Thursday, 21 January 2016

West Country Tour … Ilfracombe: Verity, The Starter Bar … part 13 …



The “girls of Ilfracombe” come next in my West Country tour commentary … I've put in more photos of The Starter Bar, than I have of Verity ... she will command your attention - that is sufficient ... and I can share food photos!

Taken, not by me, when it was sunny!




It’s not quite what you’d expect at the end of a Georgian/Victorian fishing harbour pier … a sixty-six feet + high stainless steel and bronze statue: certainly I had no idea of its attendance in Ilfracombe!







Verity taken in the rain and dark - sorry!




We were bemused … I suspect Jenny was horrified, but she held her thoughts well … we wandered quickly round and returned to face the harbour and town.  I went back the next morning, still in the rain to take a photo or two …





From my iphone across the harbour -
she stands tall



The creator of Verity – you will almost certainly know well, or of: Damien Hirst – the formaldehyde, diamond skull creative artist.  I leave it at that … more can be found.





The law books Verity stands on


The town accepted the loan of the statue, for 20 years, with restrictive rights – no close up photos for marketing purposes etc … Verity is pregnant, she holds a sword aloft, carries behind her back the scales of justice and stands on a pile of law books. 





Plinth attached to the pier


Hirst describes the piece as a “modern allegory of truth and justice” and in his youth was inspired by Edgar Degas’ “Little Dancer of Fourteen Years” and it is thought he may have used this painting in the creation of Verity.






Prawn and Apple soup - it did look good



He has given an art block to his children’s school in Combe Martin … it is state of the art – silly phrase!  There are art galleries in the town … and he has bought a few of the houses on the harbour frontage … created a restaurant-bar for the in-crowd … and a private place where he can entertain his celebrity friends.






The Starter Bar's fun clock ...



I gather the statue attracts tourists to the town … awesome or an eyesore … your mind will tell you … Verity was tested in a wind-tunnel … so looks set to be around for the next 17 ½  years of her contract and will continue look out across the Bristol Channel to Wales.







Charlotte and Alex


The other girls are more down to earth … spotted a niche market, dared to dream about entrepreneurship, loved to cook … and opened “The Starter Bar” …






… this was where we went for supper, rather than our ‘old salt’s tavern’ that probably wasn’t serving dinner at all … it was different and was interesting – we both found dishes we liked the sound of … and with a glass of vino or two – quietly tucked in …





The young sisters, Charlotte and Alex, share a passion for cooking and foods … they offer dishes they themselves love to eat … so good for them in determining that age is no object to giving it a go … it was popular even on a Monday.



Jenny finishing off with another sundae -
which she loved!




They say that their family, and the local community have been really encouraging, helping out, or give advice where they can – it looks like they’ll be doing well, and certainly we wish them success.








Cocktail anyone - to take away the shock of 'Verity'?



So … those are the three up-front 21st century women of Ilfracombe – they are away from 1980s Madonna’s bra-theatre side of the town, but tucked in very sensibly just back from the lifeboat-station and harbour.



Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

38 comments:

Mike Goad said...

Verily speaking, Verity would be a bit much anywhere she was placed.

Anabel Marsh said...

This bar looks good! I was a bit worried I couldn't eat anything till I saw they had a separate veggie menu. Good luck to the young entrepreneurs. I see what you mean about Ilfracombe being eclectic.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You met an Alex!
Interesting the statue is on load. Where will it go next?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mike - love your comment .. and how true!

@ Annabel - glad the veggie menu sounded a possibility - it is an eclectic place, but fun to find out about and a pleasure to visit ...

@ Alex - yes a few Alex's around ... I guess she's prettier than you?!

I've no idea really .. but I think Damien Hirst had split with Charles Saatchi (art collector and sponsoring young British Artists) and thus had to take all his works away from that storage ... so he placed it around the world. Ilfracombe got this ... what happens afterwards - I also can't 'guess' ... but I don't know the story.

Cheers and thanks for the interesting comments ..Hilary

Murees Dupé said...

That sundae looks delicious! Verity and her pregnant belly is definitely a sight to see. Thank you for sharing another experience with us.

