Friday, May 08, 2009

Delightful Devon

Don't tell anyone, will you?...Hubby and I played hookie from work yesterday!

We decided to take a day off and make the drive down to South Devon, to visit one of our favourite places. It takes us around an hour and three quarters to get to the ancient stannary town of Ashburton, but its well worth it.

After parking the car, we always go into The Studio Cafe for a cup of tea. The two guys who run the place are so welcoming and friendly and you share closely placed tables with lots of the locals, with everyone chatting and laughing. The huge choice of teas and herbal infusions are all served in informal mis-matched china - its a great place!

After our tea, we made a B-line for 'The Snug', which is my favourite vintagey shop. Sadly, Ros the owner, wasn't there yesterday, but I still found plenty of pretty things to buy.
Next, we crossed the road and went into the deliciously fragrant soap shop, 'Odds & Suds'. Jenny is another welcoming proprietor and makes all the beautiful soaps and bath creams by hand herself, from all natural ingredients.
Everything is lovingly displayed in a fabulous array of furnishings, including this antique hay cart.


Next door to Odds & Suds is another must-visit; 'Sara's Lavender Box', for flowers, vintage china and pretty hand sewn articles. (It's entering a shop like this that reminds me how much I miss mine...)

At the back of the shop I recognised some familiar faces! What a small world blogging creates...
It was Nicky's little bunnies all lined up along the windowsill, looking like they'd been up to mischief!
After a quick bite of lunch (we went back to The Studio Cafe for more friendly banter! and a salad! ;-)), we headed off to Totnes, which is about 15 minutes away. We walked the length of the high street, calling in to most of the shops at the top end. Through one of the shop windows I spotted Michele's handmade cards, (I told you it was a small world!), so went into 'This'n'That'.

I bought this lovely 1930's tapestry, which I shall hang in the summerhouse when we have it ready. I want to create a 'Granny's Potting Shed' kind of look in there! I loved the parrot hatpin stand too. In the background is some wrapping paper printed with embroidered crinoline ladies - Lesley had some framed in her shop, which looked just like a real embroidery.
As we left her shop it began to rain, so we decided to make the journey back home again.

My other purchases included the PVC hanging shoe tidy -very useful for storing other things as well! A velvet millinery rose, a hand painted crumb brush, a pot of vintage powder and a miniature basket of forget-me-nots.
This linen covered chocolate box, with floral embroidered lid...
And this pair of dainty china posy baskets are also destined for my summerhouse. All of these came from 'The Snug'.
Although I was playing hookie ;-)), I did think about work...some of these treasures will come with me to the V&H fair. I also bought some handmade geranium and marigold soap to use in my soap gift sets. And several scoops of dried lavender filled a brown paper bag, which I shall use to stuff some handmade vintage fabric sachets.
So, I'd better get on with creating more slacking!
Have a lovely weekend,
Niki x


  1. Anonymous9:26 am

    Wow, South Devon looks fabulous, what wonderful shops, John and I will have to visit some time, thank you for sharing your delightful photo's of a lovely day out with us, it made me so happy looking at them. xxxxxx

  2. Oh well..that saves me going down to Ashburton as I've just done my trip via your blog! It's a great little place isn't it?
    As for Totnes..;-)

    Glad your day was so good! ;-)

  3. What a wonderful day you had, Niki. It's good to play hooky every once in a while :)

  4. What a fabulous, fabulous day! These kind of days always are like little gifts, and you packed so much into it.
    There is nothing wrong with playing hookie sometimes.

  5. What an amazing trip - well worth skiving for! I never appreciated what we knew as 'Ashe-bur'on' when I was in my teens, obviously! I loved Totnes but I must have been too young for the delights of a sleepier town. Oh well...

  6. Lovely shops! I would spend hours in a shop like this...
    Happy weekend!

  7. Wow - what finds - I have been viewing This n That through the eyes of Sal's Snippets blog and the lady has her own blog now. The paper is lovely and I covet the embroidered choc box lid.

    Well worth a trip one day.......................

  8. If hubby and I'd play hookie we'd certainly not be having a day like that! Good heavens !!!

    The smell in that place must have been divine....

    the displays look great!

  9. What an awesome day! How lucky are you? Nice finds. I love the china posy baskets.

  10. I love the thirties tapestry! I saw it on the This + That blog last week and was even tempted to ask my parents to pop into the shop and buy it for me! x

  11. You found some really pretty treasures. I wish we had some shops like those around here.
    Hugs from California,

  12. I shall be seeking out those shops when I visit dad in the summer! He lives in Okehampton so it isn't far. Thank you for recommending the cafe, I wonder if the tea rooms are still at the to of the hill in Totnes where they sell cakes from an antique display cabinet.....

