Votes for Women at Killerton House, Exeter

Votes for Women at Killerton House, Exeter

I love visiting Killerton House in Exeter, it has to be one of my favourite National Trust properties. It has often changing exhibitions and I enjoy visiting all the new ones to see what area the focus is on and where is having a light shone.

At the end of last year, Killerton hosted a Votes for Women exhibition which was all about women’s fight for female suffrage and their determination to get the vote for all.

It was such an interesting exhibition and reminded me of the passion the suffragettes had and the fight they put up for us women today to have the vote. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for men to be able to vote in the general elections and for me not to be able to just because I was a woman -it wouldn’t feel right at all!!

The exhibition is a National Portrait Gallery touring the exhibition and whilst it is no longer at Killerton (yes this post is super super late) I hope you can appreciate it’s clever and thought-provoking nature and you are reminded of an important part of social and political history.

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As you can see even Nathan enjoyed it too!

After enjoying the exhibition we spent some time walking around the rest of the house. I always love seeing how it’s decorated and enjoy imaging what it would be like to live there!

We had a nice walk around the gardens too and popped into the chapel at the top of the hill – such a cute little church which is always nice to take photos of.

Votes for Women was another very successful National Trust exhibition hosted at Killerton – one that was really memorable and really got me thinking. I always love the exhibitions that are done here and always really enjoy their Christmas events such as the Wind in the Willows display back in 2017.

Have you ever been to Killerton? What do you think about this Votes for Women exhibition? I’d love to hear your views!

Exploring the Magical Valley of the Rocks in Lynton, Devon

Exploring the Magical Valley of the Rocks in Lynton, Devon

After spending a comfy night at The Fernery B&B in Lynton I decided to explore the Valley of the Rocks which had been recommended to me by host Jo from the B&B. A short walk from the B&B through the town of Lynton and you find yourself at the start of a lovely coastal walk to see the Valley of the Rocks.

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

It was a lovely warm September day enabling perfect exploring and walking conditions. I hadn’t heard of the Valley of the Rocks and so was intrigued as to how this piece of North Devon coast got its name and what I was about to see. I enjoyed seeing the views over Lynmouth and see where I had had my fish and chip dinner the night before!

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

It was cool to pass by some of the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway which I travelled on the night before. It’s not a long journey down to Lynmouth but nice to give people a wave as they make there way down the cliff!

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

The tarmac path is super easy to follow and I think would be suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs. There’s plenty of benches situated along the path which are handy for taking a quick rest if needs be and soaking up the views out to sea.

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

The rugged cliffs and rocks are quite a cool sight – I love their formations and how dramatic they look overhanging the cliff tops.

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Lots of feral goats can be seen chilling on the cliffside and going about their daily lives. I couldn’t help but stop and watch them; wondering how their small, skinny legs stop them from falling down the steep cliffs!

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

There were some super awesome views from this part of the South West Coastal Path – I only wish the weather had been a bit sunnier and clearer so I could have seen further out to sea.

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

Unfortunately, towards the end of my walk, it started to rain and I had to retreat rather quickly and finish the loop returning to the village of Lynton. I really loved the bit of coastline and the jagged cliffs. A walk to extend and come back to one day soon I think!

A Comfy Stay at The Fernery B&B in Lynton, Devon

A Comfy Stay at The Fernery B&B in Lynton, Devon

Back in September, I went on a lovely solo trip around the South West of England exploring some of Devon, Somerset and Dorset’s best spots. My first stop was to the lovely town on Lynton in North Devon where I stayed at The Fernery B&B.

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Welcome to The Fernery

I arrived in Lynton and found some free roadside parking then headed slightly uphill to the B&B. I was greeted by host Jo who showed me to my room. It was a lovely double room with ensuite shower room.

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

The usual tea and coffee tray was included with bottles of water and some nice biscuits. Jo was helpful in showing me a map of Lynton and pointing out the best places to eat for dinner. My room overlooked the cute little garden too which was nice.

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

The Fernery is called the Fernery as apparently, it used to be one! On the B&B’s website, it states how it used to be a “prominent local retailer of the Victorian’s favourite foilage”. So there you go – I love staying somewhere with a little bit of history and character.

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Local Attractions

The location of The Fernery is right in the centre of the quaint town of Lynton and it was easy for me to walk to all the nearby shops, cafes and restaurants. I was also able to walk to the infamous Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway which is a cute water powered railway connecting the towns of Lynton and Lynmouth. I took a ride on the cliff railway down to Lynmouth where I enjoyed fish and chips in the harbour.

