Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Piggy in the Middle

There are many things that I miss about London. I thought restaurants would be one of them but there is a surprisingly good selection of places to eat to choose from down here. We are slowly attempting to try out them one by one.

Voucher Codes are compiling a list of local restaurants and I didn't want to let my new village down without mentioning our (only restaurant). Surrounded by pubs and hotels, Piggy in the Middle is situated bang in the middle of Porlock, along the stretch of 'high street' which is lit up by pretty little lights and looks so welcoming as you come down the hill and through the village.  On Exmoor we are lucky to have a fantastic selection of local produce being both on the moor and coastal. We have organic produce everywhere we turn and thankfully Piggy in the Middle serves up yummy dishes full of local food.

Fine dining it's not. The house wine comes in a carafe, the napkins are black linen, it's a little faux french in decoration and the coffee is less than desirable but the food is nicely cooked and the service is friendly. Too many viewings of Masterchef and Junior Roux have led me to notice things like plate choice, symmetry and style of the food and precisely how acidic the beurre blanc is yet what really matters on a Thursday night when you book with ten minutes notice is that the food is cooked by someone who knows how to choose their ingredients. We shared a prawn, rice and salad dish and a herb and tomato crusted salmon fillet with a sticky toffee pudding and felt satisfyingly full but not overstuffed. The chef came out to speak to us and there was a happy atmosphere.

Other notable places to eat in the area apparently include Andrews on the Weir, Reeves* in Dunster and (a little further afield) Podshavers in Bishops Lydeard although they all fall into the next price bracket up. At the moment, those are more special occasion restaurants whereas Piggy still falls into the because you feel like going out for supper category. Just what every village needs.

Piggy in the Middle
High Street
Exmoor National Park
TA24 8PS

*beware the music if you open this website.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Dancing (the week away)

Two weeks ago I started ballet again for the first time in ten years. Slowly, my body is remembering the familiar movements. There is something very soothing at standing in a ballet studio listening to a stern lady on a tape commanding "ronde de jambe a terre" "battement tendues" "reverance" and feeling my feet stretching and pointing, my shoulders relaxing and my posture improving. The computer tension sliding away. What I thought I was looking for in yoga but turns out I wasn't.

Four weeks ago I started salsa for the very first time. Slowly my body is able to do the basic steps without looking down all the time. Salsa brought with it two unexpected side effects (other than something to show off at a party): laughter. friends.

I also started a street dance class. We learnt a routine to a song called Green Light. On Friday night when I got back from the pub I kicked off my shoes and treated my friends to a preview... Turns out the chest 'thrusts' (I think that's the best description) are *way* easier after 5 rum and cokes. Who knew.

Photo by Michelle Cassell via Flickr