Tuesday, 2 May 2017

What a Wonderful World Book Night Weekend...

Kate Furnivall, Annette Shaw and Jane Corry
Many congratulations to Stoke Lodge Hotel for hosting another brilliant World Book Night Extravaganza last Friday and Saturday. 

It was, as always, a hugely enjoyable event for writers and readers alike and I am sure that all who attended went home feeling newly Inspired, Informed, Interested, Imaginative, and Inevitably Impressed!

The event got off to a great start on Friday evening with a variety of delicious canapes and a glass of Prosecco, followed by a fun 'Desert Island Books meets Just A Minute' session run by Master of Ceremonies Alan Depledge.

This then evolved into, as things do when people are enjoying themselves, a round of book name charades which produced much entertainment and laughter - which of course was the whole idea! The 'Just A Minute' quiz was won by local author Jill Treseder who was presented with a copy of  'Atlas Obscura'.

Jane Corry
Saturday started with coffee at 10.00 and, after a short introduction from Alan about Stoke Lodge Hotel, author Jane Corry gave us a very interesting talk on how she came to write her Sunday Times bestseller debut novel 'My Husband's Wife'. 

Who can resist reading a book with a strapline like 'First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes murder...' ?? We are eagerly awaiting her second novel 'Blood Sisters' which will be published in June.

Please see website for details:

Jill Treseder and Victoria Sutor
After a short break for photographs on the sunny terrace overlooking the sea, we were given two very informative and interesting talks by Victoria Sutor of the NHS Leadership Academy and writer Jill Treseder. 

They discussed and explained the many benefits that regular reading can bring, both mentally and physically - including stress relief, improvement of brain functions, and even longevity! 

For more information on this fascinating subject please visit: readingagency.org.uk and jilltresederwriter.com

L-R Lucy, friend Chloe Hughes, and Julie

This was followed by a talk each from local authors Julie Archer and Lucy Willetts, who were both inspired by last year's event and have now published their debut novels 'Cocktails, Rock Tales and Betrayals' and 'Crosskiller' respectively.

There was then a book swap - we had been invited to bring books to swap and the table was positively loaded with lovely loot! - after which we broke for lunch in the Garden Restaurant, where Stoke Lodge had prepared a wonderful buffet of home cooked turkey, beef, ham, scampi and more, with a huge variety of salads and side dishes - not to mention the gorgeous desserts which followed. 

Happy, replete and relaxed, we returned to the lounge for a fascinating talk from best-selling novelist Kate Furnivall - with nine books to her credit - who gave us an insight into the meticulous research needed to write her historical novels. Her most recent books are 'The Italian Wife' and 'The Liberation'.

Her latest novel, entitled 'The Betrayal', is set in Paris in 1938 and will be released in November.

There then followed an informal networking session with short talks from local authors, including Steve Stephenson-Olds, Elizabeth Ducie, Mel Menzies, Phil Barber and Ian Hobbs, founder of book lovers' website Goodreads.

All in all it was a most informative and inspirational - not to mention enjoyable - day which ended at about 3.30pm when we left, happily clutching or 'new' book finds and giving us all a lot to think about.

Alan and Annette

With huge thanks to organiser Annette Shaw, Book Reviewer for Devon Life magazine, and to all at Stoke Lodge Hotel who hosted the event and looked after us so well - not forgetting of course the inimitable MC Alan Depledge, and indeed everyone who came along and helped to make it such a great event.


 We sincerely hope they will do it all over again next year - do you..?? Got to go now - lots of lovely books to read... (Guest Blogger Val Depledge)

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the country house hotel by the sea. 

Monday, 24 April 2017

World Book Night Weekend Event

Last year's Guest Speaker Lesley Pearse, with Annette Shaw and friends

Following the success of the World Book Night Event last year, Stoke Lodge Hotel is again hosting a fabulous World Book Extravaganza on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th April.    

Chris Mayer

This brilliant event kicks off on the Friday from 5.00 - 6.30pm when the Mayer family - Christine, Steven, and daughters Sam, Chelsie and Sigouney and partners, will again be welcoming guests with a glass of Prosecco and canap├ęs to launch their fantastic book fest. 

This will be followed by 'Desert Island Books meets Just A Minute'. Participation  is not obligatory - it's meant to be fun! You are invited to bring your favourite book, or the one that's been the most special to you in tough times.