Deborah Barker said...

Ah, Ilfracombe - we had a wonderful holiday there in 1978 and again in 1979 before we got married. I remember we took a taxi from the station to our apartment on the first occasion, not knowing it was a mere 100 yard dash. However, we felt justified given the steep incline and the weight of our cases. How lovely to hear of the two sisters who have set up on their own - great entrepreneurial skills there! As for Verity, she seems to have made her mark whether temporary or not. :-)

Christine Rains said...

What an usual work of art is Verity! But Jenny's sundae looks scrumptious. I'm not one for seafood, but I do have a sweet tooth!

Lowcarb team member said...

Well I wasn't expecting that of Verity ... no pun intended ... for some reason I thought Verity was going to be a boat, she definitely isn't!

The Starter Bar looks a good place and Jenny is certainly enjoying that sundae ...

Enjoy the rest of your week

All the best Jan

Out on the prairie said...

I had seen the diamond skulls. A friend always said women were the prettiest when pregnant, but he also had 9 children.That sundae looked delicious. Many of the good ice cream places close for the winter around here.

Joanne said...

that is a formidable statue - the law has spoken. I would have started with that sundae first - yum! Women power on this post - good job!

D.G. Hudson said...

A woman who is pregnant and can also wield a sword - she has my respect. . .If they can put photos of real pregnant women on the front of magazines, I see no harm in a statue, even if it does shock a few people.
Bravo for the two young women who have found something they enjoy and which brings income to them and pleasure to those feasting on their food.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Murees - I think Jenny enjoyed all her sundaes! Verity was interesting - an unusual sight ...

@ Debbie - isn't that wonderful you were there in the late 70s ... there is no train now - station closed .. the steep incline got to the authorities. The Tarka Express goes across central Devon, but sadly doesn't reach Ilfracombe.

I agree all credit to the two sisters of The Starter Bar ..

Verity is another matter!

@ Christine - isn't she one special lady at the end of the pier. Looks like you'd be eating the waffles too .. as well as the sundae ... me: I eat savoury preferably.

@ Jan - I didn't expect people would know what to expect .. and Jenny and I had no idea she was here ... we had to find out! Crazy tourists ... who just turn up!

Jenny enjoyed her dessert and it was a good choice ...

@ Steve - I thought you might have seen the diamond skull ... nine children - and he hadn't had to carry one of them?! - no wonder he was complementary. This is a tourist attraction town - so they'll be open .. some of our still close for the winter ... or at least take a month away ...

@Joanne - young Verity is formid-able isn't she and the law hath spake - as you so rightly say. I know the sweet tooth type - can't wait!!??

@ DG - yes photos on the front of magazines .. but sword-wielding Verity in a small north Devon town is a little of a poser! I almost feel she might have wielded her sword and created the Bristol Channel - but I guess that's a silly idea!

We enjoyed the concept and the food and they were busy ... so as you say good for them ... and we feasted!!

Cheers to each of you - thank so much for being here - Hilary

Mark Noce said...

Great pics! Wish I was there myself:)

Nilanjana Bose said...

I might be a minority here but I actually quite like Verity! She looks kind of regal!

Ilfracombe defnitely a very, very interesting place with at least three very interesting women.

Romance Reader said...

Interesting post with very interesting women. Thanks Hilary!

A Cuban In London said...

Another cracking post. That bar looks nice. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

A Heron's View said...

Oh well done to Jenny for enjoying an Ice Cream Sundae that and Knickerbocker Glory or Banana Split were my favourites. Tell me did have a clotted cream topping ?

Jo said...

To me that is an unattractive statue, but my opinion only of course.

Love the Starter Bar. There are a couple of young woman here, one is a niece of a good friend, who have also started a similar restaurant locally. Delightful place with excellent food. They also do "sharing" dishes so more than one of you can try something. Reminds me very much of a Spanish tapas bar.

DMS said...

The statue definitely seems like it would bring tourists to the town. It is unique and a conversation starter for sure. The Starter Bar looks like fun! Glad you enjoyed it and hope it is a success for the sisters! :)
~Jess

Janie Junebug said...

