Culture, Design

The English countryside is buzzing

A few weeks ago, we decided to head to Devon for our well deserved break from London.

It is true that a few Londoners like to go to the Southwest to enjoy peace and quiet around seafronts, long beaches and green Dartmoor.

This year, there was so much to do and see.

Last year we attended TLB Revival first edition and couldn’t wait for this year’s event.

We knew that it would be something special because more classic cars and bikes would fill Barnfield Crescent.

We were also anticipating the visit of Velo Vintage for their tea break. It was like a trip back in time. So close from the city centre, so far from the urban hustle & bustle.

Velo Vintage Exeter tea break

TLB Revival 2015 had more participants and the brilliant lawn received food and drink stalls as well as quality music from The Siren Sisters. What caught our eyes was the camera obscura from Sam White.

The fantastic meeting point couldn’t have been better. Beautiful blue sky, great architecture and the atmosphere was second to none. It is this kind of feeling when you meet someone once a year and can share things from previous meetups: a real sense of community despite the distance.

TLB Revival 2015 Exeter - jaguar

TLB Revival 2015 Exeter - motorbikes

TLB Revival 2015 Exeter - dashboard Chevrolet pickup truck

We mustn’t forget to mention the place where we stayed. This may surprise you but we opted for something slightly off the beaten tracks: Hazelwood Holiday Park.

On the outskirts of Exeter is Dawlish Warren – accessible by train, car, bus and bicycle too, thanks to the brilliant infrastructure that is Exe Trail, the newly developed cycle path.

Cyclists on the Exe Estuary Trail

The weather being rather summery we decided to commute on two wheels passing by the legendary Turf Locks Pub – a true destination pub. Walking, cycling and boating being the only ways to reach this unique green space surrounded by water! Fear not, if you don’t own a boat, there is a¬† local business Saddles & Paddles where it is possible to hire canoes and bikes. This shop welcomes dogs such as our holiday park – so we could take the pooch on the canoe and enjoy our daily discoveries and explorations.

Being in Devon just as Rugby World Cup 2015 kicked-off, we visited Exeter’s Fanzone and managed to get some tickets (thanks to Toby and Clarissa), to see the a live game at Sandy Park for Tonga Vs Namibia. Here again very friendly and Devonians know how to make you feel welcome instantly.

The short train journey from Exeter Central to the game venue only took a few minutes and there was a real party atmosphere between supporters and families whatever teams they were encouraging.

There are plenty of outdoors occupations in the English countryside, it is not just plain and boring. It is sometimes therapeutic to go away from your daily routine and enjoy what open spaces have to offer. Some prefer to actually go to a city in order to spend and purchase something special.

You just need to step back and realize that shopping can always be completed another day – nature doesn’t wait!

Business, Culture

Goodwood Revival and Turner Locker Barnfield Revival

Each year there are some real British events taking place throughout the country such as:

Something very traditional – a bit like pasties and/or cream teas.

The Boat Race

The Boat Race

The Boat Race can be compared to the England Vs France in rugby (6 Nations) – playing with the enemy with a strategy to win of course, but keeping that entente cordiale, despite strong tackles and powerful drop goals.

Entente Cordiale

Entente Cordiale

It is always great to see that Britain is keeping some traditions running even with the presence of strong Continental and American influences.

There is also the comeback of vintage: in fashion, cars, interior design too.

Goodwood Revival is exclusively reserved to classic car/bikes lovers and even collectors : keeping a certain class and style too for all these enthusiasts of beautiful machines from a certain era.

Goodwood Revival Fashion and Style

Goodwood Revival Fashion and Style

Dressing with that certain extra touch is rare these days. Not saying that people can’t dress anymore – but the casual style is omnipresent.

It is a bit like Ladies’ Day during Royal Ascot: there is a dress code to make that day a real experience to remember.

…Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat…

Ladies' Day at Ascot

Ladies’ Day at Ascot

The vintage spirit and good fun is spreading towards the Southwest of England where Turner Locker Barnfield is planning on 7th September 2014 an event based on the legendary Goodwood Revival.

Turner Locker Barnfield Revival

Turner Locker Barnfield Revival

A rather pleasing step forward for commercial property consultants covering/providing various services such as:

  • investment property/brokerage,
  • offices to let/offices and shops space,
  • property management,

just to name a few (for more details check their site – or follow their Facebook page and/or twitter stream).

It could almost be seen as a concept and interesting project to attract a passionate¬† crowd – particularly “petrol heads” into central Exeter, which has been booming since the opening of John Lewis and the forthcoming IKEA superstore.

There is something slightly similar just on the outskirts of the city: Powderham Castle Historic Vehicles Gathering– which has be running for many years – but not exactly with all these details which brings the revival vibes.

Devonshire attracts a lot of tourists because of the beautiful seaside and landscape such as the Jurassic Coast. With the potential addition of a Classic Car & Bike reunion, it will give this special cachet to that region and without a doubt a boost to visit/discover that County which has been badly damaged during Winter storms.

Goodwood Revival has been successful for years.

Turner Locker Barnfield is not trying to compete but to re-create something with the same vision on a regional scale.

It will be exciting to see how it goes and to check the local press coverage/reports and certainly colourful pictures.

However, if vehicles aren’t your cup of tea there is also Velo Vintage (or The Tweed Run of the Southwest).