Monday, 13 July 2009

Delightful Devon

We had a wonderful few days running around the South Hams last week. The B&B we stayed in was one of the best I've been to. The hosts were very friendly and helpful; their garden is extensive and gorgeous; and they did the most copious breakfasts ever: fresh fruit salad (pears, grapes, melon, tangerines, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc, a slightly different mix each day), dried fruit compote, muesli and other cereals, fresh home-made bread and rolls every day, sliced cold meat, cheeseboard, home-made marmalade and two kinds of home-made jam, proper butter, freshly squeezed orange juice, and all the cooked options: local bacon, sausages and smoked haddock, kippers, free-range eggs, baked beans, mushrooms and tomatoes. Most days we didn't bother with lunch, just stopped for a coffee somewhere and maybe a piece of fruit or a scone.

The first day it rained heavily, so we pottered around the shops in Totnes in the morning and at the Cider Press Centre in Dartington in the afternoon. The next day it was showery, so we went to Buckfast Abbey and then on up to Dartmoor. We drove through the village of Holne, hoping to find the cafe we used to visit 30 years ago, but it didn't seem to be there any more so we carried on to Dartmeet and had drinks and snacks at Badger's Holt, still as good as it ever was. A short walk by the river inbetween the showers was very pleasant, then we drove back through Ashburton to Totnes.

The following day was fine so we had a nostalgia-fest, wandering around several places where we used to spend time as children, with many loud squeals of triggered memory. And the last day was my favourite, because the sun shone and we took the boat down the river from Totnes to Dartmouth, a journey I used to do regularly as a child when I lived near Totnes and my grandparents lived in Dartmouth. It is a stunningly beautiful stretch of river with plentiful wildlife: lots of seagulls and Canada geese, of course, but we also saw several egrets and herons, shoals of small fish being driven to the surface by underwater predators, two of the seals which come up the river after the salmon, a pair of shelduck with their shelducklings, and a curlew flying.

We made up for the lack of lunches at local restaurants in the evenings. Our favourite was a lovely riverside pub where we ate twice, including our last night. My trousers feel a little tight, so it's a good thing I've got two whole weeks at home now before I go on holiday again!

11 comments:

JJ Beattie said...

How absolutely lovely. I've been doing some back to the old days exploring this week too. I'd love to explore Devon.

Carol said...

That sounds like you had a really wonderful few days!! Chris and I have been talking about taking a break and visiting Devon before I start uni...we might even book a room at the B&B you suggested :-)

C x

Queenie said...

JJ, I'll come with you!
Carol, they get very booked up so, if you do want to go there, I'd suggest you contact them sooner rather than later. I can't recommend them highly enough - great location, too, right in the middle of town.

Debs said...

Love the look of your B&B. Sounds like you had a lovely time.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Is Buckfast Abbey full of drunken monks? ;)

sounds lovely. I'm jealous.

Karen said...

All that talk of food has made me feel very hungry! Glad you had a lovely time :o)

Queenie said...

It was ace. BS, I didn't see any drunken monks, but there was a lot of booze for sale in the Monastic Products Shop.

PI said...

Roughing it again I see.
Did you go to the Abbey - Buckfast? I almost went on a retreat there. Oh yes I see you did. I bought lots of Christmas presents when we were there.
I intend to do a post- DV - on mentoring tomorrow.. I'd be interested in your thoughts. As ever;)

SpiralSkies said...

You're making me yearn for some Devon... I predict a scone-fueled writing holiday next year.

And the travel writing? Were you inspired? I noticed the book in your sidebar...

Debi said...

I think we may have walked in eachothers footsteps.

Nourishment for body and soul. Yum.

Queenie said...

Pat, I bought a Christmas card!
Jen, not as much as last time. That book's been on my sidebar for ages, I'm struggling with it, it's a good book but it's printed in brown on cream and I find that hard on the eyes.
Debi, yes, exactly that.