I’m lucky that one of my favourite places to take a wander is just on my doorstep in the pretty village of Shaldon. Homeyards Botanical Gardens are set on the hillside above the village and were built by the Homeyards family during the 1920s using the fortune they made from the cough mixture Liqufruta. The Gardens are a wonderful place to watch the comings and goings on the Teign estuary and on a fine day you can see right along the coast to Portland Bill. Hiding under the draping foliage of the magnificent weeping beech trees listening to bird song you can imagine you are quite alone. The Castle is a feature I’m particularly fond of. The folly is a bit of a wreck now but Mrs Homeyards used to take tea and play bridge with her friends there.
After a wander through the Gardens I drop down the hill to The Coffee Rush on Shaldon’s Fore Street. I know lots of places try to claim it but The Coffee Rush really does serve the best coffee ever – and everyone I know agrees! It’s even been listed by The Times as one of the 30 best places for tea. They also serve velvety smooth hot chocolate and loads of loose leaf teas along with a selection of light bites and a choice of Aga baked cakes made at nearby Ringmore House.
Photo courtesy of Megan Tucknott