allana: (hot day)
Photos from our trip to Devon can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukdavew/sets/72157594240568992/

We had an amazing time and I'd thoroughly recommend Coombe House Hotel on many, many levels. I had two wonderful nights' sleep there, which is worth more than diamonds to me right now. (Of course, if anyone was to offer me a diamond or two, I wouldn't complain about that either. I believe that they're traditional after giving birth....) where was I? Ah yes, fabulous food. The menu is deceptive in its simplicity and brevity which left us initially feeling diappointed, but when the food arrived... wow.

Everything was prepared and cooked perfectly. I've eaten a lot of scallops in my time and the ones I had on Tuesday evening were the juciest and sweetest ever. Dave fell in love with his duck and fois gras terrine and luckily for him, I was too busy swooning over my scallops to make puppy-dog eyes at his plate. (I look forward to devouring fois gras, pate, mouldy cheeses, home-made ice-cream etc etc when I'm no longer pregnant. I would kill for some Stilton right now.)

The foodie highlight for me was the Chocolate Mousse with frozen raspberries and hot white chocolate sauce. Aside from the beautiful presentation--how exactly do other food bloggers manage to take photos in restaurants? It would feel so awkward to have a camera on the table--the mousse had the most amazing texture and the hot/cold combination of raspberries and sauce was sublime.

Breakfast was pretty damn good, too. Porridge with thick Devon cream and maple syrup is the way forward. I've never been the sort of Scot who demands porridge cooked with nowt other than a hefty pinch of salt, so I thoroughly approve of any sweet combinations for it. Treacle instead of maple syrup would perhaps have been more British though.

We did some touristy things in Totnes and Dave got very excited over the Arcturus Centre--geeky Simpsons moment, I'm told--before driving around the edge of Dartmoor. Alas, I fell asleep before we got to the really wild bits so I missed out on some great scenery. No matter, I'm sure we'll have plenty more holidays in this area while Speck is growing up :)

I'm sure that I've forgotten loads. I know I haven't talked about the horses but the photos Dave took of them are better than any babbling from me. Or the bees from the hotel beehives. (If anyone knows why bees like to sit on cars then please do let me know. Getting in and out of the car became very scary...)

We had a fantastic time and I'd definitely go back!
allana: (foodie)
We've finally found somewhere for our weekend away in August: Combe House Hotel near Honiton in Devon. It seems to fit everything that we wanted and there are Arab horses, too! I'm really looking forward to this!
allana: (cringe)
1. The second aircon company I made an appointment with has failed to attend. I am livid.

2. There is a stubborn sticky patch on the kitchen counter which will NOT shift despite vigorous effort since we moved in. I've tried everything. Who the fuck sticks a big bit of sellotape onto the counter top anyway?

3. We still haven't found anywhere to go for our weekend away. Gidleigh Park was supposed to re-open at the beginning of August but that's now been set back to the end of autumn. Nowhere else in the Southwest compares and I'm not keen on going outwith 100 miles of home at 31 weeks or thereabouts. And now I realise that there will possibly be a conflict with antenatal classes if we try for midweek instead. *sigh*

4. Having to ring round loads of shops to find a place which stocks the cotbeds we want to look at. You'd think main stockists would keep more than just a two years old model in stock, wouldn't you? (I don't think it's unreasonable to want to see before you buy. Cotbeds have a habit of looking much nicer in photos than they actually are.)

5. Offal. Why is this suddenly chic? I don't want to be offered trotters let alone pigs head, no matter how exquisitely it may be cooked or however many Michelin stars the restaurant has. I'll go as far as kidneys or liver and that's it. I'll be pissed off it I have a tasting menu and they bring out sweetbreads....

6. Laminate floors. No matter how often I sweep, the floor always has bits of grit on it.

7. Whilst I am on the subject of floors: matte black tiles. The worst choice possible for a kitchen floor. They are impossible to keep clean!! Especially as the grout wasn't cleaned off properly in a few areas which means they look grubby as soon as they've been washed. I am giving serious consideration to buying a scrubbing brush and spending an afternoon on the floor.

8. Being weepy. I'm not used to all these hormones. I'm lucky enough to not get PMT, so the massive amounts of pregnancy hormones are hitting me hard.

9. Product descriptions written in first person.
allana: (hot day)
I want to go on holiday. Here would be good....

Wye Valley

Mar. 11th, 2006 04:11 pm
allana: (Tulips--joy of spring)
We went to Wales today as a spur of the moment thingy.

It's surprisingly pretty--but not as pretty as Scotland, of course--and I didn't see a single leek but we did see flocks and flocks of (seemingly unmolested) sheep. Wales also appears to be mole country--the banks of the river Wye were dotted with molehills.

Must go back in the summer when the trees are less naked....

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