OK, I don’t know why I haven’t got round to blogging about this yet, but almost two weeks ago now (what? What? Where has the time gone…why haven’t I returned that boohoo parcel yet…?!) I went on holiday! Finally! For the first time in about 100 years! Honestly, when you get married and start ‘saving up’ your holiday for your wedding and honeymoon, you do realise how important holiday is and how much you miss it when it’s gone!
Anyway, this was a particularly special holiday as it was my Dad’s 60th. Every year he and my Mum and Aunt go to the Scilly Isles on holiday – it’s their favourite place – and we’ve never been able to join them, so this year, we decided to surprise him out there!
Turns out, the Scilly Isles is quite a long way, and as it was my sister’s birthday directly prior to his, we decided to make a week out of it and go via Exeter. Which still took a long time, because we went to a service station, only finding afterwards that we had to follow a half hour diversion just to get back on the motorway – shouldn’t they tell you these things in advance?! Honestly!
We stayed in one of those places that proves the point ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.’ Opposite a multi-storey car park, and looking for all the world like a dingy pub, I wasn’t overly convinced that the City Gate was going to be much of a B&B – and the slightly confused, completely exhausted receptionist who took us to our rooms via mouldy carpeted hallways didn’t inspire much confidence either.
But actually, I was completely wrong. The rooms have been completely renovated and were beautiful, with huge king sized beds, shiny new bathrooms, loads of space and most importantly of all – complimentary biscuits! I always say, and I stand by it, that you can tell if a B&B is good by whether or not they provide complimentary food. Shampoo and conditioner is another good indicator!
The pub also, it turned out, had a beautiful pub garden, where we went for an early evening drink in the slowly dying sunshine.
There was a really pretty waterfall, with a terrapin in it – my fiancé laughed at me hysterically for thinking it was real – until it moved his head, and then who looked silly?!
Following drinks we headed to El Bocado, a little Spanish restaurant, for tapas dinner. Despite being empty (it was a Sunday, after all) the atmosphere was really nice and the restaurant itself very pretty. My sister’s boyfriend kindly bought us a bottle of bubbly to start the evening…
And then we ordered all the food, in the world.
What is it about tapas, that no matter how much you order, you could still eat more? Is it just the novelty of being able to eat lots of different types of food? I just don’t know, but somehow we managed to pretty much clear the table!
Afterwards we headed back – our exhausted receptionist had reassured us that the clubs in Exeter were still open on a Sunday, but with no desire to try them, we happily trotted back to the hotel and took up residence once again in the hotel bar for a nightcap (Bailey’s for me, Amaretto for everyone else – for the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would drink that stuff!) before an early night.
A great start to a great holiday – which already feels too long ago now!