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December Newsletter 2014

Posted on December 16th, 2014

Well, what can I say?… I’m nine months late in writing this Newsletter to you and if you read on you will find out why I am running behind.  Oh and please do forgive me, at times I wonder how I run a trout fishery, seven holiday cottages, a busy pub and yet I am also a Mum to three delightful children but I do manage!  Oh and I mustn’t forget my chap Mark, who at times probably thinks he doesn’t actually have a girlfriend!

The fishery moves from strength to strength and my delightful cottages are very busy, and my pub The Trout ‘n’ Tipple, that opened on the 5th of April, is the biggest surprise of all, sometimes producing over 100 main meals a night; it is a real ship to run and I am truly overwhelmed by all the amazing positive comments that I hear from my customers!  Thanks so much!  It was only a few days ago that a gentleman said to me while I was pouring his pint that he had only seen toilets like mine in very posh places.  Well, I was chuffed with that comment!  Anyway back to it, read on and find out what has been happening at Tavistock!

Interesting News and what’s on!

The Trout ‘n’ Tipple is now open and very busy but here is how it came about!

Well originally it was called The Cottage Inn and in 1994 my late Father purchased it in order to gain vehicular access from the trout fishery to the A361.  Dad’s plan was to sell the pub on and retain the pub car park to allow the fishery to have a new entrance but I saw an opportunity to provide meals and drinks for my anglers and with my late Father’s support we did just that.  I asked Dad if he would become a Licensee but he said he was too old and that I should do it and so it was off to Wiltshire for me to do a week’s pub course.  The pub was renovated and I ran it for 3 years and I had some amazing times with Father.  I continued to be at the helm until the very sad death of my Father on August 17th 1997.  After this I felt it was time to lease the pub and return fully to my fishery and let my heart heal.  I leased my pub for 20 years in 1998 but last year in June my tenants left it in the middle of the night and took the key.  I decided that I would take vacant possession in July and see if I could lease it again.  Unfortunately it was in very poor repair and it was very difficult to find someone to take it on and so the decision then fell with me to either sell it or run it myself.  I am afraid selling this little gem would have broke my heart as my late father gave it to me and so I decided it would be less painful to run it!  This also meant a huge cash investment of £250k was needed to renovate it to the high standard which it is now.  Although at times I can definitely tell you that running it is not easy and it comes with its share of aggravation, I really do enjoy many parts of being a publican!  After running it for over 8 months, cleaning pipes and beer ordering is now no longer daunting to me and I have even learnt that dealing with the odd grumpy customer who eats all their meal and doesn’t want to pay for it, must just have got out of the wrong side of their bed that morning!  The Trout n Tipple prides itself on providing lovely pub food in beautiful surroundings!


Here Amanda and Clare open our new disabled loo and I can certainly say that I am very proud of this one!  This is a stunning loo the correct height and with all the modern facilities it shows that everyone is welcome in our pub.

Trout and Tipple for Print-009

I must tell you about how I chose the colour of my pub.  My builder wanted to paint it white with green windows because he said 95% of pubs are white.   I told him that I was not painting it those colours, and that I wanted to paint it a warm colour.  I asked his painter Paul to show me the charts and I picked out 3 colours and asked him to paint a bit of each on the pub so I could decide (see photo below).


After Paul painted the colours on the wall I asked lots of people which one they preferred including Mark and they all liked the middle one.  I on the other hand liked the one on the right and so that was the one The Trout n Tipple was painted and although they all thought I made a bad choice at the time,  they all love it now!


The Team at The Fishery and The Pub!

Well after 8 months things are finally settling down for me and I now have a good team behind me.

On the Fishery Bernie, Veronica, Sharon, Nigel, Bill and Pete and Reece are helping out with a variety of jobs including from cleaning the cottages to feeding the fish etc.

The pub has a terrific group of staff including Carl (Head Chef), Will (second Chef), Dave (Third Chef), Sharon (cleaner), Danny and Hazel (apprentices), Ruby and Tavy (waitresses) and last but not least the bar staff including myself, Naomi, Michelle and Poppy.  My best friend Pete is also helping out in lots of different areas and I would like to say a big thank you to Pete and all my staff!  Pete has been an amazing friend and I am truly so lucky!

One of my cottages can be let out to a member of staff and it is wonderful that Michele Brooks and her family now live on the fishery in The Old Stable.  Michelle and her two daughters Tavy and Ruby both work for me in the pub and I can truly say that Michelle and I do have a lot of fun!  After a busy evening shift Michelle and I treat ourselves to a glass of Merlot, yummy! Michelle is a great person and I am delighted to have her staying on the fishery.  I am hoping to take a few days off with my children next year and visit our caravan and I am hoping Michelle will rise to the challenge and help Bernie and Pete run my businesses while I start to take some regular time off, because I am a little tired.  Ruby and Michelle are pictured below.


Halloween at The Trout n Tipple during October!

Halloween at The Trout n Tipple was a fantastic event with customers coming from miles to see my decorations!




Join us next year to see our stunning decorations in what will be another fantastic event!  Our decorations will be up from the 6th October to the 31st October and so if you would like to book a holiday in one of our cottages or a table in our pub, please do let us know.  Pencil it in your diary now and if you are feeling up to it you can join us for fancy dress on Saturday 31st October 2015.  Prizes for the best fancy dress will be awarded to adults and children.  All welcome for what will be a spooktacular month!