It's kind of Verity to visit. A starter bar sounds fun.

Love,
Janie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mark – it’s a lovely place … lots to do and learn about

@ Nila – I think it’s the shock of the modernity … it doesn’t blend in … but I’m sure like most shocking things we’ll appreciate it for what it is in due time. I imagine if I saw Verity in bright sunlight I’d have a different thought process …

Ilfracombe has a line of history that’s almost constant across the eras – it does reflect how England has developed …

@ Nas – glad you enjoyed it ... the women have put their stamp on Ilfracombe in the 21st C

@ ACIL – thanks so much … the Starter Bar had and has a lovely atmosphere …

@ Mel – I know Jenny loved her sundaes – mostly toffee, caramel versions … and we always asked for clotted cream – that was Jenny’s accompanying preference!

@ Jo – the statue is certainly different.

The Starter Bar – looks like it’s on to a good thing .. catering for a range of customers. Tapas is popular – something I enjoy – good luck to your friends with their restaurant.

@ Jess – I gather Verity does attract art-tourists on their trail. You’re right there … Jenny and I conversed about it and I asked shopkeepers about it, who gave me a bit of extra information.

The Starter Bar seems a good idea .. and certainly we enjoyed ourselves and I too hope it is successful ..

@ Janie - Verity enjoys being out and about .. but sticks with her plinth mostly!! The bar was fun … and we had a ‘different’ kind of supper ..

Thanks everyone – glad Verity gave you art for thought, and the ‘girls’ gave you food for thought .. cheers Hilary

Helen Hollick said...

Hi found your post via Blogging for Blogging Sake on Facebook - I live in North Devon and have seen Verity, I think she's wonderful!

I have an embryonic blog which I run for my village and would love some articles for it (always hard to get a new blog started). I wondered if you'd like to do a piece about the highlights of your tour for us?
http://chittlehamholtchitchat.blogspot.co.uk/

Gattina said...

To be honest I don't like that statue at all, it just looks like bad taste to me. The menus sound great, I am hungry now !

Sue McPeak said...

Allegory or not...the 'Truth' lies in the eye of the beholder and the 'Justice' an injustice and eye sore for most who behold HER. Thankful for the goodness of the Starter Bar. Now there are young women to behold.
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

beste barki said...

I checked out the statue from the other side and Verity, it seems to me, is modern man's quest to understand 'woman'. The male mind mystifies the female body and mind.

Tara Tyler R said...

what an eyeful! definitely unexpected - and sooo big!!
dare i say a wonder of the world on many levels...

and it's wonderful to hear that young entreprenuers are getting support around the world - good for them braving the harsh waters of a "Starter Bar!" and thanks for sharing it with us.

sorry i haven't been around much - but always a pleasure to hear from you and catch up on your travels!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Helen - thank you for telling me/us how you got here ... how interesting you've seen Verity - and enjoy seeing her.

Also your link to your village blog and how to get started etc ... thank you for the offer to do a piece for your blog ... I'm thinking about it .. but I'll be emailing you over the weekend.

@ Gattina - yes - Verity can cause us to react like that. Glad you enjoyed the menus ... I couldn't get them all in to the post ..

@ Sue - the truth does lie in the eye of the beholder .. and seeing Verity on a very damp late October day doesn't put the best face forward. It seems there's quite a following - trouble is she stands out ... as a sore thumb, or as an art work ...

Still the Starter Bar offers us a different look on life - taking us into the 21st C food choices ... and those young women are to behold aren't they.

@ Beste - you were right to check out the other side - I decided that was a turn too far for this blog! Thought if people want to check it out they can ... I wonder what induced Damien Hirst to create Verity .. interesting thought ..

@ Tara - yes sooooo big - very possible wonder of the world - but certainly on the north devon coast ... I wonder if she can be seen from Wales.

The young ladies obviously have a great support network around them - and they seem to have developed a clever niche ... Ilfracombe has lots of potential for a restaurant like this ...

Cheers to you - thank you for all your comments and interest - Hilary

Rhodesia said...

