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Posts Tagged ‘cider’

Well we arrived in Torquay without a hitch in the journey which was fast and smooth, but then that was Great Western Trains.  True to form it was raining when we left but as we journeyed south the grey skies gradually gave way to light cloud.  When we arrived at Torquay the sun was beginning to peep through. Our daughter met us and took us off to her home in the sky.  Now when we were last here I did not notice the hills but this time the steps and hills got to us, well they got my wife.  She suffers from arthritis so it is not easy for her to climb steps and there are about 200 of these little darlings but guess what, she insisted on going up and down them, said it did her hip good.

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Anyway that night Spurs were playing football  and our daughter suggested we went to the Cider Press Sports Bar, so we all trotted off for an evening of sport. However it turned into more than that. We were welcomed by one of the Landlords and the tv’s in the back were duly tuned in so we could watch the game.  So why the back room? well there was a group called Poster Child playing in the front bar, two lads one on the guitar the other singing and very good they were too.  It was quite funny at times, I would be quietly singing along to the music or tapping my feet, whilst watching the game then something would happened on the pitch and the song had new words. Good job the tv and music were loud.  We had a pleasant evening there and I returned with my daughter to watch another match plus my wife and I had a few visits to shelter from the rain when shopping. This is a very welcoming pub with excellent ciders to sample many thanks to them for their genuine and warm welcome.

The Cider Press itself is situated on a slight hill in the middle section of Torquay high street next to the restaurant/bar Camelot.  Both these buildings are old with (real) wooden beams and doors – some offset – that make you duck your head, and a glass frontage that can be opened so you can sit in the sunshine whilst enjoying the atmosphere and still talk to your friends who have gone outside for a cigarette. It reminded my wife of the country pub her village had (yep she’s a West Country Girl).

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Friday the sun came out so we went shopping and a wander round the harbour.  We  had noticed a sign that said 2 pounds for a return trip by boat to Brixham. This meant you could get on a boat cross the bay spend as long as you like there and as long as you got the last boat back to Torquay that’s all it cost. Now THAT is value for money and yes we went, enjoyed a beer had a mouche round then came back to Torquay.  This boat is not the one we went on, this one operates on the river Dart but that’s another story.

So with this in mind we decided to do the tourist thing and our next visit took us by WiFi bus to Teignmouth. Here sitting quietly at the head of the river Dart is a  little country town. Which with it’s history, craft shops, whilst hidden down side streets are shops where you can purchase some delicious local cheeses or wander up or down the high street, enjoy a typical Devon tea in the Anne of Cleves tea shop so much to do in a relaxed fashion.

It was here that they made the beer for the Royal Navy in the days of sailing ships, the malting houses and mill are now flats and shops but the exterior still has some character about it. We spent a week wandering around that part of the country, then on the day we left the heavens opened and we got soaked just getting from our daughters flat to the taxi, still that’s English weather.

Oh and my wife forgot the camera……..

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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On one of my visits to the UK  I stayed at the Farmhouse Inn Lodge which is attached to the Hungry Horse restaurant, so when my wife and I made our winter visit I booked us into the inn in the knowledge that we would be well looked after.

The Inn is situated in Burford Road just off the Eastern Road and next to Portsmouth public golf course. Was she impressed or what, I had a job to get her out of there.  The rooms are comfortable and warm with tv and free wi-fi facilities. The bathroom is well fitted out and the shower is strong and revitalising. My wife’s favourite part was being able to watch tv in bed and not have to worry about falling a sleep – usually when football is on – there, if she fell asleep, all I had to do was press a button to turn the tv off no waking up to go to bed, surprising how little things can please….

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But joking apart, we have stayed in a few hotels and this really is a comfortable place, the staff are friendly, helpful and funny, no sour faces here.  The Inn is always busy with functions such as business meetings, wedding receptions and parties. The rooms for the wedding receptions are decked out romantically and whilst we were there an RN Engineering Officer and RN Doctor were holding their reception there.  The party rooms are large and nicely decorated, there is also a ‘Pony Club’ room kitted out for the children to keep them amused.

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When we wanted something to eat we just wandered along the corridor to the Hungry Horse, where we could either eat in the dining area or the sports bar (this bar usually won). The menu is varied and value for money, especially the ‘large meals’ which having tried, and found them to be more than we could manage phew were they large, we decided to stay with the normal size meals. There are also special deals on certain days and their curry nights are something to drool over.

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The Sunday lunch is a must the carvery is superb, but make sure you arrive early this is a much sought after meal and you could find yourself having to wait mind you there is always the sports bar.

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This is a lively bar with televisions showing sport in the evenings but it is also home to Carioca nights and quizzes, so there is always something happening. They also sell a splendid range of wines including some Spanish – this pleased my wife – plus a large range of beers, ciders and the much sought after Guinness.

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At the time of our visit the Hungry Horse was due for refurbishment so on the Sunday evening the staff closed the doors and began clearing things ready for the builders and decorators. I wandered down to take a few photographs a sort of before and after thing, so take a good look at these guys, they are the people who look after you and make your time there so relaxed and fun. They are as fond of their restaurant and customers as they are of each other, this is not a job this is a way of life and as you can see they really enjoy it.  So next time you are in Historic Portsmouth be sure to stop here you will be well looked after.

Thanks to all of you see you soon really looking forward to seeing the new look.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

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