International Market in Weymouth – 10th till 14th April 2019

International Market in Weymouth Town Centre
International Market in Weymouth Town Centre

On 10th April, an International Market arrived in Weymouth. This was one of dozens of events happening in Weymouth right throughout the year.There were a couple of dozen stalls stretching along St Thomas Street and around into the main shopping square. Several food stores tempted the passers-by – our favourite was the Churros stand! There were also jewellery, souvenirs and carved garden ornaments among the offerings –

Carved wooden garden ornaments
Carved wooden garden ornaments

Nearer to Debenhams, there were stalls selling clothing, shawls, bags, belts, watches and craftware, including polishing “gem”-stones – Something for everyone.

More market stalls in front of Debenhams store
More market stalls in front of Debenhams store

We believe this is probably the biggest (and best!) street Market in Weymouth since the Millenium “Stone” was laid –

The Millenium stone in front of Debenhams in Weymouth
The Millenium stone in the Town Centre in Weymouth

We are looking forward to the next market and all the other events coming this year.

Updated room and new bathroom – February 13th 2019

New double room where the old twin room used to be

New double room where the old twin room used to be

Updated Room

At Aaran House, we constantly improve, redecorate and try to innovate. We decided over Winter to switch our former twin room on the top floor with the former double room alongside. We purchased brand new beds, mattresses, bedding, fitted new curtains – in short we replaced nearly everything in both updated rooms. In particular, we put in a brand new bathroom in the new double, our updated room 5. It cost us a lot but we think it was worth it

Brand new bathroom in room 5 - first guests arrived 24th February.

Brand new bathroom in room 5 – first guests arrived 24th February.

We also upgraded the corner bath with new surrounds, taps, shower, shower curtain, resealed all round and upgraded water supply and outflows.

We also upgraded the corner bath with new surrounds, taps, shower, shower curtain, resealed all round and upgraded water supply and outflows.

Five Star Reviews

Our first guests loved the updated room 5 – see their review –

The very first guests in our new room 5 loved it

The very first guests in our new room 5 loved it

Our 2nd guests in the new updated room also loved their stay

New room 5 - first guests on 24th February - their lovely review

New room 5 – first guests on 24th February – their lovely review

Google and Trip Advisor cheerfully published libel

The fourth guests in this room wrote the 10/10 review below. They were followed, two days after, by a rather unpleasant guest (Aayesha Mohommad). She wrote a scurrilous and potentially libellous review on google and trip advisor, because we did not serve her breakfast in bed! Her first 3 attempts were taken down by google on legal grounds. So she posted more reviews under the name cameron stichbury. She claimed the brand new bathroom was mouldy – REALLY! Trolls have no imagination.

Trip Advisor repeatedly refused to take down the Stichbury review but, suddenly after some weeks it disappeared. We reviewed TripAdvisor and they immediately contravened all their own policies. They bullied Trust Pilot to take down our genuine review, demanding to know our identity. Famously, TripAdvisor guarantees reviewer anonymity (Hah!)  You just cannot please some people!  Ironically, removal of that troll review boosted our ranking and we won a Certificate of Excellence Award for 2019 – and here it is –

Certificate of Excellence for 2019

Certificate of Excellence for 2019 from Trip Advisor

At least our 4th guests loved the updated room, 2 days later-

Another lovely review for our new room 5, 2 days after the unpleasant Aayesha left

Another lovely review for our new room 5, 2 days after the unpleasant Aayesha left

Update

We just received a Yelp review for the same updated room, dating from a few days before booking.com allowed us to change the name of the room online on 13th February – and it’s another 5/5 fabulous score –

Yet another great review for room 5

Yet another great review for room 5. This time on Yelp

Wareham Quayside

Wareham Quayside – a short drive from Weymouth

Wareham Quayside is a delightful area, just North of the town. There are several pubs and restaurants clustering alongside the Quay and around a small square. We sampled drinks and food from The Old Granary – an imposing large pub right on the water’s edge. There is also an Italian restaurant, two other pubs and a souvenir shop. In Summer, one can take a steamboat ride from the Bridge out to the Estuary. Magical! In Winter, the Old Granary provides fleecy blankets for guests sitting outside, in the square.

A day out in Purbeck

A day out in Purbeck

Purbeck offers the visitor many sights and places of interest to visit. On the way from Weymouth, one drives near Moreton Tea Rooms, past Monkey World and the Tank Museum. We stopped off at Lulworth Cove (though we were not energetic enough to make the climb up to see Durdle Door). (We used some older photos here for this post)

When you reach Wareham, you should really stop and enjoy the interesting shops in the High Street. Or the Roman Walls or the picturesque Quayside and its large, fine Pub. On some days, the lost village of Tyneham may be open (not the day we travelled, sadly). The village was evacuated on the orders of the Army during WW2. It remains an eerie and somewhat spooky testament to the upheavals of wartime. Tyneham is off a right turn from the main road leaving Wareham for Corfe Castle.

