Thursday 12 July 2018

What's on this weekend...

A sneaky peek at some of the local events this coming weekend. 

With many thanks to By the Dart Magazine for all the great information and lovely photos.

Click the links for more details:

13th - 15th July

Craft Exhibition at St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth

12th & 13th July 10.30 - 4.30

July 13th

Young Artist Platform - Jade Gall & Alex Wilson

14th & 15th July

Dittisham Open Gardens 

July 14th

Balsam Bashing at Slapton Ley Field Centre 

July 14th
 Naturist Day at Fast Rabbit Farm


July 14th

Jacquie Dankworth - Jazz Sirens.
The Flavel Arts Centre, Dartmouth
July 15th

July 15th, at The Flavel

Anyone For Tennis..?
Wimbledon Live: Men's Final 2018

 Tempted..? Come on down!

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the family run Country House Hotel by the Sea...



Wednesday 4 July 2018

Festivals, Fetes, and Fundraising Fun in the Sun this coming weekend!

There's lots of fun and fine frolics to be had in the South Hams and surrounding area in early July. Click on the links for full details - and then come on down and have some fun!

This weekend...

Wild West Family Weekend Sat 6th & Sun 7th - Two Fun Fundraisers for all the family in Dartmouth's Market Square, to support Dartmouth Regatta, Dart Music Festival and Dartmouth Food Festival.

Flats and Sharps
Sat 7th

Free Wild West themed entertainment...
  Good fun to be enjoyed all day long in the Square - and with Chicken Roulette at the Dolphin Inn!

Ticketed evening event of  music from Flats and Sharps, a Bays Brewery Bar, hog roast, Bucking Broncos entertainment and more.

Sun 8th

Come along and taste 10 samples of chilli provided by various pubs and restaurants in town, including Browns Hotel, Café Alf Resco, Kendricks, Mark Lobb, The Deli at Dartmouth, The Dolphin, The Market House Inn and The Royal Castle Hotel

July 6th & 7th - Brixham Hap'nin'

Popular annual event just across the water...

July 6th - 16th at Dartington Hall, Totnes

 An annual Literary Festival of Words and Ideas...

July 7th/8th - Royal Classic Weekend 

The Royal Dart Yacht Club is pleased to announce the return of this biennial regatta event.

The 2018 Dartmouth Classic Regatta Weekend will be celebrated on the 7th & 8th July 2018.


July 7th

Held in St. Andrew’s Church and in the adjoining field in East Allington, TQ9 7RE, overlooking the beautiful village and countryside from 2pm - 5pm. 

Come and enjoy a family fun day out in the heart of the South Hams between Kingsbridge, Totnes and Dartmouth!

With the Dramatic Daredevil Teddies parachute jump from the top of the church tower, plus 'guess the weight of the lamb', 'splat the rat', 'hook a duck', 'beat the buzzer', tin can alley, BBQ & pasties, Pimms, teas, cake stall, 'guess the weight of the cake', bouncy castle, water into wine, plants, lucky 7, books, golf driving, wellie wanging, wonderful raffle prizes, story-telling and much more!

Whew! Is that enough Family Fun for you..??

Next weekend...

13th, 14th & 15th July

The Annual Kingsbeer Festival 

Set in a stunning riverside location in Kingswear, overlooking the Dart - and the 'Dark Side'...! 
With over sixty ales and ciders to choose from (plus wines and soft drinks) and good takeaway food.

With many thanks to By the Dart magazine for all the very helpful info.


And all these great events just a hop, skip and a jump from Stoke Lodge Hotel
  - the family run Country House Hotel by the Sea... 



Friday 29 June 2018

Thank you

Just wanted to say a very big thank you to all the members of the Mayer Family for hosting the Rotary Dinner at Stoke Lodge Hotel last night. 

It was obviously a sad occasion for them all without Steve being there in his usual place at the table with his glass of red to hand, but they carried on admirably to make it an enjoyable evening for us all and the food - as always - was fantastic.

The Mayer Family have said that 'the show must go on' and they obviously mean it - Alan and I just want to say a big thank you to them all for doing a wonderful job last night in difficult circumstances.

