Technically, Sam took me on holiday twice in one weekend for my birthday. I say it every time, but it's still true. How lucky am I? After we left Bristol on the Sunday morning we went straight into Exeter. Another place I had never been, but always wanted to go. I actually went back through one of the first conversations we had and found I'd mentioned wanting to tick Devonshire off my UK bucket list. I have now! It's always looked so picturesque, just completely out of the way. It was the break we both needed, a real relax. No wifi, huge one way country roads and a view I won't ever be forgetting. At night it was just incredible, you could see lights for miles but couldn't hear anything.
We couldn't check in until later so we spent most of the morning wandering around Exeter town centre, which is absolutely gorgeous. Plenty of places to wander into and all relatively close. Behind some of the main streets were cobbled little streets with slightly more quirky stores and lovely little pubs. And, we ent for my favourite food, Sushi! A much needed meal after a late and cocktail filled night in Bristol.
When we checked in I could've cried. Sam had shown me pictures of where we were going the night before but I didn't realise just how beautiful this little stable this was. It was hard to believe it was a converted horse stable. It was finished off so beautifully. You can see from the photos there is no bathroom insight...instead it was attached at the other end of the stable. You needed to walk out along the edge and go in through a different door. It certainly woke you up in the morning!
The stable had no radiators or heating aside from a little log burner, which I thought at first wouldn't manage to warm up the room. Oh how wrong I was. We had to put the door on the latch at some points because it was almost unbearably warm. The bed had the thickest, cosiest quilt as well. Which was certainly needed when the log fire went out. A job we both decided it would be best that Sam dealt with...I did have a go with the hatchet chopping wood. I can confirm I still have all my fingers.
There was a microwave to cook with, a camp stove and lots of pots and pans available for us both to use. As well as spices, oil and all sorts. The lovely couple, Laura and Mitch, that owned the stable really looked after the both of us. I think Air BnB is the way forward now. You'd never get this kinda experience with a hotel.
When we left we signed the guestbook and had a flick through the other peoples messages that had been there. It was so lovely.
We're already planning to go back.
The stable was in its own little courtyard with fields surrounding three of its sides. In one of the fields was a lovely chicken coop that Mitch sent us to, to find some eggs to take back with us. Unfortunately, these chickens are masterminds of escapism and somehow break free and tend to hide their eggs. It's like Easter permanently.
Monday morning we went for a wander around Dartmoor and saw the stones that were in Sherlock Holmes Hounds of the Baskerville. I have never in my life seen such huge cows before! Absolutely massive they were, and roaming free. Across the road free, one of those hits your car it won't tickle. Probably about ten minutes into walking up the hill the car disappeared and we were shrouded in mist. A further five minutes after that and the rocks came into view. It was such a surreal experience.
The photo of Sam on the rock is possibly one of my favourite photos I've ever taken...my favourite photo is just after it.
After a brisk walk we went for a wander round a little village called Widecome in the Moor. The kind of village where everyone definitely knows each other. It's so cute. I picked up a few little presents there for my family and we wandered into the different little shops before heading for lunch. Sam took me to a place called The Old Inn, where I had the best fish and chips. But just look at the size of the thing, it looked like a shark.
Sam had a steak pie, again monstrous in size. I must say I'm very proud of myself of late, I've been trying more foods and enjoying them! Sam let me pinch a bit of his pie to give a go and I was shocked how much I liked it. Might have to start getting them instead of sausage rolls now...
For the price the portions were fantastic.
If you're around Widecombe it's a lovely little pub. With some very quirky furniture. If/when we go back to Exeter I reckon we'll be going back. Who knows I might actually order a steak pie!
After we were sufficiently full we headed back into the town centre for another wander. He'd mentioned it the day before but today Sam took me down the narrowest street in Exeter, and considered to be one of the narrowest streets in the world.
As though I hadn't been spoiled enough for my birthday by this weekend, I also ended up with a new addition to my pandora bracelet. Which has an overwhelming Disney theme...no shock there. Every time I have it on I find myself smiling down at my wrist now, remembering an amazing weekend away filled with laughter and love.
The final night we spent in the stable and Sam cooked an incredible meal...but not using anything Mitch and Laura provided actual kitchen wise. We (Sam) used the barbecue outside and the log burner. That little thing got hot enough to melt camembert! Whilst Sam was slaving away I got snap happy and took advantage of the fact he was otherwise occupied and got a load of photos of the place, and of course Sam cooking.
I take slight credit for the camembert, by that I mean I suggested it. Sam came up with a way of cooking it. Which at first was the use of a colander over the barbecue fire outside...which was swiftly put out and so the log burner was used instead. He also did a lovely salad, plenty of bread to dip in the cheese, new potatoes, sausages and lamb chops cooked in butter. I did the washing up. That's usually the deal. He cooks, I wash and pour the wine. And much wine we had.
I couldn't have imagined spending bonfire night any differently. We didn't see any fireworks but we heard some. Honestly, it was nice being in a virtually silent place on bonfire night. Just so relaxing. A cosy night in with no wifi, great food and we managed to get Netflix working! Oh the power of data. From the Friday I got to Sam's to the Monday night we binged the entire series of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Watch it. It's incredible.
This weekend away meant the world to me. I got to celebrate my birthday not once, but twice over two weekends. This one I got to spend alone with Sam, the most perfect weekend with my favourite person. I've said it so much, both on here, instagram and in person but I can't express enough how thankful I was for this time away. Now, I can't wait to take him away for his birthday.