The Fernery is also a great location for getting outdoors and exploring the coast. I took a walk to see the Valley of the Rocks and was lucky enough to see some lovely coastal views and the sheep and goats that reside on the hills. It did end up raining though, which I stupidly wasn’t prepared for so had to stop off at the funky Charlie Friday’s Coffee Shop in Lynton for a hot chocolate to warm myself up! Of course, the villages of Porlock, Ilfracombe and Croyde are all within driving distance and the stunning Exmoor National Park too.

Valley of the Rocks, Lynton, Devon

The Breakfast

Breakfast was a very tasty affair. Served in the dining room which has loads of leaflets and travel books, breakfast was a full English served with tea and juice. Fruit salad, yoghurt and cereals were available too so I was certainly set up for the day! There are only three rooms at the Ferenry so there’s a nice quiet feel to it and allows for a very perosnal breakfast experience.

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

Final Thoughts

I would really recommend The Fernery B&B for a clean, comfy and welcoming stay in Lynton. It’s perfectly located to explore Lynton, Lynmouth and the rest of North Devon and I would certainly return again!

I paid £48 for my double room in the middle of September and booked via booking.com which I use all the time for booking accommodation as it’s so easy and gives you some great deals!

Fernery B&B, Lynton, Devon

A Night at the Museum at the RAMM Lates Event, Exeter, Devon

A Night at the Museum at the RAMM Lates Event, Exeter, Devon

Night at the Museum

Have you heard about the awesome, quirky and fun nights at the museum The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, Devon are holding? If not then read on to hear about our night at the museum and see what we got up to at the first ever ‘RAMM Lates’ event!

Exploring the Museum After Dark

Back in February, we were invited to the first of the RAMM Lates events and my friend Charlie and I had an interesting night full of culture, music, art and history. Despite it having been on my bucket list since I moved to Devon, I hadn’t yet made it to The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and so was I was delighted to be asked to attend the first of these special events. I have always loved visiting museums; something I did a lot as a child. Still today I always look out for museums when I am visiting somewhere new. What I liked about the sound of the RAMM is the range of exhibits on display and the various changing exhibitions they hold. With the invite to the event promising a chance to explore the museusm, along with live music, dance performances and a cocktail or two I just couldn’t wait!

Upon entry to the museum, we were greeted warmly by staff and given a museum map and list of events for the night. Charlie and I decided to first explore the museum which was so interesting and excellent to explore with fewer people around! We loved reading about the history of Exeter and Devon and seeing all the animal exhibits on show. There was so much to look at and read we could have spent hours perrusing the displays!

One of the most interesting and captivating exhibits for me is the one with the huge lifesize animals – all created from real animal bones /skins. Some of them were so old it just blew my mind, especially given their excellent condition. It really gives you an idea of how big some of our wild animals are – especially elephants and giraffes!

There’s a lot of taxidermy in the museum which may not be to everyone’s taste, but we saw so many different species of animals  – some of which we don’t think we had ever seen before. There’s lots to learn about all the animals too with facts to read and interesting information about the animals habitats and countires of origin.

Entertainment Galore

The RAMM Lates promise lots of fun entertainment and we certainly enjoyed the range on offer. I stood for quite a while watching this entertainer with her crystal ball – it was strangely mesmerising actually!

We saw a really cool breakdancing performance performed by the University of Exeter Breakdancing Society. The dancing was accompanied by some live singing by a choir which was really uplifting and catchy too!

Live jazz music was provided too and we enjoyed watching the band play their funky instruments and had a little boogie!

Getting Creative

As part of the RAMM Lates there is the opportunity for guests to get involved in some activities. We definitely made the most of these and gave lots a go. I am not usually someone that is easily creative, although I do always find arts and crafts really therapeutic! Of course my scrapbooks used to be my creative outlet before it all became too much and I switched to a more modern scrapbooking mode – this blog!

We had a go at tile printing with the Double Elephant Print Workshop. Here, we were able to use an old fashioned printing press to make our prints – something new for both of us!

We gave weaving a go too – another new experience. I found this really pleasing and I bet it would be such a therapeutic activity to get involved with – maybe when I find some spare time…!

