The Capture

Appledore Crabbing Contest

Happy Crabbers

The scenery was perfect, the weather a trifle iffy and the crabbers happy as they gathered on Appledore quay this morning. Local community group Appledore Pirates, hosted their annual Crabbing Contest. The aim of the competition is to create a team of four, each person with a line who then uses their skill and patience try to land a crab onto the Quay.

No nets are allowed. You must carefully draw up your line, hopefully, with a crab attached to your bait.

The crabs are carefully place in a large bucket of water, where they await a mate. The winner of the contest is the team with the largest three crabs in their buckets.

Charlie Crab

Contestants have one hour to complete the task in hand. With an additional prize going to the team with the largest single crab.

The final hooter booms across the quay, as contestants, gather up their crabs and equipment and head for the judging table.

The final hooter.

Buckets are presented and each crab is carefully measured using a electronic caliper.

Have I made the grade?

There was an air of excitement from children and adults alike as the three largest crabs in the bucket were measured and the results recorded my two adjudicators. All crabs were then returned to the water, unharmed.

Has mine won?

It was my first experience of the Appledore Crab Contest and I thoroughly enjoyed acting as a Marshall with my trusty Pirate Pooch Gypsy. All that is left to say is congratulations to the winners: Evans 181.5mm . Mr Crab 171.9mm and Smiffy’s Crew 163.5mm. The prize for the biggest single crab went to : The Crab Whisperers.

Where Angels dare

Gentle Gardener Appledore

Saunter down historic Market Street in Appledore, and you will find Market Street Kitchen. Step into its welcoming interior, home baking and freshly ground coffee aromas will enliven your senses. Place your order and wander out into the secret garden at the rear of the shop. Market Street Kitchen, has not one but two hidden surprises. The beautiful terraced garden, – open all year – with its nooks and crannies and also the Shop in the Garden.

Shop in the Garden

Some say that on entering this quirky little hideaway, that they feel the gentle touch of Angels wings? I can’t say I experienced such a phenomenon, but it certainly is a delightful place. Why not pop in and see if you are touched! and enjoy all the delights this small arts and crafts establishment has to offer.

Crafts, arts, gifts, flowers, vintage,

A ngela Whittaker, who runs Shop in the Garden, is a larger than life character, who is bursting with idea’s and loves to talk. You can be assured of a boisterous welcome at all times. Angie, has spent most of her life involved with fund raising events and marketing for various charities, even being involved in work overseas. Working for the Woodland Burial Ground as a family adviser, she concentrated her efforts and arranged the London Funeral Exhibition in 2012. Angie has continued with voluntary charitable works, supporting Motor Neuron Disease and Families in Grief. as well as creating and setting up her shop.

tea room, hHomemade food, north devon, Appledore, garden

Despite all her other involvements, three years ago Angela discovered Boyle’s the Butchers shop in Meeting Street Appledore had closed down. On approaching the new owner, of what was to become Market Street Kitchen Angie set about redesigning and replanting the beautiful garden at the rear of the premises. The garden, in true cottage style has a wealth of old fashioned flowers, shrubs and fruit trees all set on different levels, with seating available to enable you to enjoy your coffee or lunch within the walls of this tranquil environment. The garden is open all year round, you can even wrap your self in a nice warm blanket, if things get a bit chilly. It was decided that a quirky flower shop would be just the thing to complement the garden. On 30th March this year Agie opened her Shop in the Garden.

Crafts, arts, gifts, flowers, vintage,
The Shop in the Garden

As well as locally grown flowers and plants, the little shop, which is tucked away in the corner of the garden, holds a haven of delights for the gift seeking visitor. Vintage china can been seen, jostling for space between gardening books. A quirky sea bird can be spied nestling next to the preloved jewellery. The ceiling is adorned with glittery butterflies, lights and a quirky chandelier. The Shop in the Garden is just the place to seek out that early Christmas present. Angie is offering a free gift wrapping service – Ribbons and Wrappings – on 16th November. Customers can choose their gift and Angie will expertly wrap it free of charge, there’s an offer not to be missed. It was thoroughly enjoyable to meet Angie and browse her beautiful shop, which I am sure will be a huge success with both visitors and locals alike. Pop in and see if you can “feel the love”.

