Monday – Went for a really rather beautiful walk to and from Start Bay to Dartmouth Castle. The Dart is perhaps one of the most beautiful rivers in Britain. Managed a tea shop half way round – just liquid, because we wanted to leave space for the treat to come.
That treat is The Start Bay Inn (Between Dartmouth and Salcombe in The Hams part of Devon). We’ve been here many times. The previous owner retired and handed onto the next generation of his family. He still goes out fishing early every day, so the fish is indeed fresh.
It is indeed a special place. Start Bay is very strange – like Chesil Beach in Dorset, if you know it. On the front side of the pub is the sea. Come out of the rear entrance and you find a huge freshwater lake. If the winter storms breach the sea defences – fresh water Site of Special Scientific Interest suddenly becomes dead.
When we went to the butchers next day they did ask where we had been to. I couldn’t remember the pubs name. “It’s that Fish and Chips place on Start Bay”. David replied “You mean The Start Bay Inn”. Felt a bit stupid. Who needs a branding department when you’ve got simple marketing like that?
Anyhow – they do medium or jumbo levels of favourite fish – cod, haddock, hake, then skate wings and anything else that is seasonal and recently caught. Just with hot fresh chips and a bit of garnish. More fat than I’m used to nowadays, but a holiday treat. They serve English white wine from Devon here too (Sharpham, from Totnes) – and it goes surprisingly well with the deep-fried and beer battered fish. Needed a post prandial walk to get rid of the excesses. There were many wildfowl to chat to on the freshwater lake. if any of them reply, I shall begin to worry.
That’s a lot for lunch – so what did we do for evening? Hunger pangs at 7.30 were satisfied with a mixed leaf salad (freshly boxed from a local supplier) . ( Look, I know it’s best to buy all of the ingredients and make up your mixed leaves yourself, but we are on holidays, OK??) Balsamic dressing (made myself) and some very broken up bits of good old Danish blue cheese. Had a tub of olives and feta cheese from local co-op – chucked that in too. Bit of bread, job done. Keep it simple, and don’t try too hard. But you must have been shopping first