South Sands Hotel in Moonlight

Date published: 6th February 2015

Let me set the scene, it's a clear night, there's a full moon and the tide's high. As the water of the Salcombe Estuary gently laps the sandy beach of South Sands, the moonlight reflected in the water lights up the rocky cliff face of Bolt Head.

A handsome waiter with a rich, Portugese accent shows us to our table in the window of this beachside restaurant, hands us a menu and suggests the Argentinian wine.

It's my 27th Birthday and my husband-to-be is treating me this evening. It's not often that we venture outside of Kingsbridge, with so much within walking distance of our home it takes a special occasion such as this to enlist the services of a taxi. I recommend Steve who operates One to One Taxis, call him on 07766 406129 and reach two drivers, soon to be three if the gossips are correct?!

Tonight we've opted for the 'Weekday Set Dinner Special' and as we peruse our choices, a waitress shows up with a sample of that Argentinian wine, down it goes, and a bottle is ordered. It is my birthday after all and we need to make that taxi worthwhile. We both opt for the Ham Hock Terrine to start, I select the Sauteed Linguini with Ginger & Chilli, Mikey the Fish Stew with Hake, Mussels & more...

After a brief reminisence with the waiter of times spent in Lisbon, dancing in the streets, shopping, sightseeing and having far too much fun, the food arrives. Each mouthful is divine, so flavoursome, each ingredient distinct and the whole dish beautifully balanced. The conversation finds its familiar path back to wedding venues, and the Chilli and Ginger of my main course invigorate the tastebuds, warm me from the inside out, and leave me wanting more.

We discuss the time I spent just up the hill working at the National Trust property Overbeck's, and wish I had booked a regular table for lunch. A (very) brief look at the menu reminds me of my dessert choice, the Lime Parfait with Honeycomb for Mikey and Cherry Chocolate Mousse for me.

It seems a shame to ruin the plate of art that is put before me, but the chocolate calls to me, and all too soon a blank canvas reappears. Smooth and truffle-like with the tang of cherries it is truly a scrumptious end to a delightful meal.

Our wine glasses and ourselves retire to the lounge to relax by the fire. Our friendly waiter adds two fresh logs and we sip our wine and silently wish we were staying the night...

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