Day 27 : Back to the West Country


Many of you have been following my blogs from my Italy /France tour, through Piedmont, Southern France and Paris and onto my recce’s in Normandy and Scotland for my forthcoming tour in May/June 2017.

My husband Philip is now on Sabbatical and visiting Universities and Colleges throughout the Uk to Canada. I am the lucky follower ….well actually I have spent many days in hotel rooms working on 2017 tours but, have certainly found time to explore, walk and stay in many very quaint country hotel that the English do so well.
In 1995 we lived in Bristol for a year with our young children aged 8, 5 and 3. I returned a few years ago with Matthew but this was the first time Philip and I could drive past the home we stayed in, which actually looked a bit sad but we enjoyed a morning in the now very hip and popular Clifton area which is packed with trendy cafes, certainly not the scene 20 years ago. We didn’t book a nights accommodaiton thinking it would be easy to find something close.  However, by 4.30 our phones were flat and we took sanctuary in a pub in Bath to charge the phones and ring around. This turned out to be a memorable night and certainly one we will always remember. We did find a hotel, it was called ‘Farthings’ and it was 1 1/2 hours  drive away in the village called Hatch Beuchamp – just out of Taunton in Sommerset. Everything was fabulous  – the room, the service and the meal was  outstanding. They served a huge selection of meat and produce  from their farm and garden. We had Goose Terrine, Partridge, Duck, Cheese soufflé, homemade ice-cream and local cheeses. Breakfast was equally amazing down to the duck egg omelette and home baked bread. It was a perfect country experience  and certainly one to recommend.


Philip worked out of Torquay for the next 3 days and home was Haytor Hotel run by the ever helpful Rodger.
Our love is gardening and visits to Tintinhul, Montecute house and lastly Sherborne castle with a magnificent Lancelot Capability Brown landscaped park we managed to fit in  on our way. It’s the 300th anniversary of this amazing landscape architect this year and we were thrilled to see his skill with stunning English trees, large ponds and vistas that go on forever.
Another highlight was a visit to Agatha Christies holiday estate called Greenway with my friends Lou and Peter from NZ. The  house is just as she left it and many of her murder scenes were set in and around the property. We drove
down the narrowest roads I have ever been on and Peter did very well keeping the wing mirrors intact. A spot of rain meant we had to find a ‘pub’ for lunch. Every village seems to have one with names like ’The white Swan’ or Golden Heart or Red Stag etc is usually burgers, a local pie, steak, fish and chips all served with loads of chips and then you get asked what sauces you want?
The seaside towns looked a bit sad since the summer season is now over and the cafes, all looked very quiet.

One comment

  1. Love hearing all your stories. They make a welcome break from the ongoing marking of exams and preparing the seniors for their externals.
    I think you should collate all your blogs and create a pictorial book. Thought of that? So attractive and interesting.
    Continue to enjoy.
    With love, Pam

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