Steve will be sadly missed by all his Rotary friends but I know he will not be forgotten, and I am sure he would have been so proud of you all to see how well you looked after us last night.

You are not only brave - you are brilliant! Thanks a million.

With love from Val and Alan xx

(Guest Blogger Valeria D)

Thursday 31 May 2018

Need a FREE holiday...?

Sound to good to be true? Just read on...


Check out just some of the many ways you can be Foot Loose and Fancy FREE in the beautiful South Hams. 

Leave your phones, tablets and laptops behind on charge -  and recharge your own batteries for a change.

FREE all of your five senses at once as you enjoy:

A re-energising breath of fresh air as you savour that unmistakeable tang by the sea or on a river side walk.  Nothing to pay...

The feel of the soft breeze on your face and gently ruffling your hair. Completely Free...

The taste of the fresh salty air on your lips as you stroll along the waterfront.  
Cost? Zilch...

 The sound of the birds singing in the trees as you enjoy a peaceful woodland walk.  
No charge...

The incomparable sight of the waves sparkling in the sun as you walk along the beach.  

Above all, make a bit of FREE time for yourself!

Let nature help FREE you from your everyday stresses and strains - you know it makes sense...

 And just in case you didn't know, Stoke Lodge Hotel - the Family Run Country House Hotel by the Sea - is situated right slap bang on the South West Coast Path

What better place to start..??


Hotel Links:

Helpful links:


Wednesday 16 May 2018

What's Your Pleasure? South Hams Bank Holiday Events

There is sure to be something enjoyable going on to take your fancy over the next May Bank Holiday Weekend.

A sneaky peek at just a few of them - take your pick...


(National Trust)

Friday May 25th 

11.00 - 16.00


Friday May 25th and Saturday May 26th

19.30 - 21.30 

Day Sailing Trips on Kaskelot Tallship

Saturday 26th - Monday 28th May 

09.30 -15.30

Saturday 26th May

14.00 - 16.00

Saturday 26th May 

Sunday 27th May

Open 08.30 

A big thank you to Visit South Devon for all the great images and information.

Please visit the website for full details:

Just a few of the many attractions you can enjoy during your stay at Stoke Lodge Hotel - the Family Run Country House Hotel by the Sea. 

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Want to try a bit of Nature Raiding?.. South Hams events in May

The new buzz phrase, I heard the other day, is 'Nature Raiding'... 

Whatever will those inventive PR spin people think of next?? 

I mean, we all know that escaping into Nature and getting a bit of fresh air and exercise whenever we can is good for us - but if Those in the Know want to call a spring walk in the sunshine a 'Nature Raid', then who am I to argue? Sounds like a good idea to me...

 There's a warm and welcoming sun in the blue sky today, and the little clouds scudding along in  the breeze are of the regulation white and fluffy variety...perfect!

When they are not busily flying around with their beaks full of important nest building material, the birds in the tress are singing their dear little heads off.

The breathtaking banks of bluebells are taking over where the primroses left off on the winding and pretty roads to the South Hams, and Spring is definitely in  the air today - hurrah!

If you feel in need of a simple bit of relaxation as well as Nature Raiding, book a mini break at Stoke Lodge Hotel and start to unwind and enjoy yourself!


Here to whet your appetite is a small taster of events and things to do in the South Hams area during the next couple of weeks or so. 

Don't leave it too long though - those bluebells won't last forever...!

From Dart Music Festival to Dawn Chorus Walks, Spring Walks to Surfing Lessons, Folk Music to a Fish Market Tour, Crab Fests to Canoe Trips - oh and not forgetting the Brixham Pirate Festival, and much more..!

Please see below some links for further information:

Dart Music Festival - hugely popular annual event:

National Trust - Greenway's Spring Walks and more:

South Devon AONB - various events:

English Riviera What's On - various events :

Visit South Devon - the South Hams:

And for 'Walking in Nature' - the South West Coast Path:

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the family run Country House Hotel by the Sea. 

