The bright green paint job stood out off the square in Axminster, Ms Tagalong could spot it even in the pouring rain.
Mr Ideasman had wanted coffee and cake but being later than eleven they had timed their arrival to pour through the doorway with the grockles queuing for something to do in the incessant rain of the Jurassic coast.
As the doors to the canteen opened dead on midday the wet jackets shunted forward past the table with a wailing baby.
George the pastry chef had concocted some interesting cakes. Millionaire’s shortbread, parsnip, apricot and walnut cake, Eccles cakes and chocolate mousse cake. Mr Ideasman plumped for an Eccles cake and Ms Tagalong the parsnip cake.
The Eccles cake was the hit of the day; the best Ms Tagalong had ever tasted, plump currants and caramelised brown sugar. So good that two more had to be purchased for a later picnic.
So where were the illustrious duo? Hands up those who have heard of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall! Thought so. This is the lower cost option for River Cottage dinners. Set choices of menu served in the canteen with verve and vigour from locally sourced produce. The equally famous River Cottage Canteen and Deli.
An old fashioned deli case packed with all varieties of pies greets you as you enter, with shelves behind bursting with local beverages, ciders, teas, elderflower, dressings and oils.
Chris the maître d’hote was bustling, hurrying, scurrying, putting tables together in the café part to provide extra canteen seating for the salivating families.
‘Absolutely full, I’m sorry, there’ll be a half hour to forty-five minute wait.’ Disappointed faces and dripping people were turfed out into the rain. Mr Ideasman reckoned they should really have a sign outside saying, ‘Full, come back in ½ hour!’
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