Most folk of my generation will only know of Torquay from that British sitcom, Fawlty Towers. Otherwise, few outside of UK would likely be familiar with this little town on Torbay, which is also known as the English Riviera.
My husband’s family moved to Torquay way back in the 70s because of the sea. My father-in-law was an avid sailor and fisherman, and would sail from Devon through the English Channel and along the French Coast, right down to the Bay of Biscay and on to the Azores. In fact, many sailing champions hail from Devon, including recent Olympian Ben Ainslie.
Torbay has stunning coastlines, and a visit there would not be complete without a trip to one of its many beaches. The names are quaint too; Meadfoot, Anstey’s Cove, Babbacombe and Maidencombe, Berry Head. The list goes on. A few of these beaches are pretty remote, and on our recent visit, we visited Long Quarry, which is only approachable via a tiny footpath with an 80 degree incline. Nope, getting there is not for the faint-hearted.
But once below, you’re treated to glorious vistas of sea and cliff. Apart from a few hardcore fishermen who were there for the night, there was no one else there.
Other than offering great walks, the Devon sea is also a very rich sea for the gastronomically-inclined. English folk, I’m sad to say, have no idea, but as Chinese, we eat almost anything that moves, and dinner can be served, straight from the Torbay beaches to the table.
During our trip, my Brother-in-law, Tim, decided that he wanted to try out a new mussels recipe. The tide was perfect, very low, so off we went to Paignton Beach.
While the girls played among the rock pools, the adults got down to business, trying a spot of fishing and picking mussels.
If you’re looking for a natural life, things don’t get better than this. The mussels were amazing. Plump, fresh and divine in white wine and chilli. I had three helpings.