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November 2012 Newsletter

Posted on November 1st, 2012

Every month we will be putting a Monthly Newsletter onto our website to update ‘all’ our friends and guests around the globe. 

Again this is a special newsletter as it brings with it bundles of ‘warm’ gossip and information about my lovely home here in the Dartmoor National Park!  It is such an exciting time for me now that the end of 23 years of improvements are coming to an end and I can hardly contain myself with excitement!  Champagne…March the 23rd 2013!

Well to start this Newsletter off on the right foot, I would like to announce that Mr and Mrs Lipscombe from Bristol have one a free weekend here for 4 people.  This prize was awarded to the family that left their cottage or apartment the tidiest and cleanest on their departure.  Well done Kim and I look forward to welcoming you all back soon!

The warm evening sun shone down on the Gazebo on Saturday the 6th October and it was a real treat to sit with two of my special regular guests, Choy and Martin Andrews from London.  We enjoyed a bottle of Chilean Rose wine and chatted about the forthcoming competition the next day.  I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be drinking wine, on a warm sunny evening!

Octobers Highlights

Sunday the 7th October saw our two new miniature donkeys arrive here at their new home. They travelled perfectly and have since settled in very well.  Guests are welcome to join in and help on the farm and accompany me when I feed them, clean out their tiny hooves and brush their lovely coats.  Pollyanna and Domino are a delightful pair of miniature donkeys and will be found in our new child friendly paddock that opens on the 23rd March 2013.

Our October Fly Fishing competition also took place on Sunday 7th and the results were as follows Pete Davey from Lifton won by 1oz and managed to take the engraved tankard and fly fishing bag.  Well done Pete!  After the final whistle had blown Reece Butcher from Tavistock managed to land a fine Triploid Brown Trout of 5lbs and he was delighted!  Well done Reece, you really did deserve it!

Monday 15th October saw Gregory Fencing install my new cattle grid next to the bridge!  Wow, how excited was I?  Most women want diamonds but not I… a cattle grid!  The fencing that they have put in around the cattle grid is absolutely stunning!  ‘Geri Halliwell’ our Kunekune pig can now be found wondering around the fishery grounds with her friends, the three Micro pigs!   They are now fencing around my new paddock and this will be completed shortly.  Need fencing, I can thoroughly recommend them!  Andrew’s contact details are 07500 778629.

Tuesday 16th October sees the average size of fish increase to over 2lbs and that’s a bargain for only £32.50 for 5 fish!  So now’s the time to dust off those rods and head to Tavistock Trout Fishery in The Dartmoor National Park for a days fishing!  The Fishery and cottages remain open throughout the winter and with underfloor heating and washer/dryers included in all cottages….what’s stopping you….check our availability pages and book up now!  Bargain breaks on our Special Offers page now!  Phone and emails answered until 9pm, 7 days a week!  That’s service!

Friday 19th October was another special day when four lovely guests returned for a weekend break here after two and a half years!  Where has the time gone!  It is always a special time when guests return after a year or two but Pauline, Keith, Bernie and Linda are not just guests but very special people who have seen the fishery before its mass of improvements that I have made over the last 2 years and they still wanted to come back! They even remembered the old chicken shed in the main courtyard that I decided to remove and replace with our stunning Oak Gazebo and BBQ area.   They drove all the way down from West Sussex to stay here for two nights and I rewarded them with the first bottle of white wine with our new label printed on it, they deserved it…four amazing lovely people!  Pauline, Keith, Bernie and Linda…..its Champagne next year!  With kind regards, Ab x

Sunday 21st October was an amazing bright sunny day when local angler Ian Conachie from Mary Tavy, Tavistock managed to tempt and land a magnificent Triploid Brown Trout of 14lbs with a sinking line and a Minkie with a slow retrieve.  Hopefully this photo will appear in the Trout Fisherman Magazine!

A flash of blue flitters by me in the morning sun…I don’t need to look again as I know what it is but I do…there it is perched on a twig above the secluded lake.  Pausing for a moment while it takes in the scenery and decides its next move…it’s gone!  One of the perks of owning a 30 acre trout fishery on the edge of  The Dartmoor National Park means that I get to see first hand wildlife that nestles around me, most of the time hidden of course but not all the time!  I see Kingfishers a lot now around the fishery and you too might see one on your next visit!  Roe deer are also seen on occasions but not so often!

Tuesday 23rd October was a sad day when I found out that a regular angler of mine died several months ago.  His name was Dennis Eastman and he lived in Chagford.  He had been coming here for years and I truly did enjoy seeing him and chatting to him every week for years.  He always used to tell me that he was paying for the nappies for my children and my eldest is now 10 years old!  I have met so many wonderful anglers here on the fishery and Dennis was really one of those special men!

Friday 26th October was a lovely day, when I yet again welcomed Jon Hughes and his son Chris to the fishery for the weekend.  Jon and Chris travelled from Wales for a weekend of fly fishing and they both had a lovely time.  I know that Jon is an avid big fish hunter but he also enjoys a pint of Lager and a rack of ribs at the Cornish Arms in Tavistock!  I hope to welcome them both again next year to celebrate the return of our big fish lakes in March!

1st November 2012 sees the launch of our new standards!  ‘Cottages on Dartmoor and Tavistock Trout Fishery’ are raising our standards in self catering accommodation by moving forward and trying to offer everything that you might require on your special holiday!  From our pub only a short walk away, a washer/dryer to dry your clothes ready for the pub, a hair dryer to dry your hair ready for the pub, a torch to help get you back from the pub and Free WiFi to tell your friends about the us and the pub!   A few extras for when you arrive and spotless cleaning is our aim!  All the cottages will be personally inspected by me prior to your arrival and I will do my best to personally greet you and show you around your accommodation on your arrival.

