Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fingals (2) - Full of Beans

Once we'd recovered ourselves somewhat, we ventured back into the main building (our room was back out into the cold, along under a dripping balcony, through the games room and entered through its own secluded little courtyard-y area). We made our dinner choices and settled back into a sofa by the log fire, to watch the handful of small posh children running about. Was gratified to find all stereotypes confirmed through one blonde moppet actually being called Matilda.

Fitted in a game of pool on the genuine Victorian snooker table (no doubt genuine original ripped baize and wonky cues too?) before dinner. At least you feel a certain sense of value when games last so long because nothing will go in a straight line (that's my excuse, anyway).

Dinner was taken in the panelled and candlelit dining room, on a long table that sociably sits ten of the guests. We had curried pumpkin soup and fresh bread to start with, followed by Brill in basil hollandaise (me) and pork tenderloin (C). Veggies were handed round in communal serving dishes, carrots & leeks, courgette & aubergine, cabbage, and cubed chipped potatoes. We were told by guests that had been there previously that the French chef, Eric, was a true artist in that he had occasional off days, when the food was actually inedible, but thankfully he was on good form that night! For dessert we had raspberry cheesecake (as believe it or not the lightest thing on offer!) which had bits of stem ginger in the base which gave it an extra perkiness.

Coffee and mints were served out in the lounge, but it wasn't long before we sloped off to our room (before the chap next to me started to wonder aloud why there was only half a cup of decaffinated coffee in the steel cafetiere that he'd ordered. Well it's not like I'd have drunk decaf on purpose is it. He should have come away from the table sooner 'sall...).

Having retired for the night, the only minus point here was the security light right outside the door - which we had no control over, and which was on constantly rather than using a sensor. This made it much too light in the room for my sleeping confort, requiring the head-under-duvet method of avoidance, which then just meant I kept waking up too hot... For a blissful period in the middle of the night, it did finally go off, only to wake me up when it came on again some time later!

Breakfast at half nine was a tasty affair - freshly squeezed orange juice (and a very nifty jug that keeps the icecubes in - want one!), fresh toast and croissants (home-produced jam, marmalade and honey too), and a full english - one (smallish) sausage, one bit of bacon, one egg, one tomato (and the swiftly passed along mushrooms) - am I unreasonably greedy wanting more? It was all so fabulously cooked I could have eaten loads. Obviously you're supposed to fill yourself up on the cereal and fruit beforehand....

The three days of weather had blown itself out, leaving a beautiful morning, so we had a bit of a wander about the grounds (great little platform over a stream where you can sit when it's not the monsoon season). Settled up* and moved off again all too soon, heading for Dittisham and the ferry to Dartmouth.

* Discovered I'd been overcharged by £15 for a room in October when we got home, but that they'd forgotten a couple of drinks we had, so it almost evened out...


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