Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween House of Horrors

We popped out tonight to visit our friends Marc a Jodie tonight at the debut of the Halloween House of Horrors, put on by Day and Night Solutions, James Day is the, what can I say, inventor (?), creator, of the House of Horrors, which has grown over the years, to such an extent that the local pub now gives up their garden to host the extravaganza.

If you have the chance, get down to The Bull Inn Horley, nr. Gatwick, and spend £3 to go round the haunted house, you will not believe the effort that has been put into making it a memorable experience for everybody.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Otter Falls for a Week

It was off down to Devon this week, for a break at Otter Falls near Honiton, Lynne had been hankering for another break as soon as we returned from France, and this was her choice; a place where she can relax and I can fish (keeping out of her way).

So what was the place like?  Well it was very relaxed, the people were nice, the location was exquisite and it definitely deserved a write up here.

The Accommodation
The Lodges are constructed from pine beams, raised off the ground on brick pillars, good insulation, warm and homely. Our Lodge had all the home comforts needed, recently refurbished bathroom with shower/bath, a  well equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, large living/dining area with large widows overlooking the top lake and a log burner in the corner. The Lodges are non-smoking of course, but the veranda was perfect to sit out on and watch the world go by.
The only downsides to the accommodation were the cooker was not that good, therefore difficult to bake with and you have to take a meter reading at the beginning and end of your stay and pay for the electric/gas you have used, an all inclusive rental would have been better, but these were minor niggles.

Walking around the complex, it was well set out with only a few lodges per lake, so you were not tightly packed together, then there were the cottages set out with their own little courtyard, the layout had been well thought out.

The Facilities
Otter Falls was well equipped with entertainment for everyone, my daughter and her boyfriend made good use of the swimming pool, sauna and tennis court but there was also a putting green, table tennis room (small table) and games room with a pool table.

In the evening, there is a bar/bistro on site, the Tickled Trout, with a very good selection of food and a well equipped bar, which is good because Otter Falls is in the middle of nowhere, there is not a lot within walking distance.

Talking of walking, they have thought of those of us with dogs, and created a superb dog walking area behind the lakes, with paths around meadows and woods, making you feel safe letting your pet off the lead.  For those a bit more adventurous, the site is next to public footpaths and bridleways, with beautiful views of the Blackdown Hills, especially watching the sun rise over the ridge.

The Fishing
With three lakes to choose from, there is something for every fisherman here.  The top lakes were stocked with carp, tench, perch etc. whilst the bottom lake is stocked with trout.  I only fished the top lake this week, it was nice to set up and then leave everything on the swim whilst I popped back to the lodge for a cup of tea.
What did I catch... tench mainly, a nice perch, and I did loose to very nice carp (I didn't say I was a good fisherman).  Talking to the locals, dog biscuits and bread seem to be the weapons of choice but I got the best results from pork luncheon meat, boilies seemed to be a waste of time as did sweetcorn.
There are quite a few rules for fishing these lakes and it is well worth checking them out prior to visiting the site.