Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Royal Marines are a bunch of Jolly Chaps!

One of the wonderful things about visiting friends in other countries is that you can actually live as a local.  There are far more opportunities to get to know the country than the average tourist. Visiting Vic and Mel in Exeter is no exception. They have endless friends and parties to attend. On Saturday they had been invited to a Royal Marine Garden Party, and were generous enough to include me! Hosted by Ann and her husband, Ray, a retired Royal Marine, they put on a spectacular event. Ann is an incredible woman who does it all. Her garden was gorgeous, her scones delicate and her home was beautiful!
The party was attended by retired Royal marines to benefit the active marines and their families.
The British Navy had a tradition of serving a tot of rum at noon to the sailors. The officers would serve each sailor out of a barrel. The men could drink it down, or say “Sippers” Which would entitle the officers to have a sip of their rum. Gulpers of course would mean the officers could drink their rum. I was told that that never happened and I’m inclined to believe it!
The Officers in uniforms of 19th century sailors, rang a bell and lead the crowd in singing "God Save the Queen". The guests then proceeded up for their tot. I joined the procession and of course said "Sippers" making me vary popular indeed!
It was a jolly time, with a sing-a-long of Navy songs, such as “What do you do with a drunken Sailor” and several others I had heard of but never knew they were traditional Royal Navy Tunes. Colin offered a toast to welcome me to Jolly Olde England.
Afterwards we had an incredible Devon Cream Tea. I was told that a Devon scone is loaded cream first than Jam but a Cornish scone is slathered with jam first and then cream. Either way it’s incredibly delicious and I just can’t get my fill. As I write this I am longing for a Devon Cream Tea.
Anne made all the baked cakes and scones. Each one was more delicious than the next. She set a table laden with tea sandwiches, cakes, sponges and scones. I ate until I thought I would burst.

The end of the day was followed by a personal guided tour by Anne of her beautiful Garden.

These are just a few of the pictures I took of her beautiful garden. The rest are on my other computer. I'll add more later. 
At the end of the day her husband presented his bride with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. 
It was a wonderful day. I felt like an honored guest. I can honestly say The Royal Marines and their Spouses are all Jolly Good Fellows!
All pictures and texts are property of The Gypsy Chef. 


  1. This was beautiful. I am so glad that you took the time to share it with us.
    You are absolutely right, you can really experience a culture by living with the locals.

  2. Wow, Pam, you look so adorable in the photo encircled by these jolly chaps! This tea party makes me think of Agatha Christie and I wish I could experience these wonderful scones and Devon cream someday; I am sure I would do as you did and eat till I burst!

  3. What a lovely day. And it was so nice of you to take us along to the party. Your friend, Anne, prepared a beautiful buffet.

  4. What fun. I have actually been to Exeter, but as a tourist, not with friends. The problem with loving food is that sometimes we do eat until we almost burst! Oh well, I say.

  5. Wow Pam! What a an event-I love get togethers like this that are riddled with tradition and, of course, jolly chaps (smile)! Oh, and I want a devon cream-they sound wonderful...

  6. Looks like it was a good time, love the costumes, how fun a day you look like you had.

  7. What a life you lead, Miss Pam! What a great post. I had to click on all the photos to get a better look--nice job on those,by the way. I could eat some scones with devon cream right now, or anytime.