The train journey was an eventful one. As always, I left home way too late and ended up walking briskly (OK, running) to the station, having 14 seconds to spare before my train left when I tapped my Oyster card (I did check the exact time as I entered the station). Needless to say, my run down the stairs was everything but gracious.
It took me a good 20 minutes to recover, by which time I had to change trains and I remembered I had booked my tickets and should not have used my Oyster card. The train to Axminster, on which I had not been able to reserve a seat, only had 3 carriages (really?) and it was already full when I got on at Clapham junction. An hour later and I had a seat, thank goodness.
Only a couple of people came off the train at the same time as me in Axminster, and they headed straight to their cars, which were parked there. There was no taxi in sight, but luckily, a large sign was advertising the local taxi company. After several attempts, it dawned on me that nobody would answer. 9.20 p.m. might have been too late. Thanks to the map app on my phone, I started the mile-long walk to Prestoller House, where I had booked a room for the two nights to come. The hill was steep and I was cursing myself for wearing heels (what was I thinking?) and carrying so much stuff, but I got there eventually, out of breath and sweaty (recurring theme on that day).
I knocked shyly, as it was rather late and I did not want to wake anyone up. Caroline opened the door with a big smile on her face, asking me: “Are you Mel?” When she found out I had walked, Caroline reprimanded me, insisting I should have rung her and she would have picked me up. I felt at home already!
After a tour of my room, Caroline asked me whether I would have a croissant made by her other half in the morning (would I ever?). I would also have cooked breakfast in the morning and we parted, Caroline promising she would wake me up if I did not appear in the house by 8.15 a.m.
When you are rarely away from your family, the prospect of a night or two on your own seems like a treat, but the reality of it is despite the noise and the mess at home, I missed Hubby and the little ones.
I was glad I had booked my two nights away from my family at Prestoller House. My cosy room, coupled with Caroline making me feel completely at home, really eased the guilt of being away from my family.
My room had its private entrance.
It was spacious and clean, with everything a guest could wish for: a comfortable bed, nice, powerful shower, cosy armchairs and fluffy towels.
This is what you expect when you book a room, but Caroline and Adrian have really thought about everything. Small details made all the difference.
Shower gel and conditioner, hand wash, sewing kit and small toiletries were of high quality.
On one of the bedside tables, freshly cut flowers were brightening up the room.
A bottle of filtered water straight from the fridge was ready by the side of the bed.
The promise of a good cup of coffee was there too in the form of a Nespresso machine.
A kettle, fresh milk, biscuits, sweets and teabags were also… the WiFi signal was strong.
Under the large flat screen TV, magazines and books offered temptation to relax and unwind.
Inside the wardrobe, two dressing gowns and slippers made me feel even more welcome.
I had intended to work when I got there. Instead, I had a cup of coffee, followed by a bath at midnight!
Breakfast was out of this world.
Adrian and Caroline had an impressive range of breakfast options to tickle my taste buds, and I have to say I was a happy guest, starting with cereal
delicious strawberry jam and marmalade
homemade croissants, fruit salad
and scrumptious cooked breakfast, with all the trimmings: scrambled eggs cooked to perfection, mushrooms, bacon, black pudding, sausages served with fresh bread.
My friend Vicki came for coffee before we headed to River Cottage HQ, and as we were chatting to Adrian, we found out he had intolerances to gluten and dairy. There is no doubt Caroline and Adrian would try their very best to cater for those with allergies or intolerances.
Would I stay at Prestoller House again? Yes, yes, ten times yes!
Here is where you can find this lovely Bed & Breakfast:
Prestoller House, Beavor Lane, Axminster, EX13 5EQ, United Kingdom
Website: click here
One of my lucky readers could win a night for two with breakfast at Prestoller House.
How to enter the giveaway:
Check the instructions in the form below. You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment. You must also leave a comment on this blog post for your entry to be valid.
Entries are open until 23.59 p.m. GMT time on 27 October 2015. Good luck!
– The prize will be supplied directly by Prestoller House.
– The giveaway is open worldwide. You must be over 18.
– I spent two nights as Prestoller House and was given a discount for sharing photographs with the owners. No payment was received. All opinions and photographs are my own.