Friday, July 06, 2007

The Castle of Comfort
Aside


I was going to drive to the hotel – to celebrate our anniversary (we have about six a year) and it was the first time since my refresher driving lessons that I had driven with anyone but Pete –the instructor - in the car. I had become accustomed to unstinting praise and encouragement; I thought a few ground rules were required.

P If you want to make any helpful, constructive suggestions, please wait until we have reached our destination.

MTL Grunt.

We had only got half way down the lane when I realised that MTL’s breathing was worrying me.

P Please breathe normally and don’t sigh.

MTL I have to breathe!

P Yes but please breathe evenly and quietly.

I did a bit of deep breathing myself and tried to relax my tense hands on the steering wheel. After we had gone through the first town I began to relax and realised that my companion also was loosening up – in spite of the notoriously bendy road between Williton and Bridgwater. I said I needed plenty of warning before turning right but fortunately the road was very quiet and we had an easy turn into the hotel grounds. I waited until a delivery man had vacated a space and then slowly but surely parked to MTL’s satisfaction.

We were greeted by a jolly lady who asked if we were Mr and Mrs A or B. Then she said we had been upgraded to the Bridal Suite.

‘It’s OK! ‘she reassured us, ‘You don’t have to do anything’.

The room was lovely with a door into the garden and a large bathroom with double hand basins, roll top bath and splendid separate shower. Sweets, a tiny box of chocs, still and fizzy water and a carafe of sherry. Everything you expect in a luxury room and all the sweeter as we had been awarded it. I couldn’t wait to investigate the garden which rises up behind the hotel giving fine distant views. I knew the woods behind would be full of our wonderful red deer but unless I got up at crack of dawn I would be unlikely to see them. They are very shy.

Walking up to the woods I realised that I had walked nearby in the early part of the Coleridge Way. The hotel was a coaching inn in the 17thcentury and at other times has been a coffee house and a cider house. In 1789Jane Walford of Over Stowey was sent by her husband to buy cider at the Castle of Comfort and later her body was found on Dodington Common- having been murdered by her husband. I remembered seeing the Gibbet in the road behind the hotel on the way to Dead Woman’s Ditch.
Coleridge and Wordsworth lived nearby and Dorothy Wordsworth mentions calling in for refreshment at the Castle of Comfort on their walk to Lynton. That really is some walk and makes me want to read her diaries.

The food was excellent from the first bon bouche to the last chocolate with a decaf and liqueur (excellent for the digestion). The lady who greeted us was Carol who does the cooking. She is a gifted chef and really understands how to make food delicious and satisfying without causing any discomfort.

Only one small disaster. Whilst eating my steak in a delicious red jus I missed spearing a mange tout and was splattered with the jus all over my pristine white top. The ambience was such that I didn’t feel at all embarrassed and we all admired the startling sun burst effect it had made. In the end we agreed it would be better to go and change and happily I can report that my top is pristine once more thanks to lots of cold water soaking and Vanish.

It was a short but sweet break; we would definitely go there again and feel fortunate to have such a place within easy driving distance. The next day we went to Taunton and bought a hat and shoes for me and a shirt and silk tie for MTL. We have our step- grandson’s wedding in July. Yippee!


Castle of Comfort
Dodington,
Bridgwater
TA5 1LE
Somerset
www.castle-of-comfort.co.uk

36 comments:

AndrewM said...

‘It’s OK! ‘she reassured us, ‘You don’t have to do anything’.

One of you must have looked worried. Have a good weekend.

Z said...

I spluttered crumbs over the keyboard at that bit, Andrewm. Mind you, separate showers aren't very cosy for a honeymoon suite...

belle said...

what was she thinking you might 'have to do' in the Bridal Suite????????
order champagne; test the bed springs; check the bath and/or shower was big enough for two; test the carpet was pure new wool ?????
expect you did all that!

gautami tripathy said...

I somewhat feel the same way as belle..:D

Michele sent me here today..

f:lux said...

Were you upgraded as a treat for your anniversary? (Anniversary of what?) Not that it matters - how romantic!

PI said...

andrem: see what you've started!

Z: suits us. MTL is a shower man and I don't like unfamiliar ones whereas I can leap in and out of the bath like a mountain goat:}

I don't know what she had in mind. We try not to disappoint.

Hi Gautami!

F:lux: no she didn't know at that stage. It was the anniversary of when I went to live with MTL. (28)
!

mar said...

Your pictures below are fantastic, what a wonderful place!!!Upgrading is always a nice thing to happen.
Here via Michele's, have a wonderful weekend!

sablonneuse said...

