A MAD year

Valley of Rocks, North Devon

2018 has been a year of firsts: I’ve had a brace fitted (which at the age of 36 was a pretty big deal), had four teeth removed (shudder), launched the blog and appeared on Radio Devon’s evening community show.  

Launching Mad About Devon has been the biggest achievement. It has given me the opportunity to work with fantastic businesses and appear on the radio! And I now have the perfect outlet to share my love for all things Devon.  

During the year I’ve rediscovered some of Devon’s best-loved sights and sounds and have stumbled across new places that have become firm favourites. So as we head into the new year, I thought it was a good time to share my 2018 highlights.

Best Beach

This year’s greatest discovery has to be Broadsands Beach in North Devon, tucked away between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin. It’s my go-to beach for a spot of relaxation with a good book and tasty picnic. It’s one of the most idyllic spots in Devon and I can’t wait to return.

Broadsands Beach, North Devon
Broadsands Beach, North Devon

Best Pub

Nothing gives me more pleasure than a great pub lunch. I love discovering new places to eat that serve delicious local food, and the Tom Cobley Tavern in Spreyton is one of the best. The landlords are the most welcoming in the business and their Sunday lunch is an event not to missed; it’s like having dinner with family. Everyone gets stuck in as the food is piled high in the middle of the table, including a jug of heavenly gravy. Sunday roast perfection.

Visit the Tom Cobley Tavern 

Tom Cobley Tavern in Spreyton
Outside the Tom Cobley Tavern in Spreyton

Best Restaurant

I’ve been desperate to eat at Bovey Castle’s Great Western restaurant since it’s refurbishment a few years ago, so I grabbed the chance with both hands. From the attentive staff to the knock-out food, I was blown away by the experience. The succulent beef wellington was my favourite course, or was it the ‘taste of orange dessert’? It’s hard to choose!

Visit Bovey Castle

Bovey Castle
The tempting dessert at Bovey Castle

Best Hotel

We treated ourselves to a night away at the Salcombe Harbour Hotel before the Christmas rush took hold. And what a treat it was. The luxurious spa was much needed and we spent the afternoon relaxing in the indoor pool, sauna and steam room. Our room was gorgeous and came with complimentary gin and sherry, and the most comfortable pillows I had ever slept on. We ended the day with a delicious three course dinner in The Jetty restaurant. We will be back. 

Visit Salcombe Harbour Hotel 

Salcombe Harbour Hotel
The Jetty restaurant at Salcombe Harbour Hotel

I can’t wait for 2019 to get started. I’ve already made a list of my 2019 must-see places and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2019.


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