At Corfe Village, one can only marvel at the huge and imposing castle ruins. The Castle has been standing guard for many centuries over the locality. Head into the small and “cosy” Village Square for a choice of Pub (The Greyhound) or cafes to fortify you for the walk up to the ruins. (Entrance fee at the National Trust shop and Tourist Centre). Across the road to Swanage lies the Railway Station, with regular Summer trains from Norden to Swanage. These often run magnificent Steam engines through the tight and twisty scenery of Purbeck.

 

Studland and Swanage

The Studland road from Corfe twists and climbs gradually to give a panoramic view towards Studland Bay, overlooking Brownsea Island, Sandbanks and Bournemouth. Turnings take you to Kimmeridge, with its “nodding donkey” oil wells and the nature reserve at Arne, with its splendid variety of birdlife. Other openings take you to beaches along the lower headland and eventually to the Ferry across to Sandbanks and Poole Harbour (toll road and Ferry fee applies). We turned South to Swanage instead.

Swanage is a small seaside resort, nestling by white chalky cliffs and with a narrow sand and shingle beach. The town is compact but absolutely buzzing with numerous quaint and fascinating shops, selling curios of all kinds. I guarantee, anyone could spend all day (and all the wallet) “grazing” among these little emporia. There is also a fine fish and chips shop and a doughnut stand in the tiny seafront Town Square, to relax and soak in the relaxing atmosphere. (But please don’t feed the seagulls – they are VERY friendly already!)

Moreton Tea Rooms – Perfect for a real Dorset cream tea

Moreton Tea Rooms

Dorset cream tea. Those words conjure up an image of a quaint little village, deep in the peace of the Countryside. Perhaps there is a little stream with a footbridge. Maybe also a church with a slightly overgrown graveyard. Throw in the grave of Lawrence of Arabia and you have Moreton Village and the Tea Rooms.

An easy drive out of Weymouth, through Warmwell to Crossways and along a leafy lane to Moreton, brings you to the Old School. Here lies the Moreton Tea Rooms and the gateway to Dorset cream tea heaven. When we visited, to celebrate an 80th Birthday and a Wedding Anniversary, it was a hot September afternoon. Wasps droned lazily among the flower beds but were kept occupied by wasp lures, thoughtfully hung around the gardens to minimise any vespine nuisance.

Inside the tea rooms, it is easy to imagine the Old School in its heyday but equally hard to imagine just how good the cream tea treat is that awaits visitors. We pre-ordered a range of sandwiches (4 different tastes in our group!) and were not disappointed. We enjoyed a feast of delights, starting with crispy sausage rolls and cheese-straws on the top deck. The middle tier comprised smoked salmon with cream cheese, ham and a variety of delicate triangles to tempt the palate. Finally, a selection of cakes to assuage our culinary lusts – vanilla and ginger scones, mini-chocolate cakes, flapjacks, brownies and Vicoria Sandwiches – all dainty and delicious.

The service was excellent – the food even better and the price – probably best of all. The whole was incredibly good value and well below standard touristy prices. Definitely worth a trip for anyone – although it is advisable to book a table beforehand, at least in high season.

Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre

Monkey World near Weymouth

Monkey World is Britain’s best known ape rescue centre. The centre is a short drive out of Weymouth, near Wool. The park is home to about 25 species of primate, including chimpanzees, orang-utans, lemurs, spider monkeys and gibbons. The paths winding around the park are gently sloping but also fairly long, so the infirm may need to hire a mobility scooter to get around. The monkeys generally prefer warmer weather therefore it is best to visit on sunny days if you can.

Ring Tailed Lemur at Monkey World

Ring Tailed Lemur at Monkey World

As you enter Monkey World, there is a very large enclosure in front which houses the largest group of chimpanzees outside Africa. Guided tours take you round 5 species of gibbon, 2 species of orang-utan, capuchins, marmosets, tamarinds, spider and squirrel monkeys. There is a wildlife wood walk where it is sometimes possible to spot deer, badger and foxes.  There is an enclosure where the noisiest inmates live – the Ring-Tailed Lemurs. All around the park, there are benches and several cafes where you can sit and relax between “safaris”.

Ice skating at Christmas

Ice skating during Weymouth “Christmas Sparkle”

Ice skating has been a feature of Weymouth Christmas celebrations for several years. It is anticipated that a bigger rink will come to town this year. However, the previous one has provided much fun for kids and adults alike. The ice rink forms one of the “Christmas Sparkle” attractions. These include mulled wine, festive market stalls, Peruvian Pan Pipes, live music and late opening shops.

Its Christmas

Its Christmas

Ice Skating near Debenhams

Ice Skating near Debenhams