Devon and Dorset

We spent a morning exploring Lyme Regis in beautiful sunshine and ate delicious Devon pasties for lunch while sitting on a bench overlooking the beach. Delightful!

Lyme Regis has one of those quintessentially English beaches that are composed of enormous pebbles. The noise they make when you walk over them is extraordinary. The beach is lined with colourful bathing boxes in lovely pastel shades and there were many people out walking dogs and only one person in the water, which we’d been assured wasn’t ‘that cold’.

Looks like a comfy surface to sunbathe on. Not.

The town is full of stores selling designer clothes, art, food that’s practically art, and the words ‘organic’, ‘locally sourced’ and ‘ethically produced’ are more the norm than the exception. Life in the south west of England is appealing indeed.

Our first evening in town was stunning calm and clear – especially for October.

Lyme Regis by night.

The lamp posts in Lyme Regis celebrate its position on the ‘Jurassic Coast’, an amazing area where frequent landslides often uncover million year old fossils.

Mid afternoon we headed over to Axminster, home of one of the fabled River Cottage Canteens. We loitered in a pub with free wifi for a while then arrived a bit early for our booking.

First in the door!

Starters were cauliflower soup with an onion bhaji in the middle for me and Luke had a plate of fresh buffalo mozzarella with an arrabiata salsa on a naan. I’ve always thought mozzarella was too bland to eat raw but this dish was amazing. The bhaji in my soup was like a giant, crunchy, spicy crouton that was the perfect compliment.

Pork belly!

For mains I had pork belly, which was excellent, and Luke had a pumpkin and almond risotto with chilli and barley. I had bitter chocolate mousse for dessert and Luke had a cheese platter. If you ever have the chance I highly recommend eating there. It was amazing value for three courses (£20 pp), the flavours were complex and perfectly balanced and the staff were very friendly and helpful.

We had also learned that the second episode of the latest River Cottage series had been shot at the pub where we were staying so we’re super keen to see it next week.

Happy Halloween from Hugh!

The next morning we checked out of the hotel and headed to the seaside village of Beer. Because… Beer!

I’m a sucker for towns with funny names and Beer ticks that box. We bought some postcards (obviously) and some more delicious pasties and sat in the sunshine. Pasties and ginger beer seemed a very appropriate lunch to be having by the beach. Very Enid Blyton. No mysteries to solve, however, just lots of photographs of boats and chairs and then to the Beer beer garden overlooking the beach so Luke could have a beer.

The most fiery ginger beer we’ve ever had.

Like toy boats… but big!

Beer!

Our friend Jen, who lives in Bristol and who has featured several times in this blog previously, had carelessly issued an invitation to come stay any time. We decided a free bed and good company were not to be sniffed at, so our next stop: Bristol!

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8 thoughts on “Devon and Dorset

  1. Got to say the colorful beach boxes on the Mornington Peninsula and the natural environment there (no concrete) are a lot nicer than these ones. However the town of Lyme Regis looks gorgeous and the food at River Cottage especially delicious!

    • True indeed, I like the brighter colours of our Australian ones – and we certainly have much more nature near our beaches. There’s definitely a real charm to the little towns here though and their coast is far more accessible – there’s a 650 mile footpath you can follow all along the south coast and it’s perfectly possible to hike for a few hours a day, stop off at pubs and find accommodation or a campsite each night. Everything is on such a small scale, walking holidays are very popular and much easier than at home. I’m already thinking of coming back when I can afford it to spend a summer doing the coastal path. Probably in a decade though!

  2. Oh, I’m a big Famous Five fan. I always wanted to be fearless like George, but it didn’t work out, I’m way too girly! ( and I’m not a fan of tongue sandwiches, another of their staples). Watch out for the gypsies on the moors and the smugglers down near the beach! Although if you find some ruins, do look for the hidden treasure. 🙂

    • Urgh, the English obsession with offal! A friend showed us a place where you can stay in a gypsy caravan – that would’ve been even better… although that reminds me of the EB series where the girl runs away and joins the circus. Sadly the only treasure we found was shells and pretty crab claws:(.

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