Sorry, but I was also wondering the same as andrewm.
Anyway, the place looks wonderful. You couldn't fail to have a lovely time there - whatever the weather.

belle said...

I'm going visiting MIchele as she seems to send her friends everywhere ....

PI said...

Mar: it also makes you inhibited about bing greedy so I didn't use the gowns or eat the chocolates.

Sablonneuse: we had only had coffee there before and it was an article by Paddy Burt in the DT which inspired us.

Belle: I used to wonder who Michele was.

belle said...

now I've found out - what fun!

Moogie said...

Oh that sounds heavenly. I love your description. It's wonderful that you got yourself and upgrade, without even asking. I'm glad your blouse is pristine white again.

PI said...

Belle: you meet some nice people1

Moogie: Do people actually ask for an upgrade?

kenju said...

It all looks lovely! Thanks for the photos. Six anniversaries?????

R. Sherman said...

Dear, I feel the MTL's pain.

First, I refuse to ride in a vehicle the EMBLOS is piloting.

Second, some months back in the middle of the night, she kicked me in bed because, (so I'm told) I was snoring.

Her exact words: "Could you please stop breathing."

I'm not kidding.

Cheers.

Mr. Althouse said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip. I can't even imagine not driving or what is was like to learn how. It's been like 30 years now. When I taught my boys how to drive, it occurred to me that I did not always know how to drive. I was not born with a set of keys in my hand. I learned how to be patient again.

This post takes me back again.

Michele sent me, now it's bed time,

Mike

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Pat...it sounds absolutely idealic! The room...(How sweet that they gave you ther The Bridal Suite") and the food..YUMMM! Love those chocs, as you said....
I love that you have about six anniversary's a year...You must detail them for us!(lol)

PI said...

Judy: see dates for you and Naomi.

Randall: I think you have as much in common with MTL as I have with EMBLOS:)

Mike : I just hope my # 1 son is doing the same as he teaches my grand-son!

Naomi (And Judy)Our two birthdays, the date of our reunion after thirty years, the date I went to live with him, our wedding date and the last one I'll have to leave to your imagination:)

Becky68 said...

That sounds so nice! Especialy the part where you got upgraded & all, I can definitley identify with the splashing jus all over your blouse, I have constant accidents like that myself!
Here from Micheles.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Just read your comment here, to Judy and me...LOL, LOL...I got it! You gave me my first LOL, of the morning, Pat...

I am so Happy that Venus Willisms won....it was on here but it started at 6AM....I was "sawing wood" as they say....Zzzzzzland, as I like to say...

I just love that particular Bouganvilla, I think, more than any other, Though.....Well, they are all so lush and beautiful...WE ARE lucky here in Southern Calfornia, to have so very many plants that do well....the tropical (some), the Desert, (many) and all the rest...! Sometimes it does look like a paradise.

Oracle said...

Sounds wonderful

I love that part of the country Cheddar Gorge etc...

I often stay in North Petherton its really nice ;)

Michele Sent me ;)

PI said...

Becky: I
I'm glad I'm not the only one:)

Naomi: My garden is looking very blowsy now with all the rain and consequent neglect.

Oracle : we used to have friends in South Petherton but I've never been to North Petherton. We must go and see.

Carmi said...

Cold water and Vanish. Got it. I hope they sell that stuff on this side of the pond: our kids are messy enough that we need all the cleaning help we can get!

Michele says hi again, Pat. Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

David said...

so many blessings piled on top of one another, JUST WHAT YOU DESERVED!

FOUR DINNERS said...

If you drive like Caz I'm not surprised his breathing was iffy....

Bridal suite eh? nice one

PI said...

4d: careful! I might just tell her!

rashbre said...

Sounds positively idyllic. And a lovely location captured well in the photographs.
rashbre

aka_Monty said...

It sounds like a wonderful time, and Happy Anniversary! :)

Hi, Michele sent me!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Gee, thanks for the address. I think I'll pop on over and have a popover.

PI said...

Rashbre and Monty: thank you!

Hoss let me know when and pop over here.

apprentice said...

Yes i like the waver bit too. Looks a lovely place and your driving sounds excellent,which must have given you confidence.

PI said...

Anna : I'm a bit sluggish today but you've got me puzzled with 'the waver bit'? Is it the upgrading thing?

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Vanish rocks.

PI said...

Sam: I assume you have Vanish in the 'States. Carmi was wondering. I think he is Canada.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hahaha "breathe evenly and quietly."

"You don't have to do anything."

Pat, delicious post this!

PI said...

GG: I wonder what she meant?