1st November 2012 sees the completion of all the ‘Electrical Installation Condition Reports’ in Pond Cottage, The Snug, The Old Stable and Clearbrook Barn.  These four detached properties have all just been inspected by our qualified electrician and passed their tests.  Jack’s Den, Amelia’s Corner and Charlotte’s Barn are all recent conversions and have already passed their tests.  As previously stated all our cottages have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and fire blankets.

Vouchers are available for Christmas Presents

Our ‘stunning’ Pamper Room (07837 125680) offers vouchers for a wide variety of beauty treatments for the special person in your life and our tackle shop (01822 615441) offers a wide variety of fly fishing gifts and fishing vouchers for the angler in your life! 

If you want to treat your partner, parents or member of staff to an extra special present this Christmas, why not ring and book a weekend break for them in one of our delightful cottages/apartments?  I am offering very special 3 night short breaks in January or February for two people (Pond Cottage or Jack’s Den) at an amazing bargain price of £199 if you book prior to Christmas (07970 608890)!  Fishing , pets, towels, bathrobes and wine are not included in this special price.

Christmas Competition Sunday 23rd December

Cost £38 including lunch!  Max six fish.  Prizes are for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places!  Come and join us for a fun day and fish at the same time!  Spaces are still available, ring or email to book!

Christmas and New Year Opening Hours

We will remain open throughout the Christmas and New Year period except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  We will be open on New Years Eve and New Years Day!

Drake’s Trail

A 21 – mile Cycling and walking route between Tavistock and Plymouth.  ‘Devon is the place to be naturally active’ according to the Devon County Council Drake’s Trail Leaflet!  Devon has a score of cycling routes on offer Plymouth: The Barbican and the Hoe, Plymouth: Marsh Mills to Cattedown and of course the Drake’s Trail just mentioned.   So pack your bags and bring your bikes or hire them in Tavistock!  New for 2013 – places to attach your bike and chain to outside cottages.

Next Year

January 2013 – Veronica Coles – It brings me great delight in telling you that ‘V’ will be helping out here on Fridays after the New Year.  ‘V’ has tried a few Fridays and has enjoyed meeting anglers and assisting me in running of the estate.  Please make her welcome and I look forward to handing the reins to’V’ next year, so I can take a few days off with my children!

March 1st  2013 – will see the two Osprey Lakes close in preparation for the larger fish being stocked and these lakes will remain closed until the 23rd March at first light!  Our Specimen fish will be introduced to the lakes an allowed to rest before the opening date.  Our once holder of the British Record Trout ‘Bertha’ was actually in Big Osprey Lake for 3 months prior to being caught!   Our Osprey Lakes have depths of water up to 18 feet and they are ideal lakes for the very large fish to hold up and rest!  Start tying those special fly patterns and try your luck next year!

March 23rd 2013 – Our two Big Fish Lakes open and so we will be celebrating with Champagne and beer!  Join us for a days fishing and a free drink at lunch time!  There will be prizes on this day for the largest fish, the heaviest 6 fish and a raffle will be drawn at 2pm including  fishing permits, bottles of wine, weekend breaks on the fishery etc!  Raffle tickets will be on sale soon in the office!

March 23rd 2013 – Our Rare Breed Poultry Paddock opens including children’s fishing permit with tackle hire and feeding the trout!  Bring the family for a fun trip!

This months Trout Recipe is a lovely ‘Trout Pate’ served with crusty brown bread.

  • 1 x 1lb-8oz trout approx
  • 100g (4oz) butter
  • 1 x 15ml (1tbsp) lemon juice
  • 100ml (4floz) cream
  • Black pepper and salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  1. Fillet and skin the trout and chop the flesh thinly
  2. Heat the butter in a pan and add trout.  Cook together for 1 minute or so, then add lemon juice.
  3. Place trout mixture in blender, add cream and seasonings.  Blend to a smooth cream.  Add a little bit more melted butter or cream if necessary.
  4. Pour into ramekin dishes.  Serve with crusty brown bread and enjoy!

I would like to end this Newsletter on a happy note!

Saturday 20th October was made a lovely special evening when friends, Maria and Andrew Seabright joined my family and I for Chinese.  Andrew is a keen angler who fishes Norway once a year and thoroughly enjoys his trips to Tavistock.  They travel down from Dorset as often as they can and they make every weekend a special one!  This time Maria came with a bottle of wine with the message printed on the bottle ‘Be sparkling, Love, Taste life, Be a Star, Celebrate and Share Happiness or Go Home’!  Well this sums my fishery and I up totally!  I have worked hard for 23 years to make this into a lovely place for guests to visit and enjoy!  It is only very occasionally that someone moans to me that they are upset that they haven’t caught a fish!  To those dear people I would like to say that life is for living, family is for enjoying, holidays are for fun and I guarantee lots of things here but I cannot guarantee everyone catching a  fish, every time!  Fishing is called fishing for a reason, otherwise it would be called catching!  Enjoy life and if you don’t catch a fish, cheer up, don’t blame me and be happy!  Thanks Maria and Andrew for the bottle!

I would like to wish you all well and I do hope that lots of you will be joining me on the 23rdMarch for a celebratory drink!  Put it in your diary!

Abigail Underhill
Cottage and Fishery owner