Finally, our last activity was inspired by the current eye-popping exhibition: Criminal Ornamentation. We grabbed our materials and settled down to get crafting and making some greetings cards. I found myself getting lost in the creating and for a brief while totally forgot where I was! I love it when that happens – I think that’s the power of art and crafts! I was quite impressed with our creations – not sure they would make it into the brilliant exhibition though! Make sure to check out the RAMM Instagram page to see more of the proper exhibition!

Final Thoughts and Further Info

We had a really fun night at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum at their first RAMM Lates event. We enjoyed the mix of activities and performances and the chance to take a look around the museum at night. There’s something a bit exciting and special about visiting a museum after hours and there was a real arty and cultural vibe – a different sort of Friday night for me!

There’s lots to see and do and for only £5 a ticket I think it is well worth the price! You can find more information about the museum and upcoming events here. Thank you for having us RAMM – I am sure it won’t be our last visit!

***Our tickets to the RAMM Lates even were gifted to us on a complimentary basis. All thoughts, pictures and opinions are entirely my own. ***

 

Premium Devon Dining at The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead, Devon

Premium Devon Dining at The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead, Devon

Welcome to The Coombe Cellars

We were lucky enough to be invited to the ‘first look’ media preview at The Coombe Cellars in Combeinteignhead, Newton Abbot and what a night it was! The Devonshire pub has recently undergone a stunning new refurbishment and we were invited to not only see the stylish new interiors but to sample the delicious menu too. Cosy, comfy and contemporary design, tasty food and scrumptious cocktails – what more could we want from a weekday Wednesday night?! I’ll take you through our evening, course by course, so you can hear all about the new refurbishment and our awesome experience at The Coombe Cellars.

I have never been to The Coombe Cellars before and so wasn’t quite sure what to expect. After driving through some crazy fog on a very miserable February evening we arrived at the waterfront, premium pub and restaurant and were immediately impressed with the interior design.

We were warmly greeted by the waiting staff and shown to the bar area. Here, the were lovely and enthusiastic bar staff were waiting to take our drinks orders and showed us to the fashionable looking gin bar. Neither Nathan or I actually like gin so we didn’t partake in this, however, I wasted no time in trying the house rose wine – delicious!

We walked around for a little bit, soaking up the bars funky new atmosphere and cosy fires. Once we found a spot we liked, right next to the instagramable flower wall, we took a seat and were presented with our first food course.

Canapes Anyone?

Oh my goodness the selection of canapes were just to die for! There was so much for us to try including fish, meat and veggie dishes – something for everyone! We particularly enjoyed the mini fishcake, deep fried brie and lamb kofta. I really enjoyed the salt and pepper squid too – something I wouldn’t usually go for.

All of the canapes were miniatures of the starters available on the main menu and were so tasty. As we gobbled them up our excitement grew for what was to come – and we were not disappointed!

Starters for Two

After finishing up our canapes, it was time for us to be seated in the restaurant. We were shown to our table by the general manager David, who told us all about the refurbishment. We just loved the look of the dining area – soft lighting, matching tones of blues and greens and big wooden tables. It all made for a very romantic feel and we commented on how this would be a great place for a special date night.

We sat admiring the decor and wondering what views the huge windows overlooking the sea would look like if it hadn’t been so dark – we made a vow to come back and check out the views one summers lunchtime. Be sure to check out The Coombe Cellars Instagram page to get a sneak peek of the views!

There was a real buzz in the atmosphere as we watched people trying new foods, celebrating the event and some trying just that little bit too hard to get the “right Instagram pic”. The a la carte menu had such a great range of food and there was even a full vegan menu for those that way inclined. It took us quite a while to decide what to order as there was just too much choice and too many options that took our fancy – not really a hardship and a good reason for us to come back another time to try some other dishes! Here’s a link to the menus so you can have a peruse and see what you would choose!

Our starters were super tasty with Nathan opting for the crispy karaage chicken. This was really yummy and slightly spicy when dipped in the sauce. Nathan enjoyed the fancy salad too!

Having enjoyed the sample on the canape plate I just had to go for the deep fried brie. Wow, a huge crispy coated slice of brie, all warm and delicious! My perfect starter made even better mixed with some salsa and greens. I think I ate it all without pausing for breath!

We were lucky enough to be able to try lots of different drinks throughout the night including some classic cocktails. I really enjoyed my raspberry mule – a perfect combo with the brie I think!

The Main Event

Our mains arrived swiftly and were beautifully presented. I had chosen the pork belly – a favourite of mine whenever I am out for dinner. If I see it on the menu you can 99.9% guarantee I will choose it! It was accompanied by some green beans, dauphinoise potatoes and almonds. So tasty – perfectly cooked and a winner in my eyes!

