Thursday, January 28, 2010

Postcard from Exeter

I am assured that, on a sunny day, Cathedral Green in Exeter is full of people sitting, eating, walking, talking, and generally enjoying themselves.  Here's what it's like on a grey and cold day.  What a lovely bit of evening sun that's just caught the windows of the medieval-looking building in the far corner of the square though.  Shame the sun didn't show its face earlier.

The people of Exeter were still sitting, eating and talking though; they just did it indoors.  For example, Michael Caines' restaurant (not "my name is" Michael Caine's) in the Royal Clarence Hotel behind the lamppost here was enticing people in with "The Best Sandwich in the World".  They have an award from a competition held in Paris to back up this astounding claim.  Vegetarians: look away now - the world-beating filling is Devonshire beef.

It does sound good but, unwilling to part with £10 when I was only looking for an afternoon snack, I tried a different Devon speciality: scones.  It may not have been the best scone in the world, but I can confirm that the eating opportunities around Cathedral Green do not disappoint!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Postcard from Ferry Meadows

I can only apologise for the 'frozen lake' theme I've adopted in recent weeks.  The weather is entirely to blame. Although, both recent photos feature winter sunshine: a phenomenon which is always worth celebrating.

Ferry Meadows is on the outskirts of Peterborough.  As the city expanded in the 1960s, a smart solution to both the problem of how to use land which formed the floodplain of the Nene, and the desire to leave some areas undeveloped for wildlife and recreation, was found in one place.  The lakes were left over after gravel extraction, and now attract plenty of wildfowl.

Most importantly, the park makes a great venue for a new year's day walk: plenty of crisp, clear air to freshen the mind, good exercise as you make a circuit of the lakes, and great cakes at the rowing club cafe.  OK, so the cake consumption might have negated the healthy bonus of the length of the walk, but on a day that cold it was impossible to resist!

Happy New Year.