Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fingals (1) - a PG Tips kinda girl

Just back from venturing into the South Hams area of Devon for the first time, on the recommendation of a friend. We were originally booked into a different hotel, but after they firstly informed us by letter that our room was being downgraded because they had the decorators in, and secondly called us on Wednesday afternoon (we were due to go on the Monday) and told us that we couldn't have dinner as the restaurant was closed, I felt that for over a hundred quid I could expect a bit more, and cancelled. Looking then for a replacement, what I found was Fingals.

This is an old manor house tucked away in a valley near Dittisham ("Dit'sum"). The weather being as appalling as it was on Monday, it took us FOUR HOURS to get there. We finally arrived at teatime, and stood soggily in the bar (there is no reception, you go straight in to the bar, perhaps a reflection of most guests' needs by the time they find it). Eventually the owner appeared, and swept us on a lightening tour of the manor, bags and all. We finally made it to our room, only to be swept out again (with the promise of tea) because he wanted to take some pictures of the room before we 'made ourselves at home'.
"What sort of tea would you like?"
"Er, ordinary?"
"Not Earl Grey or anything?"
"No, just bog-standard's fine thanks..."

Possibly this lack of refinement* lost us his interest, as we found ourselves abandoned, tired, wet and needing the loo, in the kitchen doorway. Eventually trying the door behind us, we found ourselves back in the lounge area, and sank thankfully into one of the big squashy sofas.

Happily, very nice tea then appeared, with biscuits and cake, and we worked our way through these while making friends with their two beautiful dogs, Leaf and Fennel (I've a feeling the chocolate biscuits worked in our favour here). Also took advantage of the loo - and a fantastic creation it was too, with a kind of medieval wooden box effort, and carved pannelling and all manner of knick-knacks round the walls.

Eventually we did make the sanctuary of our room, and flaked out for a while on the VERY large and comfortable bed.

[to be continued...]

* Earl Grey or Chamomile were the only teabags provided in the rooms!


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