Month: August 2017

Boscastle with a broken toe

Boscastle with a broken toe

Finally a break from work, a decent amount of time off, and we have plans. Plans that include a trip to Boscastle in North Cornwall to explore areas we haven’t seen before. Packing all done, just need to add one more thing to the case, and that’s when it happens. As I rush to add my last item before getting some sleep, I kick the case, hard! The pain is immediate, and the damage is clear.  All I can hope is that it feels better in the morning.

It didn’t. But I wasn’t going to let this ruin our holiday.

After our stay in Bude, which you can read about here, we drove to Boscastle.

Our first view of Boscastle was coming down towards Penally Hill. The view was so amazing we pulled into the Boscastle Farm Shop for more. At the bottom of the garden is a gate leading directly onto the South West Coast Path walking route. The views from here were fantastic, and we couldn’t wait to see more of the town.

The town is beautiful. It is a quintessential English seaside town. Like Bude it is full of independent retailers, including a witchcraft museum! This seems slightly out of place just doors away from the National Trust, but it must be generating business as it has been open here since 1960.

We arrived in town at the same time as a tour bus, not ideal, but we soon found out there is enough to do in this small village to cater for everybody.

The shops extend to the start of residential alleys, with numerous options for lunch or a coffee. The houses mix in with retail and extend to the mouth of the harbour. Looking at Boscastle in a map, you would be forgiven for thinking this would be a quick stop.

We looked around the town, and after a bite to eat headed to the harbour to explore some more. Now, bearing in mind the broken toe I suffered only 1 day previously, this may not have been the best idea. The tide was out, so we first headed right, balancing precariously on the concrete ledge heading to the sea. We clambered down the algae covered rocks into the emptied harbour to get some photos.  At this point we noticed the tide was starting to come back in.

It was now a race against time to finish our photo session. Back to the bridge and down the other side of the harbour to get some shots of the stranded boats. This is where the fun really began. On top of my broken toe, I had also worn completely inappropriate shoes for climbing, but they were new, I had to wear them! Steep up and down hill sections, uneven surfaces, stairs and large boulders, my foot was completely unsupported and willing me to stop.

We made it though, over the last few rocks and we were greeted with the ocean. Vast, open views of the sea crashing against the rocks.

I’m sure you would agree, it was worth it.


Would I recommend Boscastle? Yes

Would I recommend it with a broken toe? No way.

We will go back to see more, and enjoy more of the walking tracks in the area, but this time I will take more care when packing!



A few weeks ago, sitting around on a Friday night, we spontaneously decided to head to the Cornish Coast the next morning. This is a 4 hour drive from us, so would be an early wake up call.

After doing some quick Google searches, we decided on Bude. The weather everywhere was meant to be hot, really hot, so we headed down in our summer gear, no backup.

Within 5 minutes of arriving, we were buying new jackets!

But this did not put us off what a beautiful town Bude is. It may have been a quick stop, but it made us want more. So when we got home, we booked a weekend away.

Fast forward 4 weeks and we are ready to head back to Bude once again.

Driving down early Sunday morning, the traffic was easy and we got there in good time. Bude is a small beach town on the Cornish Coast, it reminds me of Whangamata back in the day. A main street full of boutique one-off stores. Although there is a Boots, there are very few other large chains here, at least in the town center. I love towns like this, it is a refreshing change to seeing the same old high street over and over again.

We meandered down the main street and around the block, browsing in surf shops, second hand stores, and boutique handcraft and accessory stores, before heading down to Summerleaze Beach. We approached from the head of the town, over the grass plain to get views of the ocean, surfers and cliffs opposite. The tide was out which made for great images of ‘stranded’ boats beached on the sand, and the wet sand glistening in the sun.

Surfers were out in force, yet there were no waves, so it was a sea of boards bobbing in the light swell.

There are rows of colourful beach huts available for hire, in a perfect location for the Sea Pool situated slightly below. The Sea Pool was formed in the 1930’s to provide a safe swimming space, while still swimming ‘in the sea’. It is open year round at no charge for locals and visitors alike.


After exploring every inch of the town and beach, we retreated to the hotel to check in and get ready for dinner. I had booked us into An Mor (Cornish for The Sea), one of 3 sister hotels in the area, the other 2 being Tommy Jacks & Hebasca. As it was Sunday, it was not so busy, and we were upgraded to a larger room with a view. The hotel is an eclectic mix of design. Large portraits line the walls, and in the foyer is a motorbike inside a glass cabinet and a glass floor with a view into the cellar below. The lighting is dimmed and the colour scheme bold. The room itself had all the amenities you would expect from a hotel, with the addition of a giant beanbag, which came in very handy for some late night blogging! The stand out feature for me was the bed. I am very fussy when it comes to booking hotels, and I base almost everything on the bed with the bathroom a close second. I like a large bed, and that is exactly what An Mor had. All rooms have a king size bed. It had a pillow top mattress and good pillows which added to the excellent night sleep I had. I have done a separate review incorporating the whole stay, which you can read here.

I had not booked for dinner, almost a huge mistake. I had seen photos and reviews for The Deck prior to coming down, and had already decided this is where we would eat. It was the highlight of our trip, absolutely fantastic, from phoning for a table to paying the bill, so good we even went twice! The Deck is in a fantastic location with views out to the ocean. We were seated in the conservatory area, so there was a nice breeze coming through to cool down the hot day. Their signature dish is hanging skewers, these are available in 4 different flavours, including a vegetarian option. As an added bonus, there is even a hanging skewer dessert…I will leave you to discover what that is in the review I wrote here!

Summerleaze Beach Bude

After dinner we enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the cliffs overlooking the ocean. By this time it was high tide which gave us an entirely different scene from earlier in the day. It was as if we had been transported out to sea. The boats were bobbing in the rolling water, you could still see the outline of the sea pool, but there would be no sun lounger action until the tide retreated again.