Pudsey at The Trout n Tipple from 4th – 14th November!

This month we raised money for Children in Need and with the help of Pudsey bears in our pub and our charity raffle we managed to bank £520 for this great charity!  Thanks to everyone who donated a prize!


Anglers catches during 2014

Our hot summer this year proved a little hot for both anglers and fish and so it is a pure delight to see the weather cool and lots of fish on the bank again!  Anglers have been doing a fantastic job of reeling in those big fish now that the weather has changed!  Here are some of my very proud anglers showing off their fish!  Well done and I look forward to welcoming you all again soon!





Here is a delightful little boy called Luke Orsler from Oldham with his first fish at Tavistock!  Well done Luke!  I hope to see this delightful family again soon as they really were a pleasure to meet!


Visitors to the Fishery during 2014.

Many wonderful guests have stayed in our cottages and apartments this year and I would like to say a big thanks to them ‘all’ for supporting me and my business!  Below I will name a few who have really gone that extra mile to say thanks to me for providing a top holiday for them!  Sometimes I’m treated to presents and even homemade treats….Thanks Tina and Mrs Doogood!  Yummy!

  • Derek and Irene Barnes from Telford.
  • David Orsler and his family from Oldham.
  • Steve and Tina Hood and family from Hoddesdon.
  • Dave and Wayne from Exeter.
  • Gordon Doogood and family from Cheshire.
  • Jezz and Gill Bailey from Lancs.

Holidays at the Fishery with our own pub!

Our holiday cottages and apartments stay open all winter and with underfloor heating in them all, they are perfect for that winter break!  So if you would like a few days trout fishing in Devon with a warm cosy pub nearby, please do let me know as I am at the end of my phone 7 days a week, 07970 608890.

2015 is around the corner now and if you would like to book a week’s holiday here on the fishery please do let me know.  Our new 2015 prices for a week’s holiday will be on our website in January.  The fishery is an even better location now with a gorgeous pub on its doorstep!


Our new three bedroomed apartment with its own balcony above The Trout n Tipple will be ready to book from Easter 2015!  The apartment is brand new with two bathrooms and heating throughout.  It also has an entrance from the inside of the pub and its own separate entrance from the road at the front of the pub.  If you have always wanted to stay above a pub, then give me a call and I can arrange it for you.

Pub promotes the fishery from January 2015 with a fishing theme

Christmas hasn’t arrived yet and so it’s a little early to talk about January but I feel I should keep you informed of my new promotion that starts in January.  January will see our fishing theme take over The Trout n Tipple including the arrival of our three beautiful mannequins (man, woman and child) all dressed up in appropriate fishing clothing with fishing waistcoats and rods etc.  During this period special fishing weekends will be offered with instruction and tackle included but I suppose my most exciting offer will be the ‘Anglers Days’ whereby anyone can come along and watch a fly demo from Tim James (photo below) and have a go at fly fishing (tackle included) and then enjoy a lunch in our pub The Trout n Tipple.  Our first dates for this are Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and 29th March. More details will be in our Spring Newsletter.   To book a place just ring 07970 608890 or pick up a leaflet from our pub or fishery from middle of January.   If you would like to buy an ‘Angler Day’ for someone as a Christmas present, just give me a call.


Our 2014 Cubian Holiday

We had a fantastic holiday in Cuba last February and I can truly say it was worth every penny!  My girls still talk about it and I know they really want to go again!  I keep telling them that we will when the time is right!  Below is a photo of my girls on the slide!


Mark and I just loved the food, especially the puddings!


Here we are as a family sat enjoying our meal together on holiday.  Thanks to the Cuban people for being so wonderful and friendly!


What Christmas means  for my children,  Mark and I – Family, Friends and Fun!

Christmas is simple to us really, rest, extra nice food and watching our children open their presents!  My pub and fishery will close for Christmas Day and Boxing day and we will stay at home on the fishery in our old but special farmhouse to enjoy the festive season.  We will however walk down to our pub on Boxing Day and have a game of pool and toast my late Father with a glass of Merlot or two!  A truly special man who will never be forgotten by me and without who, I would have no fishery, cottages or pub.

I must say a special thanks to my chap Mark who has put up with me working so much in my pub!  He has looked after my children and cooked many meals while I have had to devote so many hours to keep my pub on the right track in its early days.  I asked Mark for some Guinea Fowl for Christmas this year as I just love to watch then roam freely around my fishery and the other day my present arrived, 32 of them (photo below)!  Thanks Mark I love them and you to bits!


The winter months.

The winter months are always a special time for the fishery, my anglers and I.  The fish move slower and in truth so do I!  I think my fish like to play harder to get and that’s a real challenge for the hardy winter angler.  It’s not the easiest months for new anglers to take up the sport but it’s certainly the quietest!  Even my staff have more time to help out, if help is needed, and I have a chance to catch my breath and tie a fly and if I am really lucky cast one too! So if you fancy a break in the heart of Devon this winter give me a call and with an orange woolly bugger or a fluffy orange catswhisker, I am sure we will be able to tempt one out of the lake for you!

I look forward to seeing you over the coming months and may I take this opportunity to wish you all a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Abigail Underhill

Holiday Cottage and Trout Fishery owner and now ‘successful’ Publican too!