This is why we do it. It’s become an annual jaunt. A long weekend in Somerset. Within a quarter of an hour we can be on the coast lapping up the bracing sea air, or in the other direction we can be people (and goat!) watching in the Cheddar Gorge. If we choose not to move at all then that is the view from the hotel balcony. There are worse places to spend a few days, trust me.
It is hard to convince yourself of that when you arrive at the hotel and find your room is the size of an extended wardrobe, but a hastily arranged move solves that particular issue. A few hours later a duo of lamb, succulent, cooked to perfection, restores the spirit and reminds of the excellence of the chef.
The forecast threatens the big day for the wedding party also resident. Mrs Blazing and I decide if the weather isn’t likely to improve we may as well head for Clarks Village. Outlet shopping doesn’t really set the pulses racing, but a decent pasty shop provides shelter, a decent mug of coffee, and a most unusual chocolate and banana pasty! It may not be gourmet food but it is blooming tasty.
Now I don’t know if God was taking care of us, or the devil was looking after his own, but unexpected sunshine allows a drive up the coast with a couple of stops in the afternoon. A couple of sea walks works up an appetite. For the first time I have the opportunity to try barramundi, otherwise known as Asian seabass. I am not disappointed. The improved weather also allows the newlyweds to get some photographs taken in the open air. Good for them.
The last full day, and no matter how many times you go to the Gorge, you spot something else, another angle from which to view a relatively small area. Photographs do scant justice to the place, and the assortment of abseilers, goats, and general tourists that converge there. The coffee shop balcony provides a place to soak it all up for a few precious minutes. Over two pounds for a cup of coffee seems only right, in this place only.
The final supper is a trio of pork, made irresistible to me by the inclusion of black pudding on the plate. For the second time in three nights I am made acutely aware of the difference between the meat this place gets, and what is offered to us in supermarkets.
There being no entertainment, we enjoy a quiet drink in the bar each evening. Mrs Blazing considers the meal her theatre, and the leisurely glass or two thereafter as the wind-down. I think she is right.
“We’ve done this early enough this year to attempt another one elsewhere later in the year, Blazing”
I will be only too happy to oblige. Hotel offers for September or thereabouts will be studied. We don’t ask much of our long weekends. A clean room with enough space to swing a small kitten, and store a weekends clothing and a couple of bags. A decent breakfast and dinner thrown in is essential. Location? I just don’t know. Just over an hour from here gets us to the south coast, or South Wales, or maybe even Hereford and Worcester. We have an open mind.
But will we find the views?