Monthly Archives: February 2010

SB Review: Millers At the Anchor

A log fire burning brightly in a cosy sitting room filled with antiques and curiosities is a warm welcome after a chilly winters walk along the beach. We happened on this place by accident although I did recognise the name from an article in Somerset Life magazine. We were drawn in by the curiosities, the owner (Martin Miller of Miller’s Gin and Miller’s Antiques) and the presence of cream tea on the menu. I have been having cream tea every weekend and have yet to have a bad one. The scones here were warm and plain and served with plentiful cream and jam. We liked what we saw during the afternoon (including books everywhere even in the loo – even a Sweet Valley High much to my childhoodmemory delight) so we opted to come back for a meal in the evening.

It started so promisingly: drinks by the fire whilst we considered the menu and then each table/group taken in turn into the dining room, evoking somewhat of a private dining experience (although as someone new to being the driver I was disappointed by the lack of choice of soft drinks, although I suspect they would have mixed me something more exciting if I’d asked). The food looked great on paper but somewhat sadly the chef must have been having an off night. The boy’s steak was overcooked and undercooked in equal parts and my chicken was overdone and served in a sauce which was far too sweet. For some reason, although I am usually good at complaining in most other circumstances, I find it hard to send back food in a restaurant. I was happy to point out to the Boy the terrible wine glasses but not prepared to actually tell them. He however has less qualms. And given that he eats in some of London’s finest restaurants every week in the line of duty for his work, he knows what he is talking about. So complain he did. We were given complimentary puddings and coffee which was nice. We probably wouldn’t have considered returning though if it weren’t for another couple, with whom we bonded over part cooked fish, who told us to come back another time as the food had been wonderful the night before.

We haven’t been back yet but I suspect we will. There are several places we still want to try but good restaurants are somewhat sparse down here. I liked Tanya Miller who runs the place and who was very sweet to us. I liked the curiosities, the coziness, the log fires and the concept. I just wish they’d had better glassware. And a consistent chef.

They also do movies and a film on Sunday nights in their cinema room which sounds lovely. Just waiting for the right film and we shall be booking tickets.

Millers at The Anchor
Porlock Weir
near Minehead
TA24 8PB
Tel: 01643 862753

Food was £25 per person for 3 courses

Limited wine list. Excellent Gin and Tonics.

{Image from the Millers at the Anchor website}


What a difference a month makes

This is my fourth week of work. The hardest yet. People have forgotten that I am new, I am starting to become part of the furniture. Which shows I am integrating well but also means things get quite hard. People cut you some slack when you can’t find something, or forget their name, or get  lost driving in Exmoor in your first week. Four weeks down the line and they forget you don’t know.

My life seems suspended in parts. There is the work, which thankfully is good, and seems to be going ok. Then there is weekends with my Husband which are amazing and feel like we are on honeymoon. And then there are the weeknights. Where I have plenty to do but I miss London and my friends something terrible. I miss the life I used to lead: friends and fashion and vintage clothes and swanky bars and high heels and wearing boots to work. I feel old and middle-aged here, caught in the middle because we are married but not parents. I feel like I don’t really fit in. Sometimes I want to stop the roundabout and get off. Go back to my old, comfortable life. But, oh yes, that’s right. I chose to come here.

Somerset definitely has it’s own time. And it’s own ways. Pre-payment electricity meters. Oil tanks instead of gas bills. A council who collect recycling once a week, insist they know your postcode better than you do, who refuse to collect your refuse because “it’s not in a black bag” and who charge you extra to collect garden waste. There are plenty of great things down here but some days, when the bank has eaten your husband’s card for the 3rd time in almost as many weeks and you have pmt and it is London Fashion Week and you were invited to loads of shows and parties but couldn’t go, it doesn’t seem as great as London did.

But then, we’ve had two sunny weekends of two sunny days in a row. And I sunbathed. And wore raybans and red lipstick. And took photos of the snow that we had in the week.

Exmoor snow 4

Exmoor snow 3

Exmoor snow 2

Exmoor snow 1

{images by me}

larks. owls.

This is the A39 across the top of Exmoor. Looks like a fast and reliable road, doesn’t it. If you are lucky when you drive along this road you can see chocolate furry ponies pressed together in small huddles beside hedges which lean away from the sea and the prevailing wind. You can also see buzzards circling, mewing and calling. And owls. Hunting alongside the road where the hillside drops away. The skies are enormous and constantly changing and moving.

This is the road that I must drive along at 6.30am tomorrow on my way to a breakfast meeting. Getting used to things like that is the reason things have gone a little quiet around here in the last week or so. Tomorrow I must be a lark. When I’d much rather be an owl.

{.image by me.}

Work week 2

It’s past 11pm and I’m still up and awake. So this week I am doing *way* better than last week. No spare thinking time though still so I am just going to send you here for photos of ponies and wild goats that I took last weekend. More are to come, promise.

Work. Days 1. 2.

Took some photographs over the weekend to share with you. But no energy whatsoever to get them off my camera. So they will be coming. Soon.

Walked in the gorgeous sunshine on Saturday down to the coast and along the beach. Drove Husband out for dinner and then back again. He took me for a drive on Sunday. It snowed. 3 chocolate-y black furry ponies stood huddled behind a wall, trying to get out of the wind. Drove as far as the Valley of the Rocks, home to wild goats and several more bay ponies. Birds of prey circle and mew. As it got dark we drove along the moor and saw an owl hunting.

Work is exhausting. 7 hours of meetings and that was only yesterday. I have a lovely room though. A garden room. Can’t wait for summer. And I drove myself there and back, parked and everything.

But now I have to go to bed. Bath and bed. It’s a long time since I’ve expended this much brain power.