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Following the aroma of coffee and fluffy scones Part 2

Following the aroma of coffee and fluffy scones Part 2


We pass by some more hillocks. One last sharp drive down and we are there. But, what’s going on here? We exchange surprised looks. It seems as if we have just entered an anthill... The whole large parking outside is packed. There are also many cars before us, all squished like sardines. Luckily, I managed to spot a free space somewhere in the corner by a tree, so I head there to park with the hope of a driver whose thoughts are already at the restaurant table. We get out of the car and proceed swiftly to the entrance. The place is packed, all seats taken, commotion everywhere. There seems to be a queue at the bar and the waiters are slaloming between the tables like some alpine skiers surrounded by starvelings demanding a comfy seat and decent repast. After the first glance our spirit may have been dampened slightly, but we do not give up. We get a boost of positivity seeing the classy stylish décor, soft sofas at each end of the room and smiling faces of all the patrons, some of them in company of their hairy friends whose tails can be seen from the sea of legs at the floor level. What also helps is the sight of the staff strolling around with trays laden with mouthwatering goodies. Our eyes wolfishly begin to hunt for a free spot. We scour all the dining rooms and after 15 minutes, success – we manage to take over one of the sofas! We settle down comfortably, just like some nobility at a manor house. There is a friendly couple sat at the sofa next to us and their even friendlier dogs are looking at us just like old friends from the school days and gently brushing against us with their muzzles. We look around as we patiently wait to place our order. There is a huge wooden fireplace at each side of the room and some traditional comfy armchairs by the walls with some round ebony stools in between them. Then, by the window there are some family tables with many chairs, their tops covered with red tablecloth. There are paintings on the walls, pictures from the old times and adornments as shiny as a knight’s armour. Bustle, conversations and an elderly gentleman calmly napping in his armchair over a spread newspaper somewhere in the corner. Finally, after a long wait, a waiter approaches and takes our orders. We start to chat with the couple sat next to us and their border collies try to add their two cents as well. As could be expected, the wait for the food is significant. Eventually, our order arrives and it was worth the wait: large, warm and fluffy traditional Devonshire scones, their scent in the air teasing our noses. Right next to it, on a wooden plank there is some creamy clotted cream served with homemade strawberry jam. Obviously, there is also some aromatic coffee in a large mug and some hot chocolate. This is every foodie’s dream. I swiftly grab the wide and shiny knife with a shapely blade and heavy handle. Chop chop, and the scone is defeated. I slather it with a generous layer of cream and take some of that deliciously looking jam. My tastebuds are on overload, I plead with myself: slowly slowly, just like that, let this melting mixture of flavours last as long as it should. I try to memorize every smallest bite. I take the cup with a solid grip and gently wrap my lips around its edge, waiting for the first sip of steaming coffee to hit me. These sensations always bring up a feeling of relax and some guilty, luxurious pleasure within me. Alas, our feast slowly comes to and end, the delicacies disappearing from our plates. My dreamy eyes greedily look for some left over bites. We exchange meaningful looks with Silvi and share our experiences, gently smiling at each other at the same time. Time to move on. Lazily, we step out outside and our faces are drowned in sunlight, coming at us like a warm kiss and forcing me to close my eyes. I open them again, one last glance and we proceed towards a riverbank just a few steps from here, almost right by the hotel. The river is crysta line and the water dances with the sunrays, mirroring the tree branches covered in some soft moss. There is a beautiful stone bridge to the right, where you can cross to the other bank. The reflection of the two thin arches of the bridge bouncing off the brick red bottom, split here and there with splashes of some honeycoloured sand creates and amazing effect of depth, power and calm, all at the same time. My camera comes into life again and I take another series of snaps. The sound of shutter release is my favourite melody. Smashing! We have some new material and our picture gallery will be expanded again by some new memories.