Nathan, apparently following a chicken-themed meal, chose the classic spitroast chicken. It came with fries, gravy and garlic aioli – simple yet effective! It was really tasty, well cooked and Nathan ate every morsel!

To accompany our mains we opted for a traditional mojito and a peach bellini – definitely my favourite from the night! I could have drunk a few more of the bellinis I think!

Delicious Desserts

Now, anyone that knows us, knows Nathan and I are pudding people! We loved a good old dessert and for me, it is often the highlight of a meal. Did we save the best till last? I think so!

As soon as I saw it on the menu I just had to go for the melting chocolate and peanut bomb – who can resist that amazing sounding combination! Brought to the table whole and then drizzled with a hot, sticky chocolate sauce, we watched the ‘bomb’ dissipate in front of our eyes, ready for me to devour it! As well as tasting delicious, I thought the presentation was superb too and very pretty with the edible flowers.

Nathan, like me, has a rather sweet tooth and is a sucker for a chocolate dessert. He opted for the chocolate brownie which was served with smooth vanilla ice cream. Despite being quite full from all the other food, he managed to scoff this down within what felt like seconds – I blinked and it was gone – a sign of a good brownie!

We enjoyed some after dinner drinks too. I haven’t had an espresso martini for years so really enjoyed indulging in one. Nathan was the designated driver so settled for a rich hot chocolate – a great end to a truly scrumptious meal.

Final Thoughts

We both really enjoyed our meal at The Coombe Cellars – a real gem of a Devon pub in my eyes. Part of the Mitchells and Butlers Premium Country Pubs range it offers locally sourced produce and relaxing and opulent interiors, all located in a waterside, rural location – the perfect escape from everyday life! I can imagine the views from the restaurant’s large windows are beautiful in the daytime. I can’t wait to return one sunny lunchtime to sit outside and eat al fresco.

We loved the menu – everything we sampled was super tasty, well cooked and stylishly presented. We enjoyed all the drinks, especially the extensive cocktail selection. Whilst our dinner was provided to us on a complimentary basis, I made sure to check out the prices and I believe them to be very reasonable given the quality and taste.

The staff were really friendly, chatty and happy to answer any questions about the refurbishment or the menu. We enjoyed chatting with them and we felt very well looked after. Make sure to check out the pub’s Facebook page for special events and seasonal menus.

Finally, we really enjoyed the new look –  it had a really relaxed and cosy vibe and would be perfect for a chilled lunch with friends or a romantic date night with a loved one. Thanks so much for having us – we will certainly be back!

The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead, Devon

The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead, Devon

***Our dinner and drinks were provided to us on a complimentary basis in return for this review. All thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own ***

After Work Walks at Dawlish Warren Beach, South Devon

After Work Walks at Dawlish Warren Beach, South Devon

Back in the summer months last year I was on my university placement in the lovely seaside town of Dawlish in South Devon. With the evenings being lighter and longer, I often tried to make the most of the summer vibes and take myself down Dawlish Warren Beach to enjoy an after-work walk. I mean why wouldn’t you – look how gorgeous it is!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

I love all these cute and colourful beach huts – they are so pretty sat constantly above the beach. I wonder how much you would have to pay to own one? There is only a small row of them so I can imagine they are pretty sought after!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren is a blue flag beach and it seems super clean. It’s got lovely sand – perfect for building those sandcastles with the kids! There is lots to do nearby including crazy golf, children’s theme park rides and cool shops with plenty of surfer gear.

If you visit don’t forget t check out the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve too which is over 500 acres of protected grassland and has some pretty impressive sand dunes! I need to check out the visitor centre next time I visit.

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

There’s also a small arcade too which my friend Charlie and I couldn’t resist when we visited on our last day of placement. Of course, we partook in the 50p challenge, I can’t remember who won though!

Dawlish Warren, Devon

On our last visit, we also popped to The Boat House Tavern and Grill where we treated ourselves to a tasty dinner with views out to sea – it’s a shame the wasn’t a bit nicer – it was August after all!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

I can recommend Dawlish Warren Beach for a lovely seaside walk and some tasty grub. I love the beach huts the most and the cute seaside vibe it has. If you’re going with family then there’s loads to do and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

If you like the sound of Dawlish Warren then check out my previous post from when Nathan and I visited the main town and enjoyed a spot of Safari Adventure Golf!