Desperate to recover from the misery of a wet campsite, imagine our delight to discover the Exford Bridge Tea Rooms by the side of the babbling river: the perfect place, we thought, for a relaxing, friendly and restorative brunch.
Alas, parking in what appeared to be a public car park, adorned with adverts for the Exford Bridge Tea Rooms, we were assailed by a bearded gentleman who was washing his car in the rain. He barked "Excuse me, is that your car?". As we had just alighted, we answered in the affirmative. "The Car Park's over there: can't you see the signs?" We pointed out that there was nothing to say this wasn't a public car park, but he continued to bark at us as he wrung the neck of his sponge.
The bearded gentleman, it turned out, was the genial host of the Exford Bridge Tea Rooms.
Slightly taken aback by the bearded gentleman's innovative marketing strategy, we mentioned at this point that all we had wanted was to go to the Exford Bridge Tea Rooms: "We don't want people like you" was the response.
At this point we decided we would not be brunching at the Exford Bridge Tea Rooms that morning. We left the bearded proprietor of the Exford Bridge Tea Rooms to polish his car in the rain.
We'd like to take this opportunity to humbly offer some advice to Mrs Exford Bridge Tea Rooms (Sybil?): some people are not temperamentally suited to public-facing service businesses. It may just be that your husband (Basil?) falls into this category. His place is in the attic. Doing the accounts. Behind a locked and bolted door.
By the way, the Tantivy Cafe at Dulverton does an excellent all day breakfast.
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