Heathcliff House Discover Torquay in Devon
Heathcliff House Discover Torquay in Devon

February 2018

As I wend my way back across the South West after a weekend spent with our daughters, Penelope and Nathalie, in the village of Box on the outskirts of Bath, I am suddenly struck by the changing seasons.  Is this recognition of the passing year a symptom of the aging process or simply a realisation that each season needs to be celebrated?  I don’t think I will solve that riddle but as I cross the border into Devon and reach the top of the Blackdown Hills snow begins to fall and I am forcefully reminded that it is just the beginning of February!  Closer to home the dancing catkins on the trees against a clear blue sky and the nodding heads of clumps of snowdrops along the roadside herald the arrival of spring days, and I look forward to fresh days, cool enough to walk and explore the coastline, Dartmoor or further afield without a thick coat or gloves.  While in the warmth of the car I feel the sun’s rays warm my face and the promise of a sultry summer feels real, a gentle breeze, the rustle of the fronds of a palm tree and a soft creamy ice cream.  Stopping at a junction, a beech hedge clings to its bronzed and golden leaves and some song words fill my head “through autumn leaves we used to kick our way, you always loved this time of year” – As I draw near to home a gentle rain is falling, snow is a rare commodity in Torquay.  How lucky we are to live in this part of Devon so close to both coast and countryside, Torbay is splendid, at any time of year!

I’ve been perusing cookery books and websites for interesting marmalade recipes but came back to a tried and tested favourite this week – Grapefruit and Lime, as you may have seen from Nigel’s Facebook post.  I spent a relaxed afternoon slicing the peel from grapefruits, limes and lemons, squeezing the fleshy fruits to release their precious juice -  not always an easy thing with a lime - even when I tried the “microwave trick” and warming the sugar in a low oven, a recommendation from a sweet making book inherited from my father’s mother, Grandma Prior.  Then, presiding over the cauldron, sorry preserving pan, just waiting for that moment when the mixture is the right consistency, I’ve tried using a jam thermometer in the past but don’t think you can beat knowing when it looks right – although I certainly haven’t perfected the art!

Don't forget about our March Madness Offer - get a FREE night in our home.  Book a three-night break for two adults to be taken between the 1st March 2018 and the 29th March 2018 and only pay for two nights. Yes, that's right, you get the third night FREE.  Simply use the book now button on the right to check availability then select your three nights, enter the promo code MAD into the box and the total cost of your stay will be automatically adjusted.  It really is as simple as that, choose your dates in March and get your FREE night.  Alternatively you can call us on 01803 211580 and speak to me or Nigel.


We look forward to seeing you!  "Arrive as guests, leave as friends”
Warm regards, Juliette

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