The Road to Elmfield House……

We had been staying in the Talbot Arms in Uplyme which is a great local pub with lovely accommodation. The rooms are in a converted stable block ( I think) at the back of the pub so they are very quiet. They have a lovely beer garden and the River Lym runs alongside. Just lovely. The welcome from Steve and Wendy and the service is unsurpassed. We had stayed there last October when Ian was doing his 60th birthday present course at River Cottage. It felt quite emotional to be coming back because it was during that trip that we realised that there was something quite badly wrong with me and made the decision to seek medical attention on our return. That was the start of the whole Cysty McCystface/cancer diagnosis. I told Wendy about it one morning after breakfast and she couldn’t have been nicer.

After the long and eventful drive down from Heathrow on Thursday we sank into the lovely comfy beds in room number 5 and then sank lovely pints of Otter Ale. The first night we were there we had booked dinner in the pub. I had home-made pate and fish pie which is a bit of a house speciality. It was what I had on the last visit so I wanted to see if I would be better able to digest it and of course I was.

A pint of your finest Otter Ale please landlord!
Fish pie……..

Breakfasts in the Talbot Arms are great. Steve is in the kitchen. Each day we had poached eggs and bacon with gluten free bread for me. They were perfectly cooked.

There is a lovely river walk that actually runs from the pub carpark to Lyme Regis. it was two miles one way so we did it on the Friday. The weather was lovely and the walk was varied and interesting – lots of thatched houses, historic mills etc.

The Old Mill

At one point Ian performed a wildlife rescue! I saw a strange and wonderous creature making it’s way across the tarmac. I stopped to look at it because I didn’t recognise it. Turned out to be be a slow-worm. That part of the path had traffic access so we stopped and waited to see it across in case a car came round the corner. It ran into trouble and started burning and thrashing about on a patch of smooth tarmac which was obviously too hot for it. It was awful to watch. Ian tried to pick it up and couldn’t get a grip on it. Eventually another couple came along and stopped to see what we were looking at. They had a paper hanky – very high tec – so we were able to lift it and put it on the grassy knoll.

Not a great picture but a bit closer.

When we reached Lyme Regis we had a bottle of prosecco in a beach-side Italian cafe-bar. It was perfect! The beach was busy.

On the Friday night we met up with friends who were also there for the wedding in the River Cottage Kitchen in Axminster. I can’t believe that we have now been there three times! Get us! Tonight it was sustainable fish night. I had Lyme Bay fishcakes and paella with spelt. I could nearly have eaten the pattern off the plate. It was absolutely delicious. They have two menus – the a la carte and the daily specials. Each has a choice of two for each course and it is very reasonably priced. Ian had the fish specials which were mackerel to start and whole sole. We had cocktails and local wine!!!! Yo!!! They have one cocktail special each night. For the life of me I cannot remember what it was! We even managed to get taxis! They are notoriously hard to get in that area. There are a very small number of companies but Terry’s Taxis came up trumps for the wedding day itself and recommended Ecocabs who got us sorted out on the Friday. Back at base we had a lovely bottle of wine.

Saturday was the wedding and it was an amazing day. Terry’s Taxis could only take us early as they were booked up with other wedding guests so we went down to the seafront and had a beer. The sun was barely over the yard arm! Then back up through the gardens to Mark Hix’s Oyster and Fish House The whole thing was amazing! We had champagne cocktails – all local wine and liqueurs – while the ceremony took place. It included a scene from “All’s Well That Ends Well” performed by the bride and groom! The lunch was amazing. Truly amazing. It was a cornucopia of seafood!

Our table was also highly entertaining – we had Adam who is a young professional actor that Jane and Michael introduced to their theatre group and the Dildo King as Ian called him. He works for a local company that makes adult sex toys. Apparently their main market is Germany and he told us stories about having to train people in the use of these items! It seems it is a very serious business there! He was also a rock drummer and he told us stories about some of the bands he had played with. I will never see the Wurzels in the same light again I can tell you. Apparently at the end of their sets they go onstage and play “Wonderwall” in the buff.

We then went back to the Dower House for drinks and nibbles. After that it was home to bed.

The three amigos………

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