From Tintagel to Thailand and from Phuket to Pembrokeshire.

It has been a while a since I last put pen to paper or keystroke to computer or whatever. Since our trip to Chester, Sarah and I have been out and about and have tried to live life to the full.   We love our home and wherever we go, and for however long we are away, home calls to us.

Recently we had a lot of work done to the house, Garage conversion, a porch type thing and a bigger downstairs toilet, (the room, not the actual toilet. That would be bizarre).  Those of you who know what building work does to your house and mind, you know getting away is always a good thing.

I start my blog in Tintagel, a land of myth and legend, to quote the intro to “Merlin”.  I love Cornwall, as my friends and family know, and I am also a fan of the Arthurian tales so just in case you don’t know, here is a bit of myth:

It was a wild night, with waves crashing on the Cornish rocks and sea spray drenching the two men standing by an oak door seemingly part of the cliffs themselves.  In the castle, Ygrayne sat by the fire waiting for her husband, Gorlois, a brutish man prone to violent tempers and Uther Pendragon’s friend. Candlelight threw shadows on the walls, shadows that would make a weaker woman shake.

Suddenly, the vast oak doors of the hall burst open and Gorlois strode in, drenched from head to foot. He threw his cloak to a waiting servant, shouting for him to leave.  He pulled Ygrayne to him, looking into her eyes, almost looking into her soul, smiled and…..

Now there is only one man standing at the bottom of the cliffs.  The eyes of Merlin shone in the moonlight, a smile on his lips.  “Uther, what have we done?” 

So, back to the present time.  What is left of Tintagel Castle sits on the headland of Tintagel Island, adjacent to the village of Tintagel and is looked after by the English Heritage, @EHTintagel.

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It wasn’t there when Arthur was born but there was a settlement. It is an amazing view both from the Castle and the headland and the most beautiful statue of Gallos stands guard.

That day, Sarah and I got more than our 11,000 steps in and walking to and from the castle meant refreshments were in order.  We stopped off at Pengenna Tea rooms.  It was very well decorated and the staff greeted us warmly; hardly surprising as we were the only people in there! To be fair, it was early and the weather was very Cornish so most tourists would probably still be tucked up in their hotel rooms.

The coffee was nice but pretty standard.  We did have a scone with jam and cream to go with it and that was lovely and huge.  The toilets were clean and wheelchair accessible so I would thoroughly recommend Pengenna’s.  The main menu was enticing but we had to carry on our journey to visit our number 2 son, Joseph.  Those pesky kids!!!

From a grade point of view,

cup-of-coffee3 and  toilet  toilet

Our next visit is to Thailand and the wonderful island of Phuket.  We were there for my beautiful niece’s wedding.  If you don’t know, Thailand is incredible and the people we encountered were friendly and helpful and you must believe the guidebooks…..they love to smile.

We were there for two weeks with glorious sunshine, an amazing private villa for the 1st week and a lovely 3-star hotel for the 2nd week.  My 1st son, Sam, got a day of diving, his one true love, number 2 son proposed to his lovely Hannah and the rest of us got burnt!!

We visited the Big Buddha, and three other Buddhist temples and then Sarah wanted to visit Phuket Old Town. Amazingly, we had, at the bottom of the hill leading up to our hotel, a taxi rank, (I actually think all of Kamala was a taxi rank), and we literally had a driver for two days….amazing! He drove us to places that were off the beaten track including a temple we would never have found and Phuket Old Town.

We sauntered leisurely, (that’s me trying to be all poetic again!), and had lunch in a restaurant that was family owned and in order to use the toilets, we had to walk through the kitchen… was brilliant.  And, it was one of the best bathrooms we found during our stay there.  Some were, let me just say, interesting.

Phuket Old Town harkens back to the old Portuguese Colonial days and has some fabulous architecture.  Of course, it really doesn’t matter where I am.  If there is a coffee shop, we’ll find it and we found “Coffs and Burgh”.  This was a harmonious blend of coffee shop, art shop, music shop and Emporium of stuff, as the photo’s will attest. oh, and the top of Emily’s head!

But, and this is important, let it not be said that we lack culture….modern culture that is!