  13. Thank you for a lovely trip around Ashburton. My list of places to visit grows longer and longer. I'll need to save some pennies I think.


  14. Claudette4:02 pm

    Hi Niki! should demand commssion from Totnes travel board, after reading your post, I have booked a mini-break for His Nibs birthday in November! It was the lure of those glorious shops that I always bemoan the lack of in London. I have frantically googled the area and am very excited at the B&B I have found and the great quality restaurants. He did raise his eyebrows when I mentioned the veritable choice of "bric-a-brac", but he'll survive! Thanks for showing me a wonderful looking place.

  15. Julie - Oxford.4:14 pm

    Hi Niki, I was so pleased to read about your trip to Ashburton as I am going there in a few weeks time..I was told most of the gorgeous shops had closed but Im thrilled I was given the wrong information - I cant wait to go now. x

  16. Hi Niki
    We have just come back from Devon/Cornwall. Wish I knew about shops in Ashburton, I would have made a detour. Never mind gives me a good excuse to go back soon. The soaps look good enough to eat, there's nothing nicer than handmade toiletries. What wonderful goodies you found, can't wait to see you soon at V&H Fair.
    Have a good weekend.
    Warm Wishes

  17. Looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you found some nice treasures.

  18. My lands, you made out like a bandit! Love all your beautiful finds! What a wonderful day!
    Happy Weekend to you!

  19. Hi Niki

    Glad you had such a lovely day. Ros will be disappointed to have missed you. Gorgeous finds - but only to be expected from the places you visited!

    Sue x

  20. Thank goodness you DID play hookie - just look at all of those treasures you found! You're going to have one gorgeous summerhouse! =)

  21. Oh what a lovely day~ sounds perfect every bit~ thank you for sharing!!

  22. Thank you so much for taking me along on this very delightful tour.... happy Mom's Day.

  23. What a lovely day out & isn't it fun to spot fellow blogger's goodies when we are out & about?

    Thanks for the get well wishes!


  24. A perfect day! Playing hookie should always be so delightful. Your pictures were great, and it allowed us all to tag along. Thank you!

  25. Hello Niki
    It was really pleased that you spotted me at the Shepton Mallet antiques fair and stopped to have a chat. I hope that you were successful in finding what you were after. I am very happy with what I have bought today. What a great idea to just take a day out like that. I love Devon, in particular South Hams. I really like Totnes & Salcombe as well as some of the little villages in the area. I remember you telling me about 'The Snug' when we met in Ilminster. On my next trip to Devon, I will make sure that I go there. You came back with some very nice finds! I love the little baskets & the shoe tidy in particular.
    Have a good weekend
    Take care
    Isabelle x
    P.S: The swing was fun but not what most would expected of me. I like to surprise and not be too predictable! I imagine you to be similar. I feel sure you would have done a much better job of it than I did! :-))

  26. Played hookie? I won't tell a soul!

    What pretties you found!!!

  27. Glad to hear that you had a fab day in Devon. Good to see you yesterday at Shepton. The lavender has made it home in one piece & looks just as pretty in the "other" jug!!!
    Lizzie x

  28. Looks like you had loads of fun. I almost played hooky one day to go with my family to a theme park but I requested the day off the day before instead. Good thing because we ran into the daughter of one of my co-workers! I still think about that lol.

  29. Niki, love this part of England, I am so envious.
    Lovely book you have and the finds are beautiful too.
    Next year will visit the UK again. Watch out!
    aloha Lilla

  30. Back again with some suggestions of Afternoon Tea!
    Having had replies from several people, here's my suggestion:
    A Monday, Tuesday or Friday some time between 15th June and 10th July. How about The Bath Priory? Michele at Cowboys & Custard doesn't have transport so this could be a good location for her and provide parking for others!
    I'm very much open to suggestions with the location though. The days suggested would make it possible for Sue at Vintage to Victorian to join in.
    I shall send the above to all others who showed an interest too!
    D x

  31. Can't wait to be able to visit more of England. I will make sure and visit this town and make a bee line for that all these hounts of yours!

  32. Anonymous10:38 pm

    Hi Niki!
    Glad that you took a very well deserved day off and came to Devon but I'm so sad that I missed you! On Friday I was at Shepton instead of Totnes market and on Saturday, I was at home when you were at Shepton!!!
    Anyway, looks like you had a great time on both days with some gorgeous buys!
    Looking forward very much to seeing you (and your lovely stall!) at the V&H Fair...gonna have to bring a big fat purse with me,me thinks!!!
    Lots of love]
    Amanda (Shabby Chick) xxx


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx