The magic of Christmas is contagious- and this year it has thoroughly ravished the beautiful regency town of Bath in Somerset, England!
It is exciting and festive! Featuring all the essentials to make this Christmas Market equal to the traditional German scene!
The best thing about these markets is there are local products, gifts and ideas to emmerse yourself! There are some fantastic stalls including Somerset Christmas smellies, Devon Lavender cosmetics, Chocolate wine, Elderberry Port….. the list goes on!!!
Situated in the heart of the Georgian village of Port Isaac is The Slipway Hotel. Made famous by the British ITV show ‘Doc Martin’, the village now experiences a bustling tourist trade, but this is also due to it’s quaint, idyllic setting.
The Slipway Hotel was our resting place during the New Year’s celebrations of 2014/2015. We booked the accommodation on Booking.com, and were delighted when the hosts at the Slipway Inn rang us personally to invite us for New Year’s dinner at their restaurant.
New Year’s Dinner is a bit of a thing in Port Isaac. There are only a couple of restaurants in the small town, and there are some serious seafood feasts to be had. Some can be quite pricey at £100 a head. The Slipway was much more reasonable.
There is a fantastic bar in the front of The Slipway Hotel, featuring local beer. I would say that there are some exclusive local beer, but the beer is so good that it is actually available all over the country!!
The Slipway Hotel dates backs to 1527. It was a shop in the 19th century selling all types of ship supplies and provisions out of what is now the two tiered restaurant. The Slipway was converted into a hotel in the mid twentieth century and has been gradually upgraded into its present state.
There are 10 rooms available, and the rooms at the front feature views of the harbour.
The breakfast is cooked and continental, a real treat compared with standard hotel breakfasts.
It is an amazing base for exploring the northern Cornish coastline, with Bude, Launceston, Tintangel and Padstow within easy distances.
We visited Rick Steins Fish restaurant in Padstow for lunch. That was something really special!
Sean and I love the TV show ‘Doc Martin‘. The ideal of the quaint Cornish fishing village has always left us wanting to visit such a romantic place.
We visited Port Isaac at New Years 14/15. Sean and I took turns driving from London on the long journey through the Cotswolds and the western moors.
The beautiful Cornish country side is littered with old tin mines, Georgian buildings and narrow hedged lanes. The drive down to the village of Port Isaac is a tight and windy one. The buildings in the town almost touch each side mirror on the car, and the right angles of the house corners are a challenge to navigate!
We stayed in the Slipway Hotel, with wonderful views over the harbour. The New Year’s
meal was served in their restaurant in the
second level of the Georgian building. There is a great bar at the front of the hotel, serving local beers.
The coastal walks along the cliff edges are breathtaking. We saw dolphins and seals, prolific bird life, with colonies of shags on the rocky cliffs. The geological striations of slate, with quartz arteries is amazing to see. Entire rock faces are built up upon layers and layers of thin roof tiles!
Arthurian is the religion of Cornwall, and a visit to Tintagel Castle is the pilgrimage. The skeleton of old walls lines the edge of the island, jutting out of the coast. A single suspension bridge links the castle to the main land. You can imagine what it was like returning home from a long journey to the giant gates, embrace of the walls and freshness of the sea.
Merlin‘s Cave is a sheds a mystical light from one end to the other. The sea beats into the shore and echoes through the wide space of the cavern. As your eyes adjust to the darkness you can notice small ledges and outcrops where you can imagine an elderly wizard reading books and talking to creatures of the night.
Seduced by the rugged romance of the northern Cornish coast, I let my mind go free. The sea air filled my lungs and the cold wind whistled in my ears. Poldark was shirtless in the fields, while Louisa gazed lovingly from the School, over the bay at Doc Martin.