Appledore Summer

A portrait of perfection

Looking to escape the stresses and strains of modern life? This is a blog not to be missed. Find out more about a beautiful village and sea port in North Devon which is seeped in Maritime history, with its cobbled streets and pastel painted cottages peacefully resting on the estuary of the Taw and Torridge.

Cottages, cobbles, sea view, steep hill
Towards the Quay

Appledore, enthralled me, as its has done many others on my first visit. It feels as if time has stood still in this beautiful part of North Devon. Although many locals, will tell you how much it has changed, like most places over the years. But to me, coming from a more built up part of the country it has the magic and peacefulness of a quintessential English fishing village, of years gone by. From the friendliness of its inhabitants to the welcome of its local business owners. Everyone says good morning and makes you feel welcome. No rushing past, averting their gaze incase you are about to attack them and shop assistants actually wanting to serve you.

Lets take a quick dog walk around the village, We begin on Odun Terrace where we pass the Maritime Museum which offers visitors an interesting insight into the shipbuilding and seafaring history of the area. Follow the road along until the next turning on the right where you will find Bude Street.

Interesting places, devon, history, beaches, gardens
The figure head

Here you follow the road down to the quay ( photo at top) past the pretty cottages, a craft shop on the left and Appledore Book Shop on the right. Carry straight on and you will reach the Quay. All manner of things take place here. You may be able to see the old steam boat in the video below. Children and adults, crabbing and jumping of the wall into the river.

Steam Power

If you fancy a trip across to Instow, you can jump on the Instow – Appledore Ferry from the first slipway here. Carrying on along the Quay you will come to a larger slipway, where you can watch the gig rowers, canoes and various other water users, launch themselves into the river.

If you feel in need of a quick libation, you could spend a happy evening in The Champ -Meeting Street- Live music is held most nights and a warm welcome is assured.

gig racing, rowing, appledore quay,boating, crabbing
A warm welcome awaits

Carry on through the car park, Irsha Street awaits you with its plethora of quaint cottages and interesting cobbled courts.

North Devon, Paxos, Greece, havens, holidays,
The beauty of Appledore

Follow this road to the end and you will come to the Lifeboat Station where your pooch can enjoy a swim from the slipway and you can enjoy the stunning view.

Appledore, is not just for Summer. Winter holds a different magic. Long bracing walks along windswept towpaths, Northam Burrows and the wide beach at Westward Ho! After all that exercise, enjoy a long lingering meal in one of the local pubs, whilst contemplating the flames of a roaring log fire. What’s not to like?

Back to School

Lunch Boxes

In today’s world none of us have money to fritter away, yet we frequently throw away food. We need to feed our kids nutrition rich foods, to enable them to function effectively throughout the day and to provide their bodies with the necessary carbs, proteins and vitamins. which help their bodies remain healthy.

The media and supermarkets tempt us  with new products on a daily basis, prompting us to disregard the food already lurking in our fridges and buy yet another product. Fine for them, more money into their already swelling coffers, but not so good for us.

We are being lured into an ever increasing circle of wasting food, – our money – and in many cases eating unhealthy, processed food stuffs which contain little, or no nutritional value.

In the time it takes to open a packet and microwave a container you can whip up a nutritious Frittata and top it with what ever takes your fancy, or those leftovers from the fridge. Add some salad or veg and tuck in.

This recipe is equally good served both hot or cold. Good cut in wedges for a picnic or the kids lunchboxes, Place inside a chunk of Granary bread for a giant sandwiches or cut into chunks and rolled up with lettuce and mayo in a wrap.

The recipe below is for a basic Cheese and Tomato Frittata. (Pictured above)  But the method is the same for any of the suggested ingredients listed below.

