adrian stood and gave a beautiful speak to Natalie’s friends and family. He had us all blubbering when he said he’d “always look after her”. Awww, I mean please!

Nothing wipes tears away better than more cake.

After catching up over you guessed it, more cake, it was time to say our goodbyes. Only one more week apart until we were to be reunited…!

the village life

Life in the village is pretty amazing. It’s a bit like psychological rehab. No phones, limited internet, lots of nature to keep you occupied and miles and miles of walking ground to let your mind go crazy.  Spring is one of my favourite times of the year to visit Branscombe as the whole village is transformed into a mini Chelsea flower show as locals compete for the very best front garden.

Last weekend we packed up the duvet and an overnight bag, jumped in the car and raced to Devon for a little bit of the village life.

Look who greeted us when we arrived. How can you say no to walkies with those big blue eyes?

Off we went, headed for the beach, Dave and Trigger in tow.

Remember Trigger? Well he needs a bit of taming.

A long walk with the dogs, a huge helping of cottage pie, some local ciders and a few rounds of cards later, we called it a night.

Sunday dawned and we warmed ourselves up with a full English. This is the day we’d travelled across Dorset and Devon for, The Axe Vale Point to Point!

This face tells me he’s up to no good.

 

And indeed he was. A little practical joke on a very gullible friend later we were ready for the races.

Point to Point is a fashion show for the country folk (dogs included) and an opportunity to bet on some amateur horse racing. It’s a whole day event which is held on the hill at Stafford Cross, just outside Seaton. A tradition spanning hundreds of years, locals flood the grounds in their thousands dressed head to toe in tweed and Barbour. It was a cold, cold day.

But nothing a Otter brew can’t fix.

There’s some interesting characters around. Old gentlemen in crazy propeller inspired hats, and lots and lots of tweed.

Did I mention the dogs? Well they’re the ultimate fashion accessory.

 

We darted for the totes in time for the first race.

My money was on Miss Cupcake.

Unfortunately, she was so behind, she’s not even in this picture.

We did have some wins as the races went on but the freezing cold wind and the fact I couldn’t feel my fingers and toes were enough for me to call it a day and find the food tent.

 

Julie and I thoroughly stuffed our faces with home-made cakes and sandwiches until the races drew to a close and the boys grumpily stomped to find us mourning their losses.

Point to Point is held all over the country and you can check out upcoming events here. Don’t forget to wear your thermals!