Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Coast to Coast Awards

And now ... the bouquets and brickbats from the Coast to Coast

The Golden Boot for outstanding service

There's only one finalist here: Coast to Coast Packhorse.  They over-delivered: fast, professional, friendly, and fixing any problems we had.  They booked all our accommodation, transported our luggage from one place to another, collected things we left behind.  I wouldn't consider doing the C2C without them.

Best B&B

Tough one, as the high quality of B&Bs was a revelation.  the finalists are
  • Old Water View in Patterdale, for the stunning bothy in which we stayed and the excellent and friendly advice of the host, Ian.
  • Church House Farm in Danby, for the combination of luxurious accommodation, the sheer helpfulness of Andrew and Judith and the wonderful advice.
  • St Giles Farm near Catterick. A truly magnificent house, with an enormous bedroom, gorgeous lounge and mouth-watering food.  Made most welcome by Jane and Simon.
A very tough decision, but I think Old Water View wins by the slimmest of margins, because Ian found a way for me to continue the C2C when my feet were mutinying.

Best Meal

So many good ones to choose from.  Two finalists
Intake Farm win, again by a narrow margin, because of the sheer breadth of marvellous food Judith cooked: one steak and ale pie; one chicken pie; a vast variety of vegetables; gammon and fried egg for one hiker who didn't like the pies; a superb breakfast including a perfectly boiled egg; as well as starters and desserts and two lots of custard, one especially made for a walker who was diabetic.

Jane, from St Giles Farm, also produced food that was utterly superb, but didn't have to face the additional challenge of fussy eaters.

Worst Meal

There was only one disappointing meal over the two weeks. I ordered a steak pie at the White Swan pub in Danby Wiske, expecting the normal great pub grub.  What arrived was clearly bought from a supermarket.  Very sad.

Prettiest place

The C2Chas a wealth of lovely places: almost every mountain and beck in the Lake District; the views into the dales from the moors; so many lovely woods and forests.  However, for me the prettiness and serenity of the Swale valley is my favourite memory.  Other views are more spectacular, but the beauty and peace and isolation of Swale Dale are unsurpassed.

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