Cookery, Eggs, recipes, pizza, healthy eating
Cavolo Nero & Mozzarella Frittata

Serves 4-6       Gluten Free.   Time taken 20 mins.

Equipment:  Frying pan.   Pre-heated Grill.

INGREDIENTS:

Tbspn Olive or Rapeseed oil.

8 Large Free range eggs.   Beaten together.

Seasoning.

Leftover veg, meat, fish, olives, anchovies etc

Cheese or cheeses of your choice.

Garlic & chopped fresh herbs. Optional.

METHOD:

Heat a large frying pan with the oil, over a med/high heat.

Halve 4 Large soft tomatoes, fry lightly, cut side up.

When brown turn the tomatoes over fry for a further minute.

Pour the beaten, seasoned eggs over the tomatoes, scraping  and lifting the edges to allow the unset egg run underneath.

When set to your liking, remove from the heat, scatter with 175g of cheese & grill until melted.

If liked scatter with chopped raw garlic & fresh herbs. Serve either hot or cold

Until next time foodies. Happy, Healthy Eating.

The Royal Hotel, Appledore

Alice Kitto

Mine host. Alice Kitto.

Me. I love a good old British Pub. You will have to be of a certain age to appreciate what I am talking about here. I’m not talking about the fancy wine bars and soulless chain establishments found on today’s high streets, but the good old British Boozer of yester year. These drinking emporiums, were to be found tucked in side street, nestling down a country lane or on the prom at the seaside. Drink, fun and community spirit, was their motto, along with good old sing songs, folk music and a general feeling of togetherness. The only food found in these hives of happiness was a pickled egg and maybe a dried up cheese roll! Hey ho, how times have changed.

In the UK it is estimated that one pub closes down, every twelve hours. I didn’t think I would ever have the chance to step into the kind of pub I experienced, in my younger years ever again. That is until I walked through the portals of The Royal Hotel, Appledore.

A real British Boozer

The Royal Hotel, Appledore, North Devon, is situated on Bude Street, which is behind the Quay in Appledore. You will easily find it by following your ears and nose. Your ears will be filled with the sounds of raucous laughter, music and song and your nose? will be pleasantly filled with the delicious aroma of freshly cooked fish and chips from The Royal Plaice, which is both opposite the pub and owned by the same people. Matt and Tracy. These entrepreneurial individuals have owned the pub for twenty six years and the Fish and Chip Restaurant for nine years. Order your meal and they will happily bring your food to the pub, where you can enjoy all it has to offer. Service with a smile.

The Royal Plaice, Appledore, North Devon

Alice Kitto, who describes herself as Manager/General help has been at the Royal for ten years. Now, Alice is a proper barmaid. Oh! Sorry, need to be politically correct here “Bar Person”. You won’t find Alice ignoring you when queuing for your drink, she knows exactly who is next in the queue. Just like it use to be. Involving herself in all aspects of running the pub, Alice is a “hands on” girl. One of her latest feats is to organise a Charity Shave, to raise money for McMillan. When I spoke to her last week over £2,000 had been raised, with still another two weeks of collection to go.

Brave the Shave at The Royal Hotel, Appledore.

I visited the pub on the night of the Charity Event. The place was packed with both locals & visitors alike. Alice and her team of local “maids” were in full swing.

Devonshire Maids.

The pub was rocking. I managed to get a quick snap of local hairdresser Polly from Appledore, who had scissors in hand.

Scissors at the ready.

Debbie Nixon and Brian Tucker were the fantastic volunteers who awaited the shearing. By the way. Brian Tucker & Gerry Lindley play in the pubs band, The Dukes – did I mention the fabulous live music & jam sessions held here almost nightly? – Both looked calm as the awaited there turn.

All in all The Royal Hotel, Appledore, North Devon is a proper British boozer. Good Ales, wines and spirits. Great music and sing a longs. Community caring and fabulous hospitality and as for Alice, what more can I say but “Fine girl you are”.

