29th August 2013 is the day I married my beautiful wife, and the 30th August is the day we set off for our ‘pretend honeymoon’. With the previous days antics still very present in our minds, we were keen to get down to Devon asap and start relaxing after what had been a very hectic few months. The great thing about this trip for me was that we would be staying in a few different places, most unbeknown to my new wife.
Our week long trip would stretch the north coast of Devon and Cornwall, giving us a chance to visit all our favourite places we had frequented during our 8 year relationship. I had been frantically booking each nights stay only a few weeks previous (highly unorganised), which had proved tricky seeing as though it was the summer break!
Not to worry, it was all booked, and after loading the car with our bags, we were able to have a very nice 3 hour car journey to North Devon, reflecting on our lovely wedding day. First stop, as mentioned, was a mystery to the Mrs. As I pulled up over the last hill into Appledore, first thought was ‘oh dear this looks decrepid’, but that was merely a couple of ill-placed houses, and once we arrived at Appledore House my initial fears were put to rest (phew!).
Anyway, Appledore House was lovely. Well positioned on the hill, overlooking the bay, this 4* retreat was a perfect start for me and the mrs to get some sea air in our lungs. We were greeted by a lovely dog (always a good sign) and shown our ‘Gold’ room which lived up to its name. After a few minutes rest the mrs was out the door wanting to explore. Appledore itself was recommended through a work colleague, though I was warned “pubs tend to shut at 8pm!’. We walked the entire front which was very pleasant, which shared a bay with lots of other twinkling harbours such as Westward Ho! Towards the far end of town was a funny array of terraced cottages, all different colours with quirky little alcoves. After a much needed bag of chips and chil out session on a bench overlooking the water, I had well and truly found my ‘zen’ after the chaos of the wedding!
Following morning we followed up our honeymoon diet with a scrumptious full english (which proved a common choice by myself on this trip). Fair to say my skinny days were well behind me. What once looked like a firm stomach now resembled a jelly-esque mound of fat. After saying our farewells to our lovely hosts, we were in the car, heading further along the Atlantic Highways to our next accommodation. again, obvious tactics for his choice was the large amount of fatty and delicious foods available in Padstow. Rick Stein’s fish and chips…. bliss. Cream tea…. bliss. Pasty… more bliss. We were sleeping in a little outhouse within the farm, positioned overlooking a field of sheep. Sheep tend to scare me so not overly enthralled but all the same I was very safe behind a glass window. Main difference from Appledore House was the absolute serenity of the countryside, only sounds coming from a couple of disgruntled sheep. The mrs was particularly pleased with this choice, she’d happily live on a farm with all sorts of animals, mucking out pigs and riding horses (which we would do later in the week).
A trip into Padstow involved the usual Rick Stein pasty, followed by a walk along the camel estuary beach looking out to Rock (childhood holiday destination for Prince William and Harry). Finished the evening with a spot of Italian in the centre of town. Back to villa for some much needed sleep.
Start of Day 3 involved an early Full English breakfast (yes again) from our hosts and some chit chat with the other couple staying on the farm. Young nice couple from London, trying to buy a house… enough said. We packed ur bags, headed up the gravel track banked with turkeys, and headed for our next destination. Has to be said, probably the nicest UK hotel I will ever stay in. 30 minute drive from Padstow down the A38 towards Newquay, just before you reach the town is a small bay which is overlooked by The Scarlet Hotel. This hotel is like no other. A lot of debating over whether we could afford such a luxury which was recommended by The King of Spa’s (yes I know this person), but we thought, hey, its our mini-moon, lets cry about the bill at the end of the two days we would spend here!
You walk in… no front desk… just a gorgeous view over an infinity pool to the North Atlantic coast. A lady arrived in good time to show us to our room. This place is unbelievable, so so relaxing. Everything is meticulously placed to make you feel like a king, but a relaxed king! For somewhere as pricey as this, it is usually extremely pretentious, but that could only be said about a small portion of the guests. At our disposal was an open shower with rainforest settings, a cliff top garden backing onto our room looking over the bay, beanbags (BLOODY BEANBAGS!) on the cliff, a cliff top jacuzzi, a ‘natural’ outdoor pool (which was f******* freezing!), food brought to you wherever you would like, a spa with massages, treatments, mud experiences, non-mud experiences, all sorts, all enclosed in a peaceful nirvana. Fair to say, it was so nice my mrs decided to have too much wine, which only happens when she is very happy. This was followed by chanting Spurs songs on the cliffs in the middle of the night, much to my amusement. Utterly perfect, not to mention the food which was worth the price in itself. We were gutted to leave when we did. I seriously hope we can go back when we are rolling in cash 😛
More to follow…