Bowood Park Hotel, Camelford - Room No 121
What a difference a day makes! Slightly overcast, no rain and not a breath of wind. 5 to 12 degrees.
We wake to the news that Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire last night and has incured a huge amount of damage. How terribly sad. It is a magnificent building.
Room 121 is on the second floor, quite spacious with a very large bathroom (with a bath), overlooking the golf course and across the hills, but there is no elevator. We haven't carried our big bags up the stairs but just took what we would need for five days. Phil (in his wisdom) has decided to ask reception if they have a room on the ground floor that is available. Yes, they do, so he takes it. Eeeek! It is around the back of the hotel (!), next to the pro shop (golfers making a noise early in the morning), it has no bath and a pokey little bathroom and shower, no heated towel racks, not much hanging space but has a bedroom and a lounge room, and it's on ground level. Not happy Jan!! So the day didn't start well.
Jean and Andrew have gone to a funeral today in Bristol so we are on our own. After a very lazy start, we decided to drive to Port Isaac (Doc Martin territory), then to Rock to catch the ferry to Padstow to see Rick Stein's restaurant and the Chough Bakery that was featured in a "fix my business" television program, then onto Truro to Marks and Spencer to buy some trousers for Phil.
It is important to remember that these towns, except for Truro, are tiny, the streets are narrow and there is nowhere to park. So when you arrive on the outskirts of the town, there is a reason why the sign says "Park Here and Ride into Town", because there is no parking in the town. The roads are narrow and there are tourists everywhere, wandering all over the road. But of course, being married to an Australian who knows everything, he decides to drive into town. It was a nightmare. People everywhere, narrow streets, cars almost scraping each other and guess what, nowhere to park! So we didn't even get out of the car!
The one highlight was that we saw Ian McNeice (Burt Large in Doc Martin) getting into his car, so we stopped and yelled out hello and took his photo.
Next stop was Rock where Andrew had suggested that we might like to catch the ferry to Padstow to see Rick Stein's restaurant and the Chough Bakery. Phil thought Andrew meant a car ferry - no - a people ferry and of course, there was no room left in the car park for the ferry, so on we drove to Padstow.
Same thing there - "Park Here and Ride into Town". But no, we decided to drive into the port, which was a hundred times worse than Port Isaac. People disembarking off the ferry and were just wandering all over the streets and the footpaths. It was very difficult to drive through the town. I did at least get a photo of the Chough Bakery and there was a huge queue outside, waiting to be served. As my husband doesn't do queues, we drove on to Truro.
Truro is quite a big town and we found Marks and Spencer quite easily and wonderful news - it had its own parking station.
We headed for the menswear section only to find that they don't carry "Big Mens" clothing in the smaller shops. (I'm sure I said let's wait until we get to London and try there). They can order trousers in but without trying them on, that wouldn't be very successful.
So we found the M&S Cafe, had a bite to eat and then headed home.
We deviated into Wadebridge to take a photo of The Old Bridge which is said to have been built from the proceeds of wool sales in the area.
So, all in all, not a very wonderful day. Though the sun is shining, there is no wind and it was about 17 degrees in Truro.
We had a G&T and then decided to drive the short way to Camelford to have dinner. We were planning to have fish and chips but when we got there, it was just a take away place so we wandered down the street, taking photos. It is really a very nice village/town. We came to a pub called The Mason's Arms that looked nice so we went inside and decided to stay and have dinner. It has an old fire place with the Mason insignia carved into the stone.
We started chatting to another patron, Suzie White, who was here for a few days from Devon, attending a horse camp and dressage competition. She was very nice to talk with and then Cate the owner joined in, with her children and we chatted on and on for ages. It was nice to meet some locals and they use Button meat. Small world!
This is Cate, her son, and Suzie White.
Alan, Cate's husband, gave us a few tastes of the local cider. Very nice. We will go back before we leave Cornwall and give the kids some gold kangaroos.
The GPS took us the long way home, along narrow Cornish lanes, but we arrived safely. Time for bed.