In the heart of the South Hams, it's the the perfect base for your own personal Nature Raid - and so much more... 


Wednesday 25 April 2018

World Book Event - Another Resounding Success!

World Book Event 2018 – Everything Changes When We Read...

Saturday 21st April saw the welcome return for the third year running of the popular World Book Event, which was as usual a sell-out.

Hosted by Stoke Lodge Hotel, this ‘extravaganza for writers and readers alike’ is organised by Devon Life Book Reviewer Annette Shaw.

Annette was inspired by the World Book Night event, which is celebrated on April 23rd each year and run by The Reading Agency, a charity whose mission is “to inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading, and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives”.

Because, as they say, ‘Everything Changes When We Read…’.

Patrick Barton - serenading us in the sun!

After a chatty morning coffee, all washed down delightfully with music from Patrick Barton's soothing acoustic guitar, there was a friendly rummage on a table fairly groaning with books for the usual free book exchange.

The event then kicked off with two very interesting and informative talks from guest speakers Wendy Thorogood and Hilda Kalap.

Wendy and Hilda each discussed different aspects of illiteracy and talked of the important work of The Reading Agency, who strenuously believe that reading for pleasure - from as early an age as possible - is absolutely vital for so many reasons. 

For more information on these fantastic resources please visit their websites:

World Book Night - The Reading Agency -

Local Author Philip Reeve

There then followed a fascinating talk and presentation from author Philip Reeve, whose novel ‘Mortal Engines’ is currently being filmed in New Zealand and produced by Peter Jackson (of films ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ fame, amongst many others).

More info here:

Local author Philip entertained us with stories of how he started his career as an illustrator and then turned to writing books for teenagers and young adults, at which he has become very successful.

Philip is a prolific writer and his enthusiasm for his craft was nothing short of infectious!

Speakers in the sun - with Organiser Annette Shaw

All three talks were very illuminating and certainly gave us something to think about as we enjoyed pre-lunch drinks on the sunny terrace, before repairing to the airy Garden Restaurant.

Val, Philip, Alan, Annette, Victoria and Julie

A delicious buffet lunch awaited us there, with a tempting array of cooked meats, prawns, crab pate, salads and many tasty side dishes and accompaniments – not to mention a selection of lovely desserts to help us finish on a sweet note.

After lunch came a talk from Elizabeth Ducie, author of many books and short stories, and Holly Jones, owner of Manna From Devon Cookery School and author of the Wood Fired Oven cookbooks. Elizabeth and Holly covered all aspects of self-publishing, and with a helpful question and answer session this talk was very useful and informative for all the budding writers present.

I am sure we will be seeing members of this year’s audience speaking at the Local Writers next year’s event...

Which brings me to the next and final speakers’ session where several local writers each had a five minute slot to talk about their work – with strict MC Alan Depledge having to be pretty nifty with his timer and butler’s bell…

We heard from Julie Archer, then Julie stood in for Jill Treseder (who sadly had to leave early) with news of her new novel, followed by Merrilyn Williams, Dan Metcalf, Mary Mclarey, Jenny Kane, Rachel Kiddey, Margaret Barnes, Steve Stevenson-Olds, Rolf Soderlind and Ian Hobbs (Good Reads). 

Remember, you heard their names here first…

There then followed a raffle with books kindly donated by Jane Corry, Jenny Kane, Elizabeth Ducie, Mary McLary and Richard Lappas, followed by a presentation of thank you gifts for organiser Annette Shaw and MC Alan Depledge.

What better way to end such a successful day than with a Devon Cream tea? Thankfully no arguments ensued regarding the order in which the jam and cream should be spread - probably because by this time the atmosphere was as happy and relaxed as could be, and folks all seemed to have that Feel Good Factor going on.

Hopefully a good time was had by all - and fingers crossed Annette may decide to do it all over again next year…

It all goes to show that Stoke Lodge is so much more than just 'your local hotel' - it makes a great venue too! 

Many thanks to the Mayer Family and all the staff for making it such a perfect day for all of us avid readers and writers.

Links for further info:

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the family run Country House Hotel by the sea...