If your Christmas is shaping up to be less than that idyllic cameo on the TV adverts… come with me … and join us for the most unexpected Christmas evening we’ve ever had.

(Above: Marldon, a jewel just outside Torquay)

The first of December, 2022. The last day of our winter holiday.

It had not been a good day for my ego. Thrashed 6-3 by my wife, Bernie, at crazy golf, I was consoling myself with the thought of my final two pints of Devon Dreamer, an ale produced by one of the local micro-breweries that I had come to love during the course of the week of our winter break on the south Devon coast.

(Above: Devon Dreamer. I shall not forget you…)

This was to be our last night in Marldon, a village just inland from Torquay, set in one of the rolling Coombes (valleys) that define this idyllic landscape.

One of the delights of the small cottage we had booked was its closeness to the local pub: The Church House Inn – a mere five minutes’ walk downhill, past the park and up the stone steps to where the carriages used to discharge their passengers.

(Above: the Church House Inn, Marldon; our local for the week)

Hearing from the people who owned our cottage (and lived next door) that the Church House Inn was both good and busy, we had booked three meals out over the course of our week. The first two had been excellent. This was the final treat.

(Above: the Church House Inn, with its ‘coaching steps’)
(Above: the row of cottages at the side of the pub)

Arriving at the inn, we found ourselves on the edge of growing crowd, with more families arriving by the minute. It turned out that the local Christingle parade of the first day of December ended with a gathering in the space outside the pub – where Santa Claus would give token presents to all the children.

(Above: the culmination of the Christingle and the appearance of Santa Claus)

We watched and waited for a while, being warmly included by the locals. Then we turned to to enter and find our table, as there were tight time-slots for dinner.

(Above: the warm interior beckons…)
(Above: our table was next to the log-burner; warm coats were rapidly discarded)

The meal was lovely. Washed down, in my case, by two pints of the fine Devon ale. We didn’t really want to leave. Many of the diners had retired to the bar. We thought about it, but wanted to get back to the cottage and pack, as we had to check out by 09:00 the following morning.

(Above: nearly time to go… just finish this…)
(Above: Marldon by night)

Outside, again, we gave Tess a moonlight walk into the park, then walked the short distance back up the hill to our cottage.

Thank you, Devon. Thank you, Marldon. You were a warm and hospital home for a much- needed break before the busyness of Christmas.

I’ll be taking a break after this Thursday’s blog… back in the New Year with batteries recharged for 2023.

©Stephen Tanham 2022

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

14 Comments on “An Early Christmas with Devon Dreamer

  1. Perfect, Steve. What a delightful evening. Very best wishes for Christmas and the coming year, and I look forward to picking up your blog again in 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

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