Perfect afternoon!

The last two days we have been enjoying the nicest weather we’ve had since about May – blue skies, fluffy clouds, just the right strength of sun, cool breeze … perfect!

So L and I took advantage of it this afternoon and went walking!

We walked down through town to The Quay.

You can hire canoes to go up the river, or bikes to take on the tow-path … or you can walk up the paths, like we did. But first we stopped at a little place called The Jolly Roger’s Tea Room to but some scrummy ice creams which we munched on as we walked! ๐Ÿ™‚ I had maple, pecan and fudge in a waffle cone – you should try it sometime, it’s yummy! ๐Ÿ˜›

The river is beautiful, especially in this weather and I love having a piece of countryside so close to town!

Doubles Locks is a locally famous pub which is very popular as a walking and cycling destination. We sat under the magnificent cedar trees outside and enjoyed a chilled pint of beer/cider – ah!

There were lots of people there, enjoying the sun, the space and the good food and drink – it was nice and cheerful!

We had some fun messing around for a bit before starting off on the walk home …

We were quite tired by then and had sore feet by the time we got home again, but it was so worth it!! I haven’t enjoyed a Saturday afternoon so much in too long, and I got to spend it all with my lovely hubby! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Bluebell woods

Last weekend L and I were visiting his parents.

We had a lovely, relaxed weekend being looked after, fed delicious food, poured tasty wine and getting to go for some glorious drives and walks through some beautiful English countryside!

Sounds like a pretty good weekend to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

On Sunday afternoon, when we had an unexpected burst of clear sky and sunshine, L, my Mum-in-law and myself went in search ofย  some bluebell woods …

… and we found them! So beautiful!!

After a few weeks of heavy rain, massive puddles on the pavements, grey views from the windows, wet socks after grocery shopping and that heavy feeling that comes with a constant half-light, it was so freeing to be out in the country, with blue, lightly cloudy skies, warm sunshine, fresh air, birds singing, grass and wildlife sounds all around.

Ahh …

A wood full of bluebells – for me, the photos say it all!

Contentment.

Whiskey Tasting at NoBody Inn

Last Wednesday evening L, myself and five of our friends were at The NoBody Inn.

The NoBody Inn is a country pub and restaurant, filled with character and set in the small Devon village of Doddiscombsleigh.

The staff are very welcoming and make you feel like giving you the best service possible will make their day!

The mix of locals, regulars and first-time visitors lend a gentle buzz and friendly atmosphere to the charm of the old-word interior.

There is an extensive selection of beers, ales, wines and something they are more widely noted for – their whiskey collection.

They have amongst their collection a particularly rare single malt that will only be opened if you guarantee to buy at least a third of the bottle …

That expensive bottle wasn’t one of the whiskeys featured at the tasting evening!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The evening included a five coarse meal – and what a meal! I had been imagining five small, daintily sized portions – after all, there were going to be five of them! Each of these courses was a generous size and those of our group who consumed the whole lot went away from the table very well satisfied! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The food was truly delicious and beautifully presented. I have a special fondness for food being served on slate plates, so I was a happy girl! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The smoked salmon was smoked and grilled at the inn and was the best fish I’ve ever eaten! As with all of their menus, as much of the food as possible is sourced locally or from within Devon.

Oh yes, and have you noticed the cheese? Such good cheese! Yum!

ย The seven of us sat at the far end of the table, which out to be a good thing, as we were definitely the youngest and noisiest group round the table! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The whiskey tasting was led by Bill Hutcheson of Gordon & MacPhail specialists of Single Malt whiskeys.

We were led through the history, aroma and taste of seven whiskeys in total, so even with some of the glasses being cleared away between courses, there was a very impressive amount of glassware on the table by the end of the evening!

My personal favourites out of all the whiskeys was the 6th glass, which was a Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 12 year old. This was one of two whiskeys served with the cheese course and no, of course my liking for this whiskey was not influced by having cheese with it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our wonderfully generous and thoughtful friends not only gave us a an evening filled with laughter, the best whiskeys, delicious food, good company and lots of memories …

… they also booked us a room for the night at the NoBody Inn. It was wonderfully spacious and comfortable with lots of character.

There was an attention to details in the decorations that made it a lot more homely and welcoming then many other hotel rooms … the attention to detail didn’t end with dcor and a nightcap of sherry …

… but extended all the way to folding the bath towels into an elephant! ๐Ÿ™‚

The NoBody Inn is an exceptional experience for lunch, supper and staying overnight.

The welcoming staff, delicious and local food, fine quality wines, ales and whiskeys and breathtaking surroundings inside and out make this country inn a visit to remember!

So do yourself a favour and next time you’re in Devon, have a meal at the NoBody Inn!

Garunteed satisfaction.

The Royal Mile – Edinburgh Part 3

I have read about the Royal Mile in story and history books and tried to imagine what it might be like. I think I based it on the nearest “big city” to where I grew up (it’s just a town really, nothing like a city!), then enlarged it in my town … combined with quite a bit of Bath (a city which features a lot in Jane Austen books/movies) … threw in the tiny amount of London I’d seen … much to my shame added some of the older parts of Washington DC (sorry for offending your sense of English or Scottish nationality … ) … and came up with something vastly different and vastly inferior to the regal and historic reality that is the Royal Mile, Edinburgh!

The Royal Mile begins at Edinburgh Castle and runs downhill, where it ends at Hollyrood House.

We started at the Castle, but didn’t make it all the way down to Hollyrood House. It’s just a mile, right? Trust me, psychology conferences and academic talk take it out of you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The views were amazing and apparently it’s pretty unusual to get such amazing weather in Edinburgh in the spring – must have been saved up especially for us! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I especially loved the views from this side of the Castle, as there was so much green and springyness!!

I fell in love with all the daffodils and took many more photos of them than I’ll force upon you! ๐Ÿ˜›

But don’t worry, L made sure flowers were not the only local beauty that got caught on my camera! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tonight my hubby and I are going to a whiskey tasting evening (including a 5-course meal – um, you’re meant to fit that much food inhow?!) with some friends. L’s friends clubbed together and bought this and a night’s stay in the inn for us for his 30th – we’ve been looking forward to this generous present for a long time! For those of you who might worry, photos will follow!! ๐Ÿ˜›

I am the gratified recipient of a blog award, so a post with the various instructions which come with it shall soon be coming your way … and check your comments, as some of my lovely readers will shortly be given the award as well!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Rostormel Castle

Meet Rostormel Castle!

It sits on top of a hill, overlooking this beautiful Cornish valley.

It’s full of gates …

… stone stairways …

… and amazingly massive …

… kitchen fireplaces!!

I, for one, am so very glad that I have a nicely contained electric cooker to make meals on, rather than a monstrously large fire!! ๐Ÿ˜›