Sunday, 29 May 2016

An afternoon in Ashburton, Dartmoor

The small town of Ashburton lies on the southern edge of
Ashburton Methodist Church 
Dartmoor, close to our Lemonford campsite. A desire to buy smoked tofu (to make this risotto) led Dave to discover its The Ark healthfood shop and we used that as an excuse to go and visit. The ancient Stannary town, so designated because of its role in quality checking and weighing of locally mined tin, has a history going back many centuries with archaeological finds dating back to 3000 BC having been found here although the earliest evidence of a settlement 'only' dates back to around 500 BC. Ashburton still contains a good selection of historic buildings and an interesting photographic archive is located at the Museum.

Ashburton no longer relies on the tin industry for its economy and now is more a mecca for arts and foodie types. As well as visiting the aforementioned Ark, we enjoyed browsing in The Fish Deli which is an upmarket fishmonger specialising in Moroccan cuisine ingredients and stocking gorgeously patterned cookware and tableware.

This driftwood horsehead sculpture in a window drew our
Heather Jansch sculpture 
attention to Heather Jansch's gallery which unfortunately was closed. Heather makes superbly realistic life-size sculptures of Arabian horses which are then cast in bronze. Her work has been sold worldwide and there are photographs of many of her works on her website.

We probably won't have room for a life-sized bronze horse in our new flat, so we decided to browse a couple of Ashburton's antique and artisan furniture shops instead. If we had the right budget, we could have filled every room with fabulous items! Fortunately, as the flat isn't actually ours yet so we couldn't start moving items in even if we wanted too, we managed to keep our credit cards in our pockets!

Ashburton is also dotted with tea shops, cafes and restaurants for mid-stroll refreshments and I was very tempted upon reading a poster in the Cafe Green Ginger's window. They have a Pudding Club on the 2nd Friday of every month. What a shame we'll be in Sussex by the time the next 2nd Friday rolls around!

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