I have got the countryside on my mind…

If you have read my previous blog post, you know, that Frenchie, Clara and I recently enjoyed a lovely weekend break in the countryside! Our journey began in Somerset, and then we travelled further south…

Welcome to Moorland Garden Hotel!

The beautiful Moorland Garden Hotel is located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park – a short drive from Plymouth and Tavistock 

We were kindly greeted by the staff, who took us to the “Forget-me-not” Suite

– and after having seen our room, we were convinced, that we certainly would NOT forget it! It was as big as a house and really, really lovely! We basically felt like royalty!

This was just perfect!

The suite features a beautiful four poster bed, a relaxing seating area, a Tassimo coffee machine, a modern ensuite bathroom with a bath and separate shower and a very big balcony with an amazing view of the pretty garden. (There was also a great baby cot for Clara!)

Before dinner we decided to hang out at the Dartmoor Bar

I really, really liked this place! There was a relaxed atmosphere, (and dogs are welcome too! One was actually sleeping on the sofa) You can unwind by the fire on the comfy sofas with a glass of wine or a book like Clara and I did! 

We were spoiled with lovely wine…

 – and a table in the corner of the Wildflower restaurant, where we could sit and enjoy our food with Clara without disturbing too many guests!

Again I must say, that everyone in this area of the UK are really, really nice! I don’t know, what it is – but the locals just seem to have more time to take an interest in you as a person! It is rare – and it makes you feel special as a guest of the hotel! 

If you are looking for a tranquil and relaxing dining experience, you should definitely visit the light and airy AA Rosette-awarded Wildflower Restaurant. Everything here comes together in sweet harmony: Interior, food and atmosphere 

Our dinner was amazing! I can honestly say, that not one dish dissapointed! Chicken liver parfait, spiced red onion chutney, toasted focaccia bread and olive tapenade

Pan seared West Country scallop, teriyaki risotto, roasted and pureed cauliflower and sautéed pancetta   

Sirloin steak with beer battered onion rings, grilled tomato, field mushroom and rocket. (I added peppercorn sauce to my steak… You should do the same! It was delicious)

Catch of the day, chorizo, sautéed beetroot, vegetable broth and wilted greens

Heavenly Latte chocolate fondant, Baileys marshmallow with cinnamon churro

Last – but not least my favourite! Apple and blackberry pie, blackberry icecream and creme anglaise!  Oh, how I wish, that I lived closer to this restaurant, so I could come back for more!

 – aaaand relax!

After a good night’s sleep, it was time for breakfast and a trip to Plymouth!

You can choose almost everything your heart desires from the a la card menu or the buffet…

Healthy  – or a little less healthy!

All of this fresh air certainly gives you an appetite! Clara is still learning to eat solids, and she is allowed to taste many things. (I do however always bring little baby food pouches from My little Piccolo, just to make sure, that she has, what she needs nutrition-wise!)

Being half French, obviously Clara had to taste a croissant…

“This is how to eat it, Clara!! (Look how focussed, she is!)

– and down it went! (With a little help from daddy!)

Enough with the food! It was time to explore! But…

This is something we didn’t see coming! Some of the famous Dartmoor ponies had decided to block the road – and they were NOT in a hurry!

Too cute! 

Being a horse-lover I had to go out and say hello to my new friends!

Bonus-info: The Dartmoor pony is one of the horse breeds that have lived on Dartmoor England for centuries and is used for a variety of disciplines. Because of the extreme weather conditions experienced on the moors, the Dartmoor pony is a particularly hardy breed with excellent stamina. All ponies free-roaming on Dartmoor are owned and protected by Dartmoor Commoners. It is illegal for visitors to feed the ponies – although it is a common sight to see the ponies being fed snacks through an open car window (source: Wikipedia)

As we only had 2 nights in this area, there were things, that we unfortunately missed out on! I am however really happy that we went to The Hoe

No trip to Plymouth is complete without a visit to The Hoe!

The name ‘Hoe’ derives from Old English and means ‘high ground’. Today The Hoe is an open green space overlooking the Sound and is used to host major events. The park was largely developed in the 1870s for the Victorians to enjoy, but it has long been a place of entertainment. Bull baiting took place here until 1815 and bowls have been played here for centuries

Standing tall on the luscious green-lawned expanse of the Hoe is the iconic Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse

Bonus-info: The Lighthouse was erected on the Eddystone Reef 1756-59, Replaced by Douglass’s Lighthouse in the 1880s (after the rocks upon which Smeaton’s Tower were deemed to be unsafe.) Work on re-erecting the original on a new plinth on the Hoe began in October 1882. Between 1860 and 1895 and then again in 1937 through to decimalisation, a depiction of the lighthouse appeared on the back of the English Penny

A statue of famous marine explorer Francis Drake by Joseph Boehm was placed here in 1884 to commemorate him. There are also several war memorials along the northern side of the Hoe

Another must-see, when you are in Plymouth, is The National Marine Aquarium!