The Royal Hotel, Bude Street, Appledore, North Devon. EX 39

Gardeners delight

Appledore Horticulture Show

Carnation, pink, Doris pink, fragrant pinks, flower show,
Doris Pink

There’s something about a room full of fragrant flowers and giant veg that attracts me. My imagination goes into overdrive as I walk along the lines of artistically arranged, produce of nature. These exhibits have been carefully planted, fed and watered, over the months, leading up to the flower and produce show. I can almost feel the energy and pride of each person, who has exhibited the fruits and flowers of their labours.

Blooms, floral, floristry, plants, show,
Dahlia Blooms

Appledore Horticulture Society’s Annual Show, was held last Sunday 11th August in the Appledore Community Hall. The day being a damp, more like an October day, was made considerably brighter,by the vast array of colourful exhibits, held within. Paying my entrance fee at the door, I enquired “Can I bring my dog in”? The stern reply “As long as it doesn’t eat anything”. Now, Gypsy being a typical Labrador, stuck her nose in the air, looked with disdain at the rows of veggie and floral displays and pulled me firmly towards the homemade cake and tea counter. Knows her own mind, does my Gypsy.

Enquiring of the Society’s Secretary Mrs J. Smale, if I could take some photos and write this blog, she kindly agreed and offered to hold Gypsy while I walked around. Think she may have been a bit of a handful, as she was standing by the cakes at the time! Anyway, I sauntered off to complete the task in hand:

Must say I was amazed, how the local community had worked so hard, to produce the vast array of horticultural offerings, also the committee: R. Smith, Miss J Smale, Ms M Curtis, A. Mitchell and K. Dunn who had made the whole thing possible, giving us non green fingered mortals, the chance to see what can be done, with a little dedication and hard work. President: A. Graves, Treasurer: S. Dunn, Chairman: D. Routley, Secretary: Mrs J. Smale and Vic Chairman: M. Curtis also need to be mentioned in dispatches.

Flowers, arrangements, floral, plants, best in show,
Flower sculpture

I really didn’t envy the job of the judges: R.G. Hoskins ENVS, B. Shaw, Mr Plant and Mrs S. Glanville. How do use choose between so many exhibits? Still, I suppose, if you know what you are looking for, it makes it easier. I for one, wouldn’t have a clue.

Thank you to Appledore Horticultural Society for arranging this wonderful show and thanks to the contributors for all your hard work, which really brighten my and all the other visitors day.

P.S. If you would like to know which plant fascinated me the most, its this one:

Buzzy Lizzy, flowers, gardens, pot plants, gardening
Parrot plant

I’m told its a member of the Bizzy Lizzy family!

Next weeks blog will be about Alice Kitto and The George, Market Street, Appledore

Quaint Comparisons

Appledore – Paxos

Appledore is in North Devon, UK. Paxos is situated off the coast of Corfu, Greece. Although some may think these two places are worlds apart, to me at least, they have similarities, which having lived in one, led me to reside in the other.

The Quay, Gaios, Paxi

Some fifteen years ago, my son fled the nest and headed for Medical School, a month before my beloved Mum had died. I had reached that cross road in life, which we all experience at some stage. I was lost! Having had a mental breakdown at the same time, I just did not know what to do, or where to go. I needed escapism ? Sticking a pin in a map, it hit on Paxos in Greece. I booked a flight to Corfu and was gone, I originally booked a two week return flight. – I know you are thinking ” here we go, Shirley Valentine”. – However, nothing was further from my mind, I wanted to paint and Paxos, was where I was going to do it….

