Saturday 8 March 2014

Highbullen Hotel: Review

Having lived in Devon for around 6 years on and off, I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I have never ventured further afield than Exeter.

I had heard many great things about North Devon but yet for some reason, whenever it came time to think of weekend's away or seaside holidays - Cornwall always seemed the go-to destination.

However, we were recently invited along to the HighBullen Hotel which is located in the heart of North Devon's spectacular countryside - nestled between Dartmoor & Exmoor national parks, and just a short drive from the city of Exeter.

I had browsed the website before our arrival, and thought it looked like a pleasant, quaint countryside hotel - I expected to have a nice time of course.

I realise that reviews such as this can often be over-enthusiastic - but I am speaking the truth when I say that no amount of poetic description or unbridled praise could possibly do this hotel justice.

We drove through the beautiful North Devon country roads on our approach to HighBullen on a beautiful sunny day, admiring the we pulled up to the hotel itself we saw what we expected to, a pretty manor house-style hotel.

It was when we stepped inside that we realised this place was something truly special....

The decor is elegant and tasteful, yet still very luxurious - the feature staircase in the main hall is very eye catching and you can't help but feel elegant descending on your way down to dinner.

There are 2 or 3 very pretty morning rooms, each with stunning views across the sprawling North Devon countryside - the perfect place to take afternoon tea or relax with the morning paper.


Saturday 1 March 2014

Pizza Express: Review

I was recently invited to visit my local Pizza Express to try out their new Seasonal Specials menu.

I have only been to Pizza Express once before and that was for takeout food, so I was looking forward to trying it out properly as I hear a lot of positive talk about it from friends.

Our nearest Pizza Express is in Torquay, so that's where we headed....we decided to go just after lunch time, which meant the restaurant was very quiet - there were only 2 or 3 other tables filled, and by the time our meal was over we were the only people in there - very relaxing!

The staff were extremely friendly on arrival, I wish I had got the waiters name (he had a west midlands accent if that helps!) as he was very friendly and accommodating.

I was immediately struck with the decor of the restaurant - I particularly loved the rather unusual & funky chairs dotted along the walls going up the stairs!

The menu was pretty extensive and I had a hard time deciding what to the end I asked the staff for advice as I simply couldn't decide between pasta or pizza, but they suggested the pizza and - given that this IS Pizza Express after all - I decided that's what I would go with!

Our starters arrived very quickly....the kitchen is very open plan and you can see the chef working away, so I knew our main courses wouldn't be far behind as I could see him preparing them as we tucked in to our starters!

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