Another great post, not sure about the statue but I guess you could become accustomed to her face! She almost makes the day begin
I've grown accustomed to the tune she whistles night and noon
Her smiles, her frowns, her ups and downs
Are second nature to me now
Like breathing out and breathing in
I was serenely independent and content before we met
Surely I could always be that way again and yet
I've grown accustomed to her looks, accustomed to her voice
Accustomed to her face.
Sorry that song just cam to mind. Take care Diane

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

You may have noticed my ongoing sporadic commenting. Sorry about that but I shall endeavour to leave some semblance of a legible comment.

Oh my, I've been to Ilfracombe and I don't remember Verity. Thanks for another highly informative post, Hilary.

Gary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - I had to look up where the words came from! Sad - very and really!

How clever of you to think of the My Fair Lady song ... and yes I guess one could become accustomed to her - in fact I guess the locals just go about their business.

@ Gary - I was wondering about you ... but it's always good to see you here (as and when you feel able). Ilfracombe ... Verity is a newbie - only 3.5 years and not totally settled yet! So she arrived way after you visited ...

Thanks to you both - lovely comments - cheers Hilary

Misha Gericke said...

The Starter Bar sounds like a nice place to relax with friends. :-)

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. I looked at The Starter Bar menu and it's right up my street! There used to be restaurant in Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, called Menage a Trois which served only starters and desserts. I loved it.
I am generally ambivalent about Damien Hirst myself but I have to say I quite like Verity!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Lynn said...

Jenny's sundae looks so good!

And I love the statue of Verity and love that she is pregnant. She looks so fierce!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Misha - we had a good meal there .. and in summer it'd be lovely sitting out and enjoying the food ...


@ Bazza - I had the other menu parts to put up .. but selected these ... but am glad you had a look at their set up. The Menage a Trois was avant garde and unusual ... sounds fun - and yes I'd approve of that.

That's good that Verity passes muster with you ...

@ Lynn - all Jenny's sundaes looked delicious .. I just either opted for something else, or had nothing ...

That's great you like Verity ... she does look like she's holding the fort against some marauding force doesn't she - I hadn't thought of that ..

Cheers and thanks for adding to the comments and visiting ... Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Verily, verily, Verity is PREGNANT! At first glance, I thought she was, and then argued myself out of it, thinking maybe what looked like her swollen belly was actually a shield she was holding in her hand. But nope, her hand wasn't placed just right for that to work. Then I read your words. Pregnant. Yipes, once upon a time, it wasn't even polite to use that word in mixed company, and now there's a multi-storied statue of a woman with her big ol' belly and breasts hanging out for all to see. Poor thing. Maybe the local ladies should yarn bomb her. :)

Wow! That is one enormous ice cream sundae!! I can't imagine having any room left for that after eating a meal.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. yes Verity is verily pregnant: you should see the other side: her foetus is clearly visible - I gather. Exactly to stand naked and very pregnant in the storms of the Bristol Channel, does rather put our pregnant Verity into that tall perspective. Love the 'multi-storied' height of the statue - she is certainly tall.

Bearing in mind the winds off the Bristol Channel and Atlantic I'm not sure where the yarn bombs would end up!

Jenny loved her sundaes and enjoyed each and everyone .. !!

Thanks for your lovely comment - cheers Hilary

Jeffrey Scott said...

That's certainly not the Verity I'm familiar with.
Loved these photos so much more. Food and drinks. :)
The only problem, I'm not a very big seafood person. So I'm not sure I'd do well with some of this cuisine. I'm not fond of prawns or mussels. I do eat fish from time to time, but it's usually fried.
But the drinks. Those look inviting. As does the Sundae. Yum.:)

Love how the young girls name their bar, 'the starter' bar. The starter for them, and perhaps the starter for anyone else wishing to engage in a pub crawl. LOL

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jeffrey - no I don't think another Verity like this one could be found. I try and mix and match with my posts and thus photos. I also didn't include the meat board here ... but there's some delicious choices - so you won't starve! Well you'd be happy at the bar and with a Sundae.

The name is clever - I hadn't thought about it being their 'starter' bar ... that's another idea ... and I'm sure they are well patronised ...

Cheers Hilary