Appledore, Paxos, art, cobbles, villages

…..and paint I did. From the minute, I stepped off the hovercraft from Corfu, I was dazzled by the beauty of this tiny Agean Isle. Aquamarine sea lapped at the harbour wall, brilliant sunshine gave clarity to the pastel coloured houses which lined the narrow cobbled streets and the aroma of wild herbs and roasting lamb driffted on in the air. I hadn’t booked accommodation so hitching my paints and suitcase on to my shoulder, wandered along the quay, stopping every now and again to wipe the sweat from my brow. Pausing for a coffee in a small Italian run Cafe, I found myself talking to the proprietors wife, she was an artist and hailed from Scotland. Helping in the cafe, during the morning, she also had a small Gallery tucked away in a tiny back street. “Accommodation” she said “of course, see Spiro next door he has some small apartments to let”. And so it was, I was to spend the next three years on the amazing island of Paxi. Moving to small house in an olive grove, I utilised my cooking skills and provided evening meals from local produce to holiday makers, selling my paintings at the same time. I was totally accepted by the Greeks, who are so much more friendly than us, stiff upper lipped Brits. Meeting lots of interesting people of all nationalities, I avoided the expats, who wanted to change the Greek customs and simplicity of their life style. If they wanted English ways, why didn’t they go back to England? I was introduced, one evening, to a friend of the Cafe owners wife. “You will like her” she said, ” She comes from Appledore”.

Appledore, harmony, well being, cottages, North Devon,

I was ignorant, “Appledore” I enquired, “where is that”? “North Devon” Emma replied “a tiny village on an estuary, a bit like here”. I was intrigued, I thought I knew North Devon pretty well, when I went back to England I was determined to pay the place a visit. Emma, married a Greek man and stayed on Paxos. I returned to England and visited Appledore.

Over the next few years, Appledore was to become my holiday destination of choice. On that first visit, I experienced the same feeling of elation as when I stepped onto the Quay in Paxos. My main ambition now, was to live in this idyllic location. Easier said than done. I had no money. With house prices in Appledore reportedly averaging at £250,000, and my advancing years against me, I had no chance of purchasing a property and even less of finding one to rent.

Pastel coloured Appledore cottages
Quaint Pastel Cottages

However, is was meant to be. Whilst spending two weeks in Appledore last Christmas – part work, part pleasure – I happened across an advert in a local paper, for a tiny cottage to rent in a cobbled court yard, I was on to it, like a ferret up a drain pipe. Things moved quickly, the lease was signed and on 1st Feb, I was ensconced in my quirky cottage haven..

Tiny cottage in Appledore., slate garden
Haven of happiness

To say I am happy is an understatement. I’m ecstatic. Meandering the steep streets, watching the dinghies on the estuary or walking my dog on the shore, brings back memories of Paxos and fills me with a calmness and sense of self worth, only experienced in brief moments of my life.

Gypsy, black labrador on beach
A stroll along the shore.

And the people, well what can I say? On the whole, most are welcoming. I can understand the locals, being adverse to us “blow ins” who may well think they should change local ways and “show them how things are done in the real world”. But, like in Greece I tend to avoid most of the “incomers”, like myself. I find these people the most intrusive. ” Have you bought your cottage” is the first question! “I must pop round and have a look”. Answer, comes there non, to these questions. All I can think to myself is ” If you are so interested in wealth and it’s encumbrances, leave me alone to enjoy my peace and contentment in beautiful Appledore.

To my English friends: Good Afternoon. To my Greek friends: Kalimera.

Secret Garden

Market Street Kitchen, Appledore

Happy smiling faces

Ah, Appledore, stunning estuary village, nestling on a hillside, with quaint pastel coloured cottages lining narrow cobbled streets, sloping gently down to the Quay.

The historic port of Appledore, North Devon is well known for its boatyard. However. Appledore has many secrets, one of them being the delightful hidden garden which forms part of Market Street Kitchen Tea Room.

Josie Gosbee. Proprietor of the said establishment, is, in Appledore speak, like myself, a “blow in”. Whether it is complimentary or not, I will leave for you to decide. But it refers to us newcomers, who have chosen to live and work in this beautiful part of North Devon.

Market Street Kitchen is situated just behind the Quay, in a quirky street inhabited by other small locally owned businesses. Josie, originally from London, grew disenchanted with the fast pace of life in the capital, had from time to time, holidayed in Appledore and made friends within the locality.

