Thursday, 26 May 2011

Silver Wedding Celebrations 2/5: Life in our Hotel

From the lovely big window and balcony, our room overlooked the sea, and the view was magnificent.

01 View from Our Room - Middle

Woolacombe Bay has a golden sandy beach which stretches literally for miles. The first day was very cold and windy and when my hubby opened the door onto the balcony, the curtains blew horizontally into the room and the door into the hall banged shut, so he shut it again very quickly! Not a day for balcony sitting! The weather improved no end for the rest of our stay, however, and we had some lovely sunsets. On this photo, if you look carefully, you can see Lundy Island on the horizon. It is not always visible.

05 Lundy Island at Dusk

Again, on this one, you can see Lundy. Note also the vapour trail which is catching the last rays of the sun.

08 Sunset and Vapour Trail Over Lundy

Each evening, we changed and went down for dinner. It’s lovely to stay in a hotel where there’s a dress code for dinner, although most of the men were not wearing ties, which I thought was a shame. We get so few opportunities to dress up these days… The dining room is beautiful - really elegant, as is the rest of the hotel.

01 Dining Room - General View

02 Dining Room - Large Mirror

03 Dining Room - Reflection in Large Mirror

04 Dining Room - Chandelier

Our evening meals were all marvellous – four courses but not enormous portions, so one felt satisfied but not stuffed, and every mouthful was delectable. Here are some of the dishes we had:

02 Quail Parcel Starter

This was one of the most attractive starters – a filo parcel of quail meat served with various garnishes.

This dish of sliced roasted duck on a bed of bubble and squeak had a piece of crisp bacon inserted vertically like a sail! I have never tasted bubble and squeak like this before… The diced roasted butternut squash was delicious, too.

04 Duck Main Course

We were delighted to discover that most of the waiters and waitresses were from Romania. My hubby always calls Romania his second home – over the years he’s been there over 20 times and has many, many friends there. He has done aid work, and travelled throughout most of the country and knows it well. I went with him one year, to celebrate the wedding of the son of one of his best friends, which was a fascinating experience. Imagine our waitress’s delight when I asked her where she was from, and she said Romania, and immediately my hubby spoke to her in Romanian! After the meal we had such a nice time with them all – the two girls were great friends, and the two young men were brothers – one brother is married to one of the girls, and the other is engaged to the other! They all came over together, and they were all so lovely and friendly and fun. It was very nice for my hubby too – he knows Cluj, where they all come from, very well indeed.

12 Gabriela and Lithuanian

After dinner we adjourned to the lounge where we did word puzzles my mum had brought, and with my hubby dropping off in the chair on the first evening – he had had a very busy week, and then all the driving to get us there, and packing and unloading the car, so he was pretty tired. We all felt sufficiently rested on the next day to enjoy our BIG DAY.

Breakfast was served buffet-style in the dining room, with a huge selection. I thought – to heck with the diet – I’m on HOLIDAY!! - so I indulged in a full English breakfast the first day, but was a bit more restrained for the other two days, although I did enjoy a croissant or two! There was lots of fresh fruit, including watermelon, and berries, and yoghurt, and as much coffee or tea as you wanted.

01 Breakfast Buffet

On the last day, my hubby went out and bought me a rubber ring and some arm bands and took me down to the fitness suite in the lower ground of the hotel, and we went in the pool, the Jacuzzi and sauna (unfortunately the steam room was out of order) – when we were staying in the hotel before, I spent every afternoon down there! These days my swimming can hardly be called swimming at all – floating about is more like it – a far cry from my mile-a-week that I used to swim before I became ill. However, it was lovely to be in the water, although I wasn’t that pleased with the photos my hubby took of me – definitely need to get some more weight off – he said that I looked like a little seal! (Very flattering… I don’t think!)

3 Swimming

4 Swimming

As you can see, the pool is very elegant (even if its occupant isn’t).

2 The Swimming Pool

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