Thursday, 6 April 2017

We're back in Torquay!

Toulouse street art 
We're back in the UK now with everything unpacked - except for our wooden draining rack which I forgot from the caravan. Fortunately The Kitchen Shop on Torquay seafront had a replacement! Three day's driving up through France was pretty tiring, but the ferry journey was mill pond smooth again so I was very happy about that. My spirits lifted as soon as we got home and I remembered just how much we love our new Torquay flat. It's not so new now of course! The views are still gorgeous and we see the big wheel has gone back up. It had just been taken down when we departed.

We stayed at a Lidotel in Toulouse on the first night of our homeward dash. If you book in here, it's important to specify Ramonville as the town on your satnav. There is a Rue Ariane right in the middle of Toulouse too - you don't want to go there! It was handy for an evening stroll along the canal, but we were underwhelmed by the hotel itself which felt worn and in need of a repaint. Our sink was blocked too. Also underwhelming was our dinner at the Buffalo Grill next door. We have happy memories of eating at a different restaurant in the chain just before Dave asked me to move in with him. They've gone way downhill in the intervening decade though!

The second day was a long drive from Toulouse to Tour and we liked our Ibis Budget hotel for that night. Only about three euros more expensive than the Lidotel, but much nicer looking with a comfortable bed and an excellent shower. We had a wonderful meal at a nearby Italian restaurant, Il Napoli. The hot goat cheese salad was gorgeous, Dave enjoyed his pizza, and we both loved our Cafe Gourmand / Tea Gourmand to finish - a coffee or tea with a selection of delicious mini desserts.

Neither of us sleep well in strange beds so we were both fading by Sunday. I had the extra dread of the ferry crossing too although that fortunately turned out to be unfounded. Having expected it to be a bit naff, we were both impressed by the Premier Inn in Poole. Probably the cleanest hotel room we've ever visited, certainly the biggest of this trio, and the bed didn't feel 'budget' at all. Admittedly Premier Inn was about 20 euros more than Lidotel and Ibis, but it felt like a different world! I slept really well so was refreshed for our Poole to Torquay drive on Monday.

And now we're back in our own home ready for a spring and summer exploring south Devon and, no doubt, further afield! Dave's just booked our Charlie Dore gig tickets at Kingskerswell for May and our Carrie Elkin with Danny Schmidt gig tickets for Torquay's Crown And Sceptre in June, and tomorrow we're off to Tavistock. Some people just can't stay still!

Toulouse street art 

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