1.   New restaurant

2.   In the wars

3.   Wife of the Admiral sings

4.   Small News




1.  New restaurant and terrace at Dart Marina – stunning views served with every course

Dart Marina Hotel & Spa has soft leather chairs placed in exactly the perfect position to make the most of the stunning views of the River Dart from the new River Restaurant and Terrace. All the finishing touches have been added: the new marble bar is polished with glasses gleaming bright, art work has been placed, soft cushions have been plumped, terrace chairs grouped around low tables for warm summer evenings and a new menu has been created including a traditional English afternoon tea menu to tempt a summer full of visitors.

After a period which has seen the front of the Hotel transformed, everything is now ready to welcome local people and guests to enjoy the stunning views for which Dart Marina is famous.

The new River Restaurant, which has 90 covers, has been transformed with a wall of glass which can be opened in warm weather – and tables are positioned to allow guests to enjoy wonderful views of the River Dart while enjoying superb food from South Devon producers and growers. Head Chef Tom Woods has created a menu which celebrates the area’s rich and diverse food culture and together with the wall-to-wall views, the River Restaurant is now truly a case of ‘eating the view’.

The Terrace has relaxing seating and tables for guests to enjoy drinks, lunch or afternoon tea, so the Hotel now has a choice of places to sit and simply watch the world sail by. A new bar has also been added and this has stylish leather sofas in soft blues and grey, intimate corners for a quiet drink and sparkling wine-glass lighting over the bar which adds to the atmosphere.

“The work we have just completed has transformed the ground floor of the Hotel and we are thrilled with the response from our guests and from local people who have dropped in to see what we’ve been up to since January. Twelve of the bedrooms have been completely re-styled and we have turned rooms around so that guests can sit in bed and see the view! This has been very popular as you can imagine and the changes we’ve made to the River Restaurant have also made even more of the views. Each table in the Restaurant now has a view of the River and every bedroom too – this was first and foremost in our minds when we started this project as we know this is one of the reasons why people come back to us time and again,” explained Paul Downing, Hotel Manager at Dart Marina.

Tom Wood’s new menu includes classic British dishes combined with new influences which Tom has developed into a style that makes for very special dining experience. “I like to think that food at Dart Marina is fine dining without the pretention. The menu is very special and I am proud of the amount of local produce I source as this brings the landscape and waters surrounding us on to the plates of our visitors. Much is written about local food and the benefits of sourcing locally and seasonally but this is a given for me – it is something that I do without thinking. Many of my friends are farmers, fishermen and growers in the South Devon area, so I can rely on them for wonderfully fresh food which is at its peak. I have also had fun creating a new English afternoon tea menu which I wanted to introduce, as this year we have every right to feel proud of our Britishness! I have included some amazing pastries and cakes on the menu, which I can imagine will be delicious eaten on the new Terrace in the sunshine,” said Tom.

Dart Marina serves lunch and afternoon tea from 12.00 noon until 5.30pm.  The new River Restaurant is open for dinner from 6pm until 9.15pm and breakfast 8am until 10am. For further information please call Dart Marina on 01803 832580 or for further information about events at Dart Marina please click here.


2.   Carpenter Ed fixes ‘in the wars’ cannon

Council carpenter Ed Turner found he could be quite justified in putting armament repairer on his CV this week after turning his hand to a rather ticklish repair to one of Dartmouth’s Bayards Cove cannons.

It is one of three cannons mounted on wooden gun carriages with oak axles. They are part of set of nine originally belonging to the ancient estate of the Seale family, wealthy land owners from the 1800s who lived in a castellated mansion called Mount Boon, since demolished.

Col Sir John Seale, MP, called the first meeting in 1834 to found the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta which runs this year from August 25 to September 1. The cannons are all numbered and cast in Dartmouth, and re-carriaged 15 years ago. They were bequeathed to the town in the will of a descendant from Bovey Tracey, and are placed on the spot where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America on the Mayflower. Unfortunately one of the quay edge cannons took a bit of a broadside from a van and the old oak axle shattered.