Bude is an inviting, unique and friendly coastal town, just waiting to host you on your next daytrip, weekend getaway or longer staycation.

After our relaxing short break, we checked out of An Mor and got back on the road, Boscastle was waiting…

The Deck – Bude

The Deck – Bude

Make sure you book in advance!

I knew I wanted to come here, even before we had booked our hotel. I had seen some traveller photos of the meals The Deck serves. Among these were their signature Hanging Skewers. I was sold.

I saw the pictures and I knew it was popular, yet somehow I didn’t think to book in advance. This is completely unlike me, as I tend to be over prepared if anything. At 4:30pm I phoned to book a table, yes for that night, stop laughing! There was some umming and ahhing, and checking through the bookings, but they came up with a table, if we could get there for 5, it was the only possibility.

Lucky for us we were only a 5 minute walk away, so up we jumped, quick hairbrush, and out the door.

The lady who greeted us was so welcoming, we were seated straight away, and the ordering process explained. It is an order at the bar restaurant, but luckily they provide each table with little notepads and pencils in the cutlery bucket, so you don’t forget what you are ordering. This could be a problem as there is so much you will want to try!

Menu options include hanging skewers, mussels, steak, ribs, burgers and fish. All can be ordered with a range of sides, from fries to mushrooms.

I opted for the Chicken & Chorizo Hanging Skewer with skinny fries and Scott chose the Catch & Chips. What a treat. The hanging skewer  comes with your choice of flavoured butter to brush on your skewer, I chose sweet chilli. The meal was like an experience of it’s own, and it was delicious to boot. Alternating chicken, chorizo & peppers, a vertical kebab, hanging above a small dish, all put together with fries on the side. The chicken was flavourful and juicy, combined with crispy edged chorizo slices, it worked perfectly. Scott enjoyed his fish, served with chunky fries. The batter was light and not greasy, and a bonus for him was the peas were not mushy!

Next decision to make was what to have for desert. Everything sounded amazing, churros, cheescake, brownie and ice cream. All were tempting, and I did almost go for the churros, but the star on the menu for me was the donuts. When I found out these were also served on a hanging skewer and consisted of filled donuts, iced donuts, sugar donuts, and a dipping sauce, there was no other choice. I was not disappointed. This was the best desert I have ever had, and it would be hard to beat. Scott is a cheesecake fanatic and opted for that, the flavour change daily. It was homemade and had a fantastic base with a creamy body.

We left with full, happy bellies.

The next day we were due to head home, but ended up still in the area at dinner time. We tried our luck and were able to get fitted into a table. It was a chance to try something else off the menu. This time I opted for  Steak Burger and Scott went for the Rack of Ribs. He had seen a fellow diner get this the night before, and had food envy, now he gets to try it himself. It was huge. An enormous rack of ribs sat on a bed of chunky fries. I wondered if he could finish it, I should never have doubted him. He was in his element. As he explained, ribs are a risky item to order, you never know what you will end up with.

There is no risk at The Deck, whether it is ribs or one of the other menu items. You know that whatever you order will be delicious and great value for money.

If you are going to be in Bude, give The Deck a call and book a table, you do not want to miss out on all they have to offer.

An Mor – Bude

An Mor – Bude

Located perfectly in the centre of town, with only a 5 minute walk to the beach and views out to the ocean, An Mor is Cornish for The Sea, and a fitting name for this hotel.

The design of the hotel is an quirky mix of iconic British images in bold colours. Doors disguised as phone boxes, Winston Churchill in the foyer, and Royal portraits in the restaurant.

The first thing you see is a motorcycle in a glass display box, separating the front desk from a lounge area. Old style leather chairs await you, and Winston Churchill has pride of place on the wall, right next to a vividly painted purple & yellow deer with real horns attached.

An Mor motorbike       An Mor Deer

Approaching the front desk, you reach part of the floor that has been replaced with glass, looking directly down into the cellar below. The front desk is designed with a black and white image of children appearing to be looking directly into the cellar, it is very well done.

To the left is the restaurant, where carousel horses are on display under the bar, alongside a feature wall of Royal portrait images from floor to ceiling.

An Mor Hallway

We were given a room on the first floor. Walking to the room, the lighting is a florescent blue in the hallway. All the room doors have a different image on the door, again something typically British. Our room had a football design. I didn’t notice this straight away, but the room also had an old fashioned maid call door lock. This was not used as the lock for the door, you did have a key for this, but you could turn the lock inside, and on the exterior of your door it would change to ‘Maid Requested’ or ‘Do Not Disturb’. I do not know if these were in use, or just for decoration, but they were cool nonetheless.

Do not disturb sign  Maid request sign

The room had a large king sized bed with a pillow top mattress, a ceiling fan, TV, coffee facilities, room safe and wardrobe and a giant Union Jack beanbag. There was an ensuite bathroom with shower over bath, large bath sheets and a range of toiletries.

The fan was welcome as the weather was very warm and it was the only way to cool down. The shower was a rainforest style showerhead and had good water pressure.

The selling point of the room was the bed. The pillowtop mattress made it so comfortable  and it was a good size. When I book hotels, I am pretty fussy about the bed size. If I am choosing between 2 hotels, I will always opt for the one that advertises the biggest bed. An Mor provided just this, and we were able to enjoy a relaxing sleep and wake feeling refreshed.

Breakfast is included with all room bookings. There is a continental selection available as a buffet, and you also get the choice of cooked options. I had the pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, and Scott had the full English. Both arrived quickly and were very good.

Unfortunately we were only here for one night, but next time we are back in Bude, and there will be a next time, we will come back to An Mor.