Living Social holiday, elements of amazing with a dash of disaster – the EPIC journey to Newquay

I probably should do a few more present day posts so this one is about my recent visit to Newquay.

How long do you think it would take to go from Newport in South Wales to Newquay? 3 hours, 4? Well, if you believe National Rail around 4 hours, however if you actually go there you might think differently…

The day started out nicely enough, we’d packed the night before with the usual essentials like pillow, camera, phones and laptops, hopped outside in the morning at 8.15 and took the bus which was bang on time. Well done Newport!

We arrived in sunny Newport and popped to Greggs for a healthy breakfast, yum, hot sausage roll. Well I say we popped in for breakfast Nick popped over to a certain fast food restaurant on the other side of the road and got bacon, cheese, hash brown wrap. Not too sure who was healthier there – although he had a wrap so that beats anything.

We bought a couple of sandwiches and headed for the train station. The train was on time, or maybe a couple of minutes out – nothing to be alarmed about. We found some nice seats and settled back for the ride.

About five minutes before we hit Exeter, St Davids there was an announcenent that there was a problem. To be fair it wasn’t National Rail’s fault, there was a fatality on the line. So there we were two hours later, after wolfing down our Gregg’s sandwiches getting ever more desperate for the loo. I eventually gave up and looked for it but I hate using loos on trains they are just eww.

Once the British Transport Police cleared up, we were on our way and within five minutes we were at the Train Station where we believed we were half an hour late for the train.

The thought of coffee was swirling in my mind, visions of the black elixir was making my throat really dry so we popped in to the little Cafe. It was gooood – that and the Victoria Sponge Cake – the holiday was back on track.

…but wait, Nick was fiddling with his phone, the train waited? and it left a minute ago? Nooooooooooo. No announcements, no information nothing. There was nothing for it but to wait for the next train to Par. (Yes it’s actually called that!)

So phase one of the journey was complete, and apart from the little incident of the girl who fogot her art portfolio we got on the train in time. Woohoo. Until they decided to change the train staff unexpectedly in the middle of nowhere. This meant that we would be late getting to Par. dah dah, DAH.

We were getting more and more worried as we had worled out we were going to be late AGAIN but this time because of (it seemed) incompetence, we should already have been there! Anyway soon after the conductor came down and asked if anyone was going to Newquay so of course my arm shot up like an arrow. She smiled and said don’t worry the train would wait or we would get a replacenment bus service at St Austell. Great but she didn’t tell us what was happening after this. Did the train wait? Were we supposed to wait for the next stop and get the bus? Again, no information was given to us.

We decided to chance our luck and get off at Par, which we did and she was on the platform saying the train had waited. Trouble is you would have had to know to get off the train to know this. I wonder if anyone got caught out?

We’re there and it is now 6pm, remember we have been travelling since 8.15.

We made it, queue dramatic music and huggie scenes. Our hotel was the Bay hotel two miles out and I would love to tell you we walked for hours but we didn’t forty minutes of gorgeous stroll with amazing views and we were there.

The Bay Hotel seemed a bit of a disappointment when we arrived. It was right next to the beach but it had scaffolding over the front of the hotel. Ok we got a deal right? I can live with this.

Check in was efficient and we arrived at our room which I would describe as cosy. There was no fridge or minibar and the bathroom was miniscule but I don’t go to a hotel for the bathroom.

We stepped over to the window and had a breathtaking view of the beach marred by the scaffolding directly outside our window. What time would the workman come we asked out loud? Being as we were talking to each other there was no answer.

The phone rang and the reception called and asked if the room was OK. As we are typically British we said it was lovely.

We were absolutely starving at this point and headed down for our free meal which was part of the deal. I had no complaints about THAT. The meal was absolutely delicious apart from the tingly lips which worried me that I was going to have an allergic reaction but Nick had it too so there was some kind of tingly garnish thing on the starter. By the way, the steak was to die for.

The next morning the light blazed into our room and we woke with cotton mouths. I am a person who really feels the cold, but this place was way too hot. We opened the window but had to keep the curtain closed because of the scaffolding – nightmare.

Breakfast was excellent as you would expect – they even had soya milk! I was impressed. I was getting more and more sneezy each time I entered the restaurant and it turns out it was the flowers on each table by the window.

So we had a walk along the beach, which was beautiful. The light had a magical quality to it that I haven’t seen anywhere else. We had a coffee at the other end of the beach and walked back for lunch where I had the steak sandwivh and NIck had a freshly squeezed… sorry made pizza which I am told was delicious. These guys sure know how to cook.

We hung around, went in to the spa where the pool was amazing. The spa was clean but just a little perplexing.

There was a guy where you had to sign in but he didn’t say anythng. We clearly did not know what we were doing and the least he could say is, that we could take a towel from the open air shelving as we walked by. But no, we snuck past the towels like thieves, throwing anxious glances around, taking one before darting in to the changing rooms with our prize.

There was a sauna, steam room, large pool and jacuzzi. As I said before it was clean and while we were there they took samples of the water to test. Very efficient.

Dinner was in the restaurant again and I went for the duck and Nick went for the steak – a complete switch from the previous night. This time we asked the waitress to move the flowers and this time I wasn’t sneezing and snotting everywhere. Ahh romantic.

Another night of extreme heat and we packed ready for the road before going down for breakfast. Rather than ask the waiter who was busy with customers, we moved the flowers from our table so I could eat in peace and went to pick up breakfast. We got back and the flowers were back, taunting me as if they had never moved!

So again, as typical Britishers we just shrugged and carried on, the only difference was that I had a tissue tucked into my palm.

After breakfast we went to checkout. Nick had put stuff on his credit card which was a mistake. They accidentally put the room on the bill. As it was early and I am not a morning person I didn’t spot this so it was lucky it was Nick’s card. We questioned it and the bill reduced by £200, phew!

The journey back was uneventful, we stoppped to get our hair cut in Newquay but we caught the train we booked and we were home at the time we expected.

Would I recommend Newquay? Absolutely. Would I recommend the hotel, yes with reservations, if you know what to look out for then it was lovely. Don’t put things on a tab as the bill was confusing at the end and you’ll be fine.

 

 

 

 

What do you think? Please comment.