2nd October 2018 - 4th November
The food festival was our next adventure. The food and drink was amazing but as is the case in this area quite expensive a bottle of local gin for $130 a bit much I think. We bought some Lion’s mane mushrooms, which tasted delicious. Breakfast of Ugly bun was also great. We went to one of the talks “Clash of the Carnivores” the beef farmer brought some props to show the good growth cycle of the cows i.e. microorganisms in the ground to give good soil (balance CO2), new organisms from the cow pat which goes to make the grass grow. Yes, he brought the cow pat and yes, I had got us prime seats in the front row, smells and all.
We have had a few walks around up to the castle and around the town. We had a drive to Blackpool Sands and Slapham. We wanted to go to Kingsbridge, but the road was closed and the signage not good. We stopped at a pub for some lunch the sign said “good food, poor service” they were not lying we gave up and went to a café on the beach. They had trained at the pub we waited in a long queue while service staff wandered aimlessly around and made very slow cups of coffee. Giving up again we returned for lunch in Dartmouth.
Chilling out a bit now we are back in Dartmouth. We went to listen to some live music at The Ferry Boat Inn at Dittisham. It was very funny we sat next to the same people as we sat next to last year Carol and John. It was not as good as last year as lots of walkers came in who were not there for the music, so they talked too much, and one group had a dog that whined, I nearly said something, but Ross held me down. I found a local gin that I really liked, Wrecking Coast Clotted Cream gin it actually has a very faint tinge of clotted cream.As the weather is not so good we went to the cinema saw King of Thieves, very enjoyable. We booked to see Henry Blofeld the cricket commentator who is doing a tour talking about his time as a cricket commentator. He was brilliant full of hilarious tales and stories about things that happened on and off the microphone. I enjoyed it immensely even though I am not a cricket fan. He knew Ian Fleming who was at school with henry’s father and borrowed the name for one of his famous Bond villains. Henry also told the story of the commentary when a dachshund ran on the field. The commentator said it must be a Bowler as he has four short legs and his balls swing in both directions! Many stories in the same vein.
A good friend from Sydney came to stay. She arrived very early on a foggy morning, having left at some awful time in the morning, in fact she arrived before we would normally have been up!! We had some breakfast waiting the fog to burn off and then went to Coleton Fishacre a lovely arty deco house and beautiful garden. The next bit in italics is about the house so you can scroll past if you wish.
It was built by Rupert D'Oyly Carte, of Gilbert and Sullivan and the Savoy Hotel fame, and Lady Dorothy, the younger daughter of the Earl of Cranbrook, chose the location for their country home while they were sailing. From their yacht they spotted this valley leading down to the sea; work began constructing Coleton Fishacre in 1925. Lady Dorothy and Rupert D'Oyly Carte moved into Coleton Fishacre, their newly built country home, in 1926. The family enjoyed an outdoors lifestyle, with sailing trips, swimming in Pudcombe Cove, and entertaining friends. Rupert D'Oyly Carte, son of Richard D'Oyly Carte, the impresario behind Gilbert and Sullivan and the Savoy Hotel. Rupert succeeded his father as Chairman of the Savoy Hotel Company in 1903, and ten years later took over the management of the Opera Company from his stepmother. Rupert D'Oyly Carte married Lady Dorothy Gathorne-Hardy, the younger daughter of the second Earl of Cranbrook, in 1907. Lady Dorothy was described as having the ‘common touch’. Dark haired, she was a handsome woman and noticeably taller than Rupert. Lady Dorothy stayed at Coleton Fishacre during the week while Rupert was in London, enabling her to indulge in her favourite pursuits of fishing, gardening and sailing. As well as a love of the outdoor life, Rupert and Dorothy loved their garden. They would often sail their yacht out on weekend jaunts to south Cornwall gardens in search of inspiration. On Saturday mornings they would walk around Coleton Fishacre garden together, discussing their plans for planting. The couple also enjoyed entertaining; weekend guests included musicians like the conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent and painters such as Charles Ricketts. Guests came for bridge parties and were put to work weeding the garden.
The D'Oyly Cartes had two children, Bridget and Michael. Tragedy struck in 1932, when Michael died in a car crash in Switzerland, aged 21. This caused a rift between Lady Dorothy and Rupert which would never heal, and in 1936 they separated. After their divorce, she left England and settled in Plymouth, Tobago. Lady Dorothy became a prominent member of the community and unaffected by racial prejudice, was a tireless fundraiser for local charities. Rupert and Dorothy's daughter was one of the first pupils of Dartington School. After school, she married her cousin in 1926, a marriage which lasted only four years. From 1939 to 1947 she was involved in child welfare work in London. After 1948 she devoted herself to running the opera company. She also formed the D'Oyly Carte Opera Trust as a charitable organisation, was a director of the Savoy Hotel group, and became a Dame in 1975. Bridget sold Coleton Fishacre in 1949, because it was too far from London. Rowland Smith, a well-known London motor trader and owner of the Palace Hotel in Torquay, became the new owner. Rowland and his wife Freda maintained the house and garden with great care until his death in 1979. Coleton Fishacre was offered to the National Trust just before Freda's death in 1982.
Back in Dartmouth Sue and I did some retail therapy, as there are some great shops. On our return to the house I found I have had a few days of losing things. Missing was my new shopping bag I purchased in Amsterdam and horror of horror Fritz my travelling bear who has his own Facebook page and quite s following. I turned the house upside down for the bag, it is still missing. Fritz was more important, so we retraced our retail shopping therapy (and did some more shopping!!) No Fritz. We had a lovely dinner out at a restaurant in town with a new chef who was runner up on MasterChef. A great meal particularly the quail. I dreamed of poor Fitz alone all night.
We had spent the day at the Pub in Dittisham and checked out the church for Rick Mayall’s grave. It turns out it was only his funeral held there. Sue left after lunch and I decided to ring Coleton Fishacre as a last resort on my Fritz search. Yippee he was there and had spent a quiet night in the lost property/ stationary cupboard. Another short trip and Fritz is back where he belongs.
We are now starting to pack again. This time we need to pack Formal and Smart for the Queen Mary 2, Warm for New York and New Orleans, cool for Costa Rica and very warm for Norway were it will be very cold. Not going to be easy when we can only take 2 medium and 2 small suitcases and will be away for four months, if not longer as we are not sure where we will go after Norway.