100 years ago, well maybe a slight exaggeration, but a lot of years ago none the less, in fact, 22 years ago, I was a hotel and restaurant inspector, (I know I don’t look old enough for it to have been so many years ago, but sadly it’s true). Whilst I was training with the formidable and fantastic Jayne Wyatt, in fact she wasn’t formidable at all and was actually a real sweetie, I spent many happy weeks in beautiful Devon, in and around Salcombe, Torquay, Paignton and Dartmouth. Once a fully fledged inspector, one of my patches for a while was Devon and I grew to love the area and the people.
Thus it was a real thrill to re-visit Dartmouth this week. The 20 odd miles of narrow and winding lanes are worth the effort as when you enter the town the view of the boats bobbing on the water, the candy floss colours of the houses twinkling like jewels and the beautiful blooms and gardens throughout the town make the journey worthwhile.
The sun was shining and the water was as calm as a mill pond- I wandered around the town happily and reminisced… the sea gulls were noisy background music, but even they seemed to have happy expressions in their beady eyes. The day seemed to fly by and no sooner had I arrived then it was time to bide a fond farewell to Dartmouth, but I promise I won’t leave it so long next time.
Talking of hotel inspectors, next week Gerard and I are travelling to Scotland (I have never been to Scotland before) so I am very excited. We are visiting our dear friends, David and Katie Young and their hotel The Cross at Kingussie. Gerard is the guest speaker at a wine event at the hotel. David used to be my boss and was the AA’s Chief Hotel and Restaurant Inspector for a number of years- I think he is probably the nicest, fairest boss I have ever had- he was a joy to work with and we all felt very privileged to be part of his team. Now he and Katie personally welcome guests to The Cross and both Gerard and I can’t wait to see them both and sample Scotland and all of it’s delights.
Meanwhile, I am thrilled to say that our “pop up” Michelin event, in conjunction with Alan Murchison and the 10in8 Fine Dining group was a great success and we had many positive comments from guests. Our team enjoyed the challenge and rose to the occasion spectacularly and Gerard and I were very proud of them all. It was good fun working with Alan, Ian, Sammy, Ania and Stephen and whilst my feet hurt (Michelin joint events demand high heels!), the pain was worth it!
Till next week