When the shop in Market Street became available, the premises which had been used as food related businesses, for well over fifty years. Josie bade farewell to the smoke. Having had no previous experience in catering, she opened the tea room which is now in its third year. As well as the Tea Room, Josie has created a little haven at the rear of the shop, a tranquil garden, which abounds with cottage garden flowers and fruits. Last year their Grape Jam, won an award at Appledore Horticulture Show. Their apples were also mentioned in dispatches.

Market Street Kitchen is run with a very strong local ethos., food is all freshly sourced from local suppliers and the staff all reside in Appledore. Josie has a very happy relationship with the local community, encouraging such activities as bunting making & crocheting as part of the in-house activities. While I was visiting a lively group of local ladies were enjoying their Monday morning breakfast club, in the dappled shade of the garden.

Mocha, coffee, breakfast, community, high tea,
Coffee in the garden
Breakfast, lunch, tea, functions, evening events,

Market Street Kitchen has a tempting menu of reasonably priced, freshly made dishes to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. Hearty Devon Breakfasts are served until noon when Light “Kitchen Specials” take over, these include grilled open toasties, Enchiladas and pate. Maybe a “Kitchen Classic” also served from noon, will tempt you? Fresh home made soup, sandwiches and jacket potatoes are offered. Who can refuse a Fresh Devon Crab Salad? or for the vegans amongst you, Lemony Lentil and Beetroot Salad – my mouth is watering as I type-. After a saunter along the Quay a Kitchen High Tea is a must, or if you feel like something less substantial why not try a Devon Cream Tea, either sweet of savoury. Children are also catered for with a “Kids Kitchen” meal deal.

Andy, the manager and trained Barista presented me with a delicious Mocha, when I visited and I must say, being a bit of a Mocha connoisseur it was the best I have ever tasted. Chocolatey rich, creamy and with that bitter hint of good coffee, which makes it so special.

Market Street kitchen is available for private evening functions and events. Christmas parties and high teas are also available, however, early booking is advisable, due to heavy demand.

I wish Josie, continuing success with her thriving business, although with her drive and enthusiasm it isn’t needed. This “blow in” has certainly made her mark. I must mention that most locals are friendly and welcoming, but, like all small villages, a few might need a slice of The Market Kitchens delicious homemade cake, to sweeten them up.

Market Kitchen, Meeting Street, Appledore, North Devon, 10-4pm daily. booking advisable. Email: info@marketskitchen.com Telephone: 01237 474168

Holistic Happiness

Relax your body, free your mind

And, breathe…… Yoga and pilates along with swimming have always been my thing, along with a nice therapeutic dog walk along the beach. I have never been much of a one for therapies – unless with the psychiatrist -, of course. Reiki and Kinesiology have entered my orbit, through my social media feeds, but I have never taken the trouble to find out, what exactly it was all about. This week I have rectified my ignorance by having a coffee and chat with the lovely Sam Ashbee, an Holistic Therapist from Bideford in North Devon.

Holistic Therapist, treating a client.

Meeting Sam, was a truly rewarding experience. A bouncy, softly spoken young lady with a happy demeanor. Sam Ashbee original hails from Bristol, on leaving school, she started a career in hairdressing but after qualifying found it was not quite what she wanted to do. At the time she had a severe back problem, which needed the services of an osteopath on a weekly basis. Finding these visits an expensive exercise, it was suggested she seek the services of a Holistic Therapist to see if addressing the emotional, spiritual and chemical imbalances within her body may be of benefit to her. Sam’s path was set. Not only was she visiting the osteopath less – gradually dispensing with it all together – her road was leading her in a new direction, career wise. Holistic therapy had revealed itself to her, but that, as they say “is history”.

Therapies, Reiki, Kinesiology, Body, Animals
Growth in healing

Sam’s entry into alternative medicine as a Holistic Therapist was “driven by my own journey”, she enthused. “What better way to understand the benefits of the practice than to experience it for yourself, first hand”. After gaining the necessary qualifications through training courses, Sam joined the hard working ranks of the Self Employed. Reflexology -(zone therapy), Reiki (energy healing), and Kinesiology (scientific study) are among the therapy’s she practices, many to other small business owners, who need her tender manipulations to help relieve them of the trials and tribulations of a busy working day. Humans aren’t the only life form on which Sam works her magic. Animals may also benefit from Reiki especially those considered to have physical, emotional or mental issues.

