Review Number Five

5) A La Ronde – National Trust

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My stomach has often been compared to that of a horse or a pig or… a black hole. I can pack away most things and can keep up with any man and his platter. Eating vast quantities of food has never been a challenge for me. My body’s ability to pack the food around my thighs and my arms has always been a quick and effortless process; much to my displeasure and shame. I am always hungry. So, you can imagine how shocked and appalled I was towards my stomach when It struggled to consume two gigantic scones.

You don’t believe me? Neither can I to be honest!

When I went to A La Ronde National Trust property I asked my boyfriend, with bundles of confidence, to purchase a pot of tea and two scones, EACH, after our jaunt around the round house. I had sat down with not a fear in the world. The tearoom itself was small, crowded and charming; the only concern I had up to that point was whether we were going to find a table and whether I’d be able to hear my Ketchum over the racket of our nearby diners.

I like to add that though the tearoom was completely crammed it didn’t feel overbearing; it felt homely and lively. The tables were arranged in varying angles and dimensions so although it wasn’t ‘organised’ it wasn’t cluttered. This particular tearoom has won awards for its creamy jammy buns so my expectations were high and hungry, so the fact that the room was packed out didn’t bother me too much. I was just excited to pack as much in my mouth as that room.

HE RETURNED TO THE TABLE… and we waited for our food to be delivered; unaware of the perils about to befall us.

Our table turned into the centre of all social interaction. We were in the way of the cutlery and the communal water jug. I became the master of the jug and the passer of utensils due to the fact that our table, and other’s, had fenced off access to them. I enjoyed being their liberator. I found their apologies amusing. They had no reason to feel guilty, it wasn’t their fault they were stuck between tables, in fact, I was actually grateful for the distraction.

I was failing.

The giant buns had me stumped.

Filled.

Stuffed.

In Devon… we do Cream Tea’s right. We are generous in every capacity; size, taste and serving. So generous in fact that even my greedy stomach could barely manage. It was embarrassing. My belly protruded out of my shorts and winced every time I took a bite out of my heavily clad scone. My darling Bandicoot cast me many bemused and mocking expressions; he wasn’t struggling like moi. He had even managed to cut one scone into three parts… thats how big they were!

I considered him, in that moment, severely out of favour. My eyes narrowed and I was determined to finish them both even if I’d be immobilised for the rest of the afternoon. Indigestion could ravage my body as much as it wanted; I wasn’t going to give up.

The property itself was remarkable. So unique and shockingly bizarre. I definitely recommend a visit; they were one hell of a creative family. I shan’t delve any further for it deserves a chance to surprise and astonish you, without me giving you any spoilers.

Ahhhhh still struggling.

Communication between Aladdin and I had ceased. My attention was no longer lovingly looking at his face; it was humiliated, angry and focused on the last slab of scone. He teased me to give up, I scowled.  He offered to eat it instead, I glared.

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I FORCED IT INTO MY MOUTH.

And the torment was over. I relaxed into my chair and remained motionless while I chewed and then, finally, swallowed. My brain was triumphant but my stomach groaned as the last morsel was engulfed and forced inside. Bandicoot still had an amused expression on his face, my puffed out cheeks and swelling belly was obviously not as attractive as I had envisaged, but my victory was glorious and beautiful. I cared naught for his look of ridicule.

I LOVED WINNING.

So if you too are up for a challenge, go forth to A La Ronde in Exmouth. If not, just buy one scone and save yourself an embarrassing hobble back to your car and from an evening of outrageous indigestion.

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