By: Blonde One
I have alluded in the past to my close relationship with Badger’s Holt Café at Dartmeet. This place is the reason that I put jam on my scone before cream, the reason my favourite part of Dartmoor is Yar Tor and possibly the reason that I love all things Dartmoor. If you’ve never been there, I thoroughly recommend it, even though it’s a bit different now. When I was (quite a bit) younger I had a weekend job at Badger’s Holt. It was my first job and what nicer journey to work than over Yar Tor. I think I appreciated it even then and my love for the moors can be pinned down to those days of getting picked up by the work minibus and travelling across and over the most beautiful part of the whole world! My job was quite varied and I tackled most of the tasks over the years that I worked there. I started off as a waitress. This was probably what I was best at and I can only remember dropping a full tray once! I also worked on the dishwasher machine. This was the worst job and I can still remember the smell. It was a mixture of clotted cream, gravy and cheese – disgusting. The most surprising (if you know me at all) job that I did was cooking! Yes, I was once paid to cook. I even amaze myself with this fact, as it’s always a very good plan to avoid eating anything that I have been involved in cooking. I can’t remember much about this except for the fact that I loved making custard. Not the packet type that just needed heating up, but the real custard made from egg yolks and vanilla. It was also a real treat to be asked to help out in the ‘bake house’. The smell from this room will stay in my nostrils forever. The boss would spend most of the day in here baking bread, making fancy cakes and baking the most divine scones. The scones here were unique in size: they were cake sized and you got a wedge instead of a little round one. The menu had a really cute rhyme printed on it which I annoyingly cannot remember. (Incidentally, if you know this rhyme, I will be forever in your debt if you could remind me of it.) Lastly I worked in the gift shop where the grockles could purchase their Pixie keyrings, clotted cream fudge or ‘Property of HM Prison Dartmoor’ tea towel! Very occasionally one of the bosses 2 brothers would be short staffed in their close-by cafés and I would get to go to Princetown to help out in a different place. One of those cafés was Lords. I can’t remember much about working there as I think I only worked there once. The café that I do remember though was the lovely Foxtor Café. It’s strange to think now, that I once worked there on a couple of occasions. Even back then, I thought it was lovely and was always a bit miffed if someone else was asked to work there. I often wonder what these 3 brothers are doing now (answers on a postcard please).
Last time I visited Badger’s Holt (with Blonde Two of course) I was reminded of a very important feature of my working life there: the stuffed badger. It was still there, proudly occupying its place beside the fire. The practical joke played on all newbies was to dust the badger! I was glad to see he was still there and looking nicely dust-free!