20180404_133507  Here is my son and daughter blending in with the locals and yes, we did stop for a burger!

So, Coffs and Burgh made a very nice cappuccino, oh yes, I can drink coffee in any temperature, but still the score is:

cup-of-coffee3 and toilet

My last visit, (sorry, this is a long one this time but at least I will have caught up), was to Wales.  The kids bought us a Farm B&B stay and we chose a nice place called Green Grove in Robeston Wathen, Narbeth in Pembrokeshire.  Sadie runs the B&B and her husband Nigel is a joiner, as well as a farmer.  I wonder if they would have stayed solely as farmers if the Welsh Government had not compulsory purchased a chunk of their land to run a bypass through! It has old décor and our room, with the only en-suite, had the smallest TV of modern times.  Still, it was big enough to see us do very badly in the Eurovision!

We were greeted warmly and with a tea, a coffee, (Shocker) and warm Welsh cakes…..yum.

Breakfasts were enough to fill me up and if you have never been to Pembrokeshire, like we hadn’t, get there and you will not be disappointed. The scenery is stunning, the beaches so clean and definitely much cleaner than the post Bank holiday at Southend, and the people so friendly it shocks us that we have not been there before.

The weather was incredible and we visited places like St David, the smallest City in the UK and only because it has a Cathedral.  It was a tiny village really but beautiful, nonetheless.  It was here, after a walk around the old Bishop’s Palace and the Cathedral, that we found our first jewel.


Pebbles Yard Gallery and Espresso Bar is on the Pebbles leading down to the Cathedral.  Downstairs is a gallery and a small espresso bar serving just coffee and tea.  Upstairs is a slightly bigger café area with a few tables and a little, hard to get to,  tiny toilet.  We had the obligatory tea and cappuccino and two slices of cake, a lemon drizzle cake and a coffee cake.  The drinks were fine but nothing special and cakes were a little on the dry side.  All in all, a pleasant place to stop and maybe we got the cakes on a bad day.  I give it a one for coffee, cup-of-coffee3 and whilst it was pokey, it was clean and providing you could get up the stairs, so not wheelchair accessible, it was a toilet!


Our last stop, you’ll be pleased to know, was on the way home in beautiful Tenby.  The beaches have to be seen to be believed. Tenby is actually known, in Welsh, as Dinbych-y-pysgod, meaning Fortlet of the fish.  I had to ask my friend Llew what it meant and he could only translate the fish bit……been in England too long I think!  It is a walled city and we must go back there.  As everywhere else, the people were lovely.

We found a coffee shop in a back street and we are so glad we stopped.  I wasn’t actually going to blog about it but once I tasted the coffee and used the bathroom, (very clean, very nice but only one toilet), it was a must.

The Fuschia Caffe was staffed by a group of young but very hard working lads and ladies and as you can see, Sarah felt very much at home. I suppose my only quibble was at the end of the alley / back street, was a bar and there were three blokes outside, who obviously worked there or people just really liked their company t-shirts, and were smoking.  We couldn’t smell it so I should just stop moaning.  We had to have farewell welsh cakes but they weren’t warm so they’re just lucky I don’t do scores for food, that’s all I can say.

Fuschia 1

A nice stop and prepared me for the drive home.

cup-of-coffee3  cup-of-coffee3 and toilet

I urge you to try some of the places we visit and I also urge you to spread the word about my blog.  I will improve it as time goes on and add more features but I am just learning. I really enjoy doing this and would appreciate your support on social media, (I really just want to visit beautiful places and drink coffee for a living!!!).  Thank you everyone.

Author: the1stcoffeehouse

I am a self confessed coffeeholic, walker and lover of life. I have a wonderful wife, (you'll hear more about her), and three amazing children. I live in a great town, although widely thought of as not a great town, surrounded by gorgeous countryside. I also earn money through working as a Manual Handling Consultant, ( in order to fund my coffee addiction.

2 thoughts on “From Tintagel to Thailand and from Phuket to Pembrokeshire.”

  1. Visiting lovely places, drinking coffee and eating cake beats spending day in training room any day Mike. My daughter and I loved finding new coffee places when I visited her in NZ and Oz … a daily treat. Brilliant read, thanks. Elaine


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