Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Pack o' Cards Inn

After our very muddy walk in Combe Martin (see previous post) we went for lunch in the Pack o' Cards. We booked before we set off on our walk. The Pack o' Cards is a grade 2 listed building dating back to the 17th century. It was built by George Ley after a win at the gaming tables, stand on 52 square feet of land, has 52 windows and 4 floors with 13 rooms on each floor.

Sunday dinner was our only option today, but the children could have had something from the children's menu if they'd wanted it. An adult dinner was £5.95 and a children's was £3.95. There were only four puddings, all stodgy stuff with custard, so we didn't have pudding. The meal was nice enough, although I have no idea why the roast chicken came with Yorkshire puddings instead of stuffing. My major complaint was the length of time we waited. We sat down at our table at 1.00 and it was another 45 minutes after this that we finally saw our food. Considering roast was the only thing on the menu you'd have thought they'd have served it up much quicker.

Combe Martin

This sleepy little villiage is located on the North Devon coast just past Ilfracombe. It has a small sandy beach, as seen in the photo above, the longest street in England, stretching for three miles, and the pub where we had lunch. That's basically about all there is in Combe Martin, but there are several coastal paths leading from the village which offer spectacular views over the seas and Exmoor.

We parked in the pub car park and wandered down to the beach today and from there followed the footpath marked 'Hangmans'. This leads up some steep hills to two high promontories called Little Hangman and Great Hangman. Great Hangman is the highest sea cliff in England. We didn't make it that far. My husband, in his wisdom, said before we let home 'Oh there are good clear paths up there.' Which meant daughters no.2 and 3 decided they wouldn't need wellies and that trainers would do. Big Mistake! The paths were caked in gooey, slimey, slippery mud. Before we'd got very far indeed their white trainers had turned brown. Not long after this my husband was left with mud on his face when he was the first to slip over in it. Unfortunately he took daughter no.3 with him when he went. She did see the funny side - later.

We struggled on for a while hoping that going forwards would be better than going back. There were several places along the way to sit and recover from the steep climb, although I suspect they were actually intended for people to enjoy the lovely views. We did that too. Then we spotted a fork in the path. Go left and make the climb up to the summit of Little Hangman, or right back into Combe Martin. We went right. Perhaps we'll make it to the top of the Hangmans in summer, when the paths might be drier.