Feeling a bit sceptical about all this, what some would call, “airy fairy nonsense”? Well, let me quote another old adage. “Don’t knock it until you have tried it”. Why not contact Sam and find out more. I also hear that online workshops are also available. As Sam is such a delightful person I’m sure “you will be in good hands”.

Contact details: Sam Ashbee. Holistic Therapist, Educator and Facilitator. Mobile: 07503 723060. Email: contact@nutureholistictherapies.co.uk Website: www.nurtureholistictherapies.co.uk

Meanwhile I’m off to do a few downward dogs, in the sea, with my dog. Gypsy. ……and relax.

Next weeks blog will be about the scrummy Market Street Kitchen, Appledore, North Devon.

I, Claudius

No poisoned figs here.

Every now and again, you come across, totally by accident, someone or something that really makes you laugh. You know the kind I mean. That quick witted, dry humor that has you bent double and brings tears to your eyes.

fish and chips, sylvesters, haddock, cod, chips
Sylvesters Fish and Chips, Appledore, North Devon

Last Tuesday evening, I happened to find such a person. Claude, the proprietor and chief fryer of Sylvesters Take Away Fish and Chips, in the picturesque, estuary village of Appledore, North Devon. Popping in with my dog to enquire if it was convenient to have a chat for this blog, I was greeted with a big smiley, expectant face. ” I haven’t come to buy anything, can I bring the dog in? ” I enquired, ” You can leave the dog and P**s off” was the jolly retort. Charming, I thought. As I’m always up for a bit of banter and a laugh a time was arranged for the next day.

Claude’s foray into the world of master fish fryers started as a boy. Having to earn a crust -or should I say chip- while at college, studying Business Finance, Claude took on a part time job as a potato peeler in Bideford. His then employer, entrusted him to cash up in the evenings. The die was cast. Whilst stashing the days takings in little bank bags, Claude knew where his destiny lay. He was going to become King of Fish and Chips. Did Claude return to college. No, he was off, meeting by chance Chris Sylvester of Appledore, who offered him a job, where he toiled for the next twelve years.

fish and chips, sylvesters, haddock, cod, chips
Sylvester’s Independent Trading Co.

Sylvester’s is situated just off the quay, in Meeting Street, Appledore. The name was retained, when Chris Sylvester retired and the business was purchased by Claude for £1 in 2003. Previously being run as a pet food and wet fish shop Claude started his new business by selling wet fish, between 8am – 12 noon. From 12 noon onwards Fish and Chips were introduced. Claude’s father who was very proud of his son, for his entrepreneurial skills was to be book keeper for the business. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as he passed away shortly after the opening. At least he knew his son had achieved his ambition to work for himself. Sylvester’s is now just a Take Away Fish and Chip shop.

Food from Sylvester’s is very popular, queues can be seen in the evenings and a nice “big portion” can be taken into The Champ pub, next door to munch, while enjoying a drink and live music. The traditional fish and chips, cooked in vegetable oil are delicious, in their light crispy batter, made with Claude’s secret recipe, these are obviously his best seller, however, gluten free and vegetarians are also catered for. So, whatever your culinary tastes, you can be sure Sylvester’s can cater for your every need. Pop in and give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

As well as his love affair with fish and chips, Claude also has a passion for cars, owning a few. The Robin Reliant in the picture above above can always been seen parked on the Quayside in Appledore, a stones throw from the shop. No excuses for missing this display board!

I must say, it was a pleasure to meet Claude and have a tour of his spotlessly clean premises. I was informed on leaving, that everyone in Appledore has a nickname. Asking what mine might be “Micheal” replied “F*** Knows”. Not sure about that one, but if the cap fits, ” I’ll wear it”.

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