Dartmouth Town Clerk Chris Horan said: “The cannon had been in the wars with a vehicle and it needed some specialist repairs. We asked South Hams District Council staff if they could help.”

South Hams Building Manager Steve Howrihane said: “We took a look and carpenter Ed Turner said ‘I can make a new one in oak,’ which is what he did. “We went down there with a trolley jack and it fitted to a T.  Ed has done a really excellent job, it looks just like part of the original.” South Hams Executive Member for Assets Cllr Bill Hitchins, a member of the Fortress Study Group South West said: “It is good to know that the skills to keep these important historical treasures intact have not been lost. I have a particular interest in early armaments like these cannons and they are really worth preserving particularly if they form such an integral part of our heritage in Dartmouth.”

Why not come down for the weekend, or even a week?

Self catering accommodation click here

Dartmouth B and B  click here

Dartmouth Hotels click here

A Tourist Guide to Dartmouth click here

Shopping in Dartmouth click here

Eating and drinking in Dartmouth  click here


3.   Wife of the Admiral sings with New Devon Opera in Madam Butterfly


Linda Hughes reports: You’ll remember New Devon Opera (NDO) from the Dart Music Festival last month perhaps? We are back at the Flavel next month  24/25 July and really appreciate your support and interest. After all - not every opera company can say that one of its leading singers is also the wife of the Admiral!

One of our principal singers (Alison Duguid, mezzo), is singing Suzuki in NDO’s Madam Butterfly, which is touring in Devon next month.  She is the wife of the Admiral in Plymouth and naturally, she and husband Clive, are in the ‘thick of’ things this week, including a few ‘hush hush ones’! I thought it might make a fabulous connection both for Armed Forces Day, as well as for NDO’s own ‘Madam Butterfly’, which New Devon Opera is presenting on tour in Devon from 17-28 July.  Also, Commodore Williams (BRNC) will be coming to the Flavel.

NDO present high quality international opera singers in a full production, accompanied by a 21 piece professional orchestra, which we offer at five Devon theatre venues, at an affordable price. Indeed, we are currently trending as a ‘best seller’ on the Exeter Northcott Theatre’s list.

Over the past eight years, we have also raised thousands of pounds to help the deaf & blind in Devon (through Sense). We are run totally by volunteers so that all our income goes towards: - keeping seat prices down to an affordable average of £25  - providing employment for artists (singers, musicians, creatives, backstage) - bringing opera nearer to our Devon audiences.

From the Flavel website: ( click here to see it ) New Devon Opera present: Madame Butterfly.  Madam Butterfly tells the true story of the passionate love affair between a beautiful Japanese geisha and a handsome US naval officer - who later . . .  So pop into The Flavel and buy a ticket or two?


4.   Small News

  • ‘Walk the Wheel’ – Saturday 30th June.
    Tim Chapman reports: Dartmouth Town Bellringers are fundraising to help pay for a new bell wheel at St Petrox Church by walking a bell wheel on 26 laps between St Saviour’s and St Petrox churches starting at 7am on Saturday 30th June! Along with Tracey, Heidi and John, I hope to get a good few laps completed before the rest of the team join us at 9am. We will be walking throughout the day, collecting money on the way. You can help us by pledging a donation on one of our sponsor forms (copies at the back of both churches), or just come and see me or any ringer to make your donation. Let’s hope we can make a large contribution towards the £1000+ cost of the replacement wheel. The day will finish around 5pm at St Saviour’s where we will ring a peal to celebrate our achievement. Please come and join us there for a cup of tea. Call 01803 833754 for more details.

  • Chris Smith wrote in to say what many locals call the "toast rack" is in fact called the "Dartmouth Scrubbing Grid".  Chris went on to tell us that the Dinghy Rack is the Toast Rack !

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