EDitorial ± 2-Jun-2014

Devon, We're In Devon

We've queued into Cobham, skipped Stonehenge to sally via Salisbury, admired the convenience of the McD loos at Sparkford and our bags for life are bulging thanks to Morrisons at Paignton (which The Boy insists is pronounced Paggington). Finally, with over 300 miles clocked up in the family motor over the last nine hours, we arrive in our quaint Devon town. Still plenty of light as we park the car in the area known as the bandjoe. Compare and contrast Badalucco.

Our printed directions aren't too clear what's next. There's a gate guarding a passageway: that'll do, then:

  • up 7 steps at the end of the passage
  • left turn, up 9 steps
  • right turn, up 5 steps
  • right turn, up 8 steps
  • left turn, up 5 steps
  • right turn, up a final 41 steps to the front door

None of us could quite agree on the total but let's say I'm right. I am the daddy, after all. I make it 75 of the beasts. Add a further 75 to return for the remaining luggage and shopping, and another 75 to re-do the ascent. People pay good money for gym memberships when they could simply hire this cottage.

Was it worth it? Heck, yeah. Simply stunning view up there overlooking the estuary. There's Dartmouth over the water, the naval college on the hill, two (count 'em) ferries crossing from early up to 11pm, and lots of green. Not enough for you? Oh, and an actual steam locomotive several times a day, Kingswear being the terminus for the Dartmouth steam railway starting up there at Paggington. Hard to beat, and the whole shebang becomes illuminated when darkness falls.

Honorary half-term holiday cafe mentions for:

  • Dartmouth Castle cafe for generous helpings of quality ices, plus cool Radio Dart Cafe Lounge, thankfully still open late Sunday pm, for vg flat whites and rocky road
  • faded charms of Castle Barton tearoom opposite Compton Castle
  • fab little cafe at ruinous Berry Pomeroy for more vg ice cream
  • authentic Italian vibe and great coffee of The Curator Cafe in transition town Totnes
  • Kingswear station buffet for Brief Encounter cream teas
  • nouveau glamour of River Cottage Cafe in Royal William Yard, Plymouth for restorative coffee and yoghurt topped flapjack
  • welcoming beach cafe on wondrous Blackpool Sands for yet more ices
  • plus NT tea rooms of D'Oyly Carte Coleton Fishacre, Agatha's Greenway House, posh Saltram and Ottos Overbeck's

Rather enjoying these half-terms.