September at The Moult
There can be a melancholy when summer ends but not in Salcombe where after a busy few months those lucky enough to stay on have enjoyed the warm weather and sense of calm.
The crowds have gone and the pace is gentle. You can enjoy the beaches without tripping over picnics or walk the South West Coast Path when it’s less hot. You don’t have to book ahead to get into the popular restaurant and The Bake House still has croissants left at 10am.
There could be nothing lovelier than taking a boat down to South Pool on an autumn day to have lunch at The Millbrook Inn. The journey takes you from the bustling Salcombe Estuary past East Portlemouth and on to a tributary with lush banks and plenty of bird life. Once tied up at the jetty there is a gentle stroll across to the picturesque village with stepping stones crossing the ford to arrive at the pub. When we last visited the bouillabaisse was delicious as was the hot roast beef sandwich. However this outing should come with a warning as it can only be done at high tide, if you attempt getting here when the water is low you, like many before you will have to get the boat out of the mud!
Talking of water levels, the low spring tide meant that we were able to walk from South Sands Beach over to Splat Cove to see the towering rocks above the pale sand. Usually when the bay is full of sea water, brave soles jump off the high rocks into the cool water below, but the exceptionally low tide allowed us to explore the pathways between the rocks looking out for smugglers’ caves. The estuary level was so low that it felt as if you could almost touch Prawle Point across the estuary.
We have been busy picking apples at The Moult. The crop is fantastic with all sorts of local varieties old and new. We’re thrilled with the red apple shown in the photo as this tree was only planted last year. So we’ve been eating a lot of apple crumble, stewed apple and now it’s time for home pressed juice. Over at Sharpham Vineyard near Totnes they are also busy in their orchard, prepping for their autumn Apple Day festival on 9 October when they will be using an oak press to produce fresh apple juice. Of course they will also be harvesting their grapes to produce their famous wines. Any time of year you can visit Sharpham Vineyard and visitors are welcome to explore the farm on a ‘trek and taste’ tour as well as stopping in their café to sample their award-winning cheeses.
Another thing not to be missed is the photography exhibition at The National Trust’s property, Overbeck’s, a short walk from The Moult. The exhibition shows winners of a competition held earlier in the year to show the beauty of plants and the secret life of their wonderful exotic garden. The exhibition goes on until the end of October.
Also in the local news, there’s a fantastic new brunch menu on offer at South Sands Hotel. There were so many choices that we went two weekends in a row. I have also spotted that The Oyster Shack in Bigbury on Sea invites you to hone your culinary skills with a new series of cooking masterclasses.