The National Marine Aquarium is an ocean conservation charity dedicated to connecting people to the ocean. The exhibits features stunning underwater habitats and the animals that live there

There is always something going on at The NMA. Family’s can try everything from Tea Parties to Fright Nights to the world famous Sleeping with Sharks Sleepovers. Meanwhile adventurous minds can unwind at Body Balance events, learn something incredible through lecture series or enjoy the aquarium on their own terms with Quiet at the aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium is the largest public aquarium in the UK welcoming 300,000 visitors per year 

Bonus-info: Building the largest Aquarium in the UK, was the idea of the Plymouth based Marine Biological Association (MBA). This prestigious marine biology research institute had offered a small public aquarium for over 100 years. However, MBA scientists had a vision to establish a purpose built, national class aquarium in their city that that would help to ’”to promote a sympathetic understanding of our oceans to the public.” From this idea, the National Marine Aquarium was born and opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1998

Clara loved every minute!

She was helping daddy finding Nemo…

 – and Dory!

I was hanging out with the local mermaids, telling them about a famous mermaid I know from my previous hometown, Copenhagen!

As Clara turned 9 months the day, that we were visiting, we decided to give her a little present! She was however not really sure about the big seahorse

So instead she got a little one… Super cute!

Time for lunch! We were invited to eat at Mitch Tonks’ award winning Rockfish.

This is the perfect destination for seafood lovers. The restaurant overlooks the ocean, and was right next door to the National Marine Aquarium.

This was a really beautiful restaurant! I loved the colours and the interior… It felt like summer was suddenly here! 

These were just some the dishes, that Rockfish offers! There were even more… And it was REALLY hard to decide, because everything looked so good! (Freshly fried or grilled sustainable and local fish and a cornucopia of seafood pleasures from cracked crab to grilled lobster. The entire menu is also available gluten-free!)

Clara was cuddling with daddy – and I was still trying to figure out, what to order!

As always Frenchie and I decided to order a bunch of smaller dishes to share. This is the best idea ever – as you get to taste so much more! These are: Roasted Half Shell Scallops caught within a few miles of the restaurant. (Roasted in the shell with garlic & breadcrumbs) – my favourite starter

Spider Crab Croquettes: Crab meat mixed with creamy béchamel sauce, coated in breadcrumbs, fried until crisp and served with fresh lemon mayonnaise

Fritto Misto: Prawns, squid, sprats and prime cod fillet lightly dusted with flour, fried until crisp and served with lemon and aioli. So delicious! 

Local Mussels Marinière: Fresh mussels steamed with white wine, shallots, bay and parsley. Served with sourdough bread. Frenchie loved this dish (being French and all…)

Chargrilled Calamari Steak: Tender steaks of Pacific ocean squid chargrilled with garlic butter. This was a really beautiful dish with a delicious smokey edge!

I couldn’t stop myself from having the Chocolate, Caramel and Popcorn Sundae with soft whip ice cream, popcorn, chunks of chocolate brownie and sticky toffee sauce. I really don’t know how to describe how good it was…

So here is a photo of me having the time of my life with my sundae instead!

Bonus-info: Not many restaurants make it easy for mums to change their little ones. This one is however an exception. It was lovely, clean, warm and nice! Clara usually cries, when I change her in public places. This time she didn’t! Thumbs up! 

I would like to thank team Rockfish Plymouth for the best service, we have had in a long time – and amazing food!

If you are interested in winning a signed recipe book by fish maestro Mitch Tonks, then head over to my Instagram page for more information. (Psst… “Fish” made the Daily Mail top ten cookbooks 
and The Guardian’s top food books of the year 2009)

After all that lovely food, it was time for a walk at Sutton Harbour!

I think that someone was a bit tired… 

Sutton Harbour is the original port of Plymouth 

It is still a busy fishing port and marine and is bounded on one side by the historic Barbican district. It is famous as the last departure point in England of the Mayflower – the ship that carried the Pilgrim Fathers to the New World

Here, you will find narrow cobbled streets, Elizabethan warehouses, specialist shops, art galleries, cafés, bars and restaurants

All kinds of people came to the harbour this sunny Sunday! Students…



– and a certain Londoner, who had found the strangest sculpture in the middle of it all


Ladies and Gentlemen! May I introduce you to “The Leviathan” – one of Plymouth’s best-known landmarks

The sculpture was designed by metalworker Brian Fell and the idea was to install public art which touched on various fish and marine life. It is a funny creature… It has a cormorant’s feet, a plesiosaurus’s tail, the fin of a John Dory, a lobster’s claws and the head of an angler fish. The pole supporting the fantastic sea creature, which is manufactured from mild steel coated with copper paint giving it its attractive colouring, is decorated with plaques describing other sea creatures. People seem to either love it or hate it, but no matter what “Leviathan” has become an icon of Plymouth (affectionately nicknamed the “Barbican Prawn”).

Back home at the hotel, we were tired after all our adventures – and decided to have a quiet evening. We enjoyed a shared platter with some cheese at the Dartmoor Bar – and then it was off to bed!

Picture perfect surroundings! 

We had a wonderful stay at Moorland Garden Hotel and I hope, that we will be back one fine day, when we are in need of more “green”

Heading back home to London! Clara was asleep and Frenchie looked more relaxed than ever! What a lovely weekend, it had been

Bonus-info: Unfortunately we did not have enough time to visit The Garden House, which is supposed to be a stunning experience. The Garden House has many rare and unusual varieties of plants – and the garden “rooms” take you on a journey through the seasons. Children will love the garden trail and exploring secret pathways! Read more about The Garden House here

(Photo by The Garden House)

Want to know more about Plymouth. Here is where to get inspiration!

We were guests at The Moorland Garden Hotel. All opinions are as always my own!