Brandy Custard (and mince pies)

Christmas gift inspiration from a surprisingly successful shop along Totnes High Street.

brandy custard and mince pie

I loathe Christmas shopping and this year to add to the insanity we of course have Huey in tow, ( I know, bah humbug). To clarify though it’s not the madding crowds I hate, or even the parting with money. What kills me about Christmas shopping is trying to get a gift that wont be discarded the moment boxing day arrives; something original, something the recipient will unwrap and say ‘wow, thanks I really love that!’.

Take my Dad for example. Here’s a man who basically buys anything he needs and wants for nothing else.  If your gift to him is used / loved even once, even for one moment, that’s more than success.

My mum on the other hand, well I could fall through a shop door and stand up with something she’ll love; chocolates, scented candles, pet shaped draught excluders… The problem buying for her is originality, that new gift shop you’ve seen, she’s been there and scrutinised it all long before your arrival!

christmas hamper
Christmas gift hamper, Wild Fig Cafe, Totnes (NOT available in Torquay).

Our new home town of Torquay is pitiful for shopping, so we are pinning our hopes on neighbouring Totnes. The town is littered with independently owned stores and we arrive with fingers optimistically crossed.

In Totnes it’s pissing down with rain and fifteen minutes after arrival we’re still sat in the car park watching the rain. We’ve a lot to do so bravely I volunteer to go to a warm pub for a brandy and some peace and quiet head out into the rain to shop alone.

I head straight for Inspired Buys with a Dad present in mind and after a little warming up achieve great success; two gifts that I believe will be greeted with something more than indifference! I’m feeling the Christmas cheer…

christmas wreat on cottage
Happy Christmas from Totnes

The rain has now nearly stopped and I’m soon joined by Bec’s and Huey in the buggy, which turns out to be the only buggy in town. Every other baby is being carried in a recycled, fair-trade, vegan sling and I get the feeling we could be strung up (with hemp rope) for bringing this plastic obscenity into town.

Totnes has a reputation that’s somewhere between Hipster and Hippy. I could poke fun (I do a bit to be fair), but there’s a genuine community here and the lentil loving population are responsible for the amazing food to be had here.

Lamb Road Gardens Totnes
Tinsel decorated Community Gardens, Lamb Road, Totnes.

Our first food stop is at Hill House Cafe which provides a warm welcome, buggy and all. They’ve put up a lovely Christmas tree which nearly sends Huey over the edge with excitement, (shiny twinkly ball-balls), so he has to have a close-contact tour in a vain attempt to placate him. Distracted with food we get Huey in his high chair to join us for lunch; Homity pie Mum, Turkey stuffing and Cranberry Baguette, Dad. Both excellent.

Bah humbug? Maybe not. We’re well fed, we’ve got gifts and we’ve not been strung up for buggy ownership.


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