This particular area of the River Teign is called Arch Brook, where a brook enters the river – husband took this photo out of the window of the car. The village on the opposite side of the river is Bishopsteignton
Yesterday we enjoyed a family birthday lunch. Our son’s partner’s mother and father invited us to join them to celebrate the father’s birthday, and they had booked a table for us at Coombe Cellars Pub, which is on the banks of the River Teign here in South Devon.
I would say right away, that this is not a pretty, traditional thatched Devon pub, but it is in the most marvellous setting and the owners, various ones over the years, have turned a mad collection of rooms into a very nice place to visit, either just for a drink or morning coffee or, as yesterday, Sunday Lunch.
I actually took this photo (above) three years ago on a very cold November day. Yesterday was much nicer but I didn’t manage to take a photo of the whole building yesterday as there were so many cars parked outside, preventing a good view of the façade. This was the photo (below) that I did take …
Combe Cellars Pub is near the village of Coombeinteignhead and, on researching a bit of its history, I have read that “a guide by William Hyett published in 1800 extolled the inn as ‘standing in a most picturesque situation'”. I’m not going to argue with that! Years ago it was known as the Ferry Boat Inn and the word “cellars” refers to the fish cellars – these were huts in which fishermen who did not live on the coast cold store their boats, nets and other fishing equipment. Indeed, this location and the building has a long history and as well as being used for fishing, it was also a drop-off point for smugglers. Today, it’s a lovely quirky inn, with lots of various areas inside, some small, some large, some carpeted, some tiled, and with an excellent, diverse menu (husband chose sea bass while I chose crab and prawn fishcakes which came with asparagus and a pea puree.)
Below are various areas of this pub, taken on a previous visit – it was very busy yesterday and it would’ve been rude to point my camera at people as they were eating their Sunday lunches.
We sat in an area which has lovely windows onto the estuary of the River Teign …
This photo was taken three years ago, new chairs have replaced the variety of old chairs that were here. Indeed, we sat at that table for six in the photo above, opposite the jetty outside.
The road to Coombe Cellars is ‘interesting’ (for which read “narrow”!) We took the coast road from Torquay and, at the village of Shaldon turned left to Coombeinteignhead, a village upstream from Teignmouth. Immediately we were in the village of Ringmore and one of the first buildings you see is Ringmore Towers …
… a somewhat flamboyant building in red sandstone with towers and battlements, jutting out into the estuary. I have read that it was constructed by a builder called Collins sometime around 1890, and he lived there until his death in 1925 (it is now divided into apartments.)
And this is what the building looks like from the estuary, again I took this photo (below) on another occasion …
Further along the road bends around to the left and there is a lovely thatched house with what I refer to as “custard-over-pudding” thatch.
Even in that short space of time, and about 500 yards, the light had changed, so it looked as if it was going to rain (again!) The building on the right has weatherboarding, and looks extremely smart.
The road continues on for a couple of miles, becoming increasingly narrow until you see the sign to Coombe Cellars. You have to be careful not to miss it (we have, on occasion, and then you have to drive right into Combeinteignhead village in order to turn around and make your way back to the turn off.)
We came down the road on the right in this photo (below), as if we were coming towards you as you look at this photo, and we needed to turn that hairpin right hand bend, down that narrow lane on the left in this photo. It necessitated a 3-point-turn in this narrow road in order to achieve this.
We just hoped that we’d not meet another vehicle coming up the long hill (below) down to the pub as there are few ‘passing places’.
For those living in America, New Zealand and Australia, this is what many a Devon lane looks like: narrow, twisty and turny, and often steep, too, Devon being a very hilly county.
Eventually we emerged at the bottom of the long lane, parked our car in the pub car park, and met our son and his lovely partner and her parents.
All the items on the menu that we chose were delicious. The only one minor drawback was that service was extremely slow, but in mitigation, it was a very busy Sunday and, in any case, we weren’t hurrying off anywhere; we were able to enjoy the lovely views and chat and build up an appetite.
This was the view from where I was sitting. Unfortunately, we have never managed to have a meal here when it’s been high tide on the river – it’s always been low tide, with the muddy estuary in the foreground, but still it’s a very pretty view towards Dartmoor in the far distance.
After our lunch, we emerged replete, and I took a few more photos. By now it had turned into a lovely sunny afternoon.
This photo (above) was taken on a previous visit but it shows the conservatory area on the left in which we were seated. This is how the scene looked yesterday …
What a difference sunshine makes!
And finally, the view upstream, towards Dartmoor.
We all then departed and made our various ways home. Once home all I wanted to do was have a nice little snooze. Lunch with family in such a lovely setting is hard to beat. But best of all, of course, is being with family, regardless of setting. I hope you had an equally lovely day yesterday.
Until next time.