The Saturday from 10.00 until 3.00pm - starting with morning coffee and punctuated by a delicious buffet lunch - is a day filled with all things bookish. There will be interesting talks from local authors, including, Julie Archer, L.E. Willetts and Steve Stephenson-Olds, with guest speakers Jane Corry and Kate Furnivall, and much more. There will also be news and questions from readers and writers plus the great book swap - please bring books to give away and/or swap - and an informal networking session with all authors attending.

Jane Corry

The first guest speaker this year is Jane Corry, whose fabulous debut novel, My Husband's Wife' reached No 5 in the Sunday Times bestseller list.


Kate Furnivall

Novelist Kate Furnivall, the second speaker, has nine books to her credit and will be explaining how she decides on the subject and the importance of research.

Her most recent books include The Italian Wife and The Liberation.


Writer Jill Treseder PhD and avid reader Victoria Suter from the NHS South West Leadership Academy remind us of the work of The Reading Agency and its new initiative for health. Jill also talks about why she writes.

Annette Shaw
The event has been organised by Annette Shaw, Books Editor for Devon Life Magazine, who explains that underlying all of  this is the promotion of reading. 

She tells us that it's shocking to hear how many people in the UK don't read regularly or don't acquire literary skills.  For more information take a look at the number of Read Easy Groups in Devon alone at  readeasy.org.uk and for more info/all the facts on World Book Night see readingagency.org.uk/news/.

To aid and abet the proceedings, Annette has invited Alan Depledge to be Master of Ceremonies.  Alan handles the social  media for Stoke Lodge and will open the event by talking about this wonderful Devon holiday hotel, and will also gently attempt to keep everyone to time over the two days!

There are just 50 tickets for the events on Friday evening and Saturday daytime. Places need to be reserved and paid for in full, in advance, and to keep admin to the minimum it’s not possible to make refunds should you cancel.  
To book please e-mail Julie Archer on julieoceanuk@yahoo.co.uk

More info: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldbooknightatstokelodge2017/

World Book Night website: http://worldbooknight.org/

Friday 28th and Saturday 29th April 2017
at Stoke Lodge Hotel - the country house hotel by the sea...

Thursday, 9 March 2017

That's what we call Wildlife...

When we said that staying at Stoke Lodge Hotel in the South Hams was the ideal location from which to spot a huge variety of wildlife, we didn't realise that nearby Start Bay would be visited by a humpback whale!

There was great excitement when the whale was sighted a couple of weeks ago off the coast at Start Bay and has drawn Whale Watchers from miles around, in fact it is still in evidence today.

Read this report from the Kingsbridge and Salcombe Gazette for full details: https://goo.gl/fe36BN

Stoke Lodge Hotel owner Chris Mayer tells us that some of their guests have been out trying to catch sight of the whale but have been unsuccessful so far...

Fortunately, there is still an abundance of wildlife and nature in the area to discover and enjoy to keep them entertained while they are waiting...

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the country house hotel by the sea. 

Relax, Unwind, and Re-connect with Nature 

Visit the website: http://www.stokelodge.co.uk/ 

Find on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stokelodgehotel/

Discover the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: http://www.southdevonaonb.org.uk/ 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Complimentary wine offer from Stoke Lodge Hotel

Recommend a Friend - and receive a treat from Stoke Lodge...

The Mayer Family are delighted that so many of their visitors return to their 'Country House Hotel by the Sea' time and time again - so much so that they are now offering their loyal and valued guests a big 'Thank You'.

There's a complimentary bottle of Premium Wine or Prosecco for any returning guests who have taken part in their 'Recommend a Friend' offer.

Here's how it works:

Simply fill in the 'Recommend a Friend' form during your next stay at the Hotel and pass it on to a friend you get home.

Don't forget to tell them all about Stoke Lodge and what you most enjoyed about your stay.

If they too want to experience all the many good things that Stoke Lodge has to offer - and who wouldn't? - then they'll receive a complimentary bottle of wine or Prosecco with their first evening meal on production of their referral card.

With a wealth of experience in running their comfortable Hotel for over thirty years, Christine and Steven are now joined by their three daughters and their families. They really are big on family and traditional values - which is why as a thank you they’ll be happy to send you a voucher for your complimentary wine or Prosecco for you to enjoy on your next stay with them.

We think it's a great idea - the Mayer Family gets to welcome new guests, your friends get to enjoy a treat with their meal, and you get to return for another relaxing stay - so everybody wins!

N.B. Offer based on your friend’s stay of a minimum of two nights on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis and to first time visitors only.

To find out more about the benefits of a break at Stoke Lodge Hotel please click here:

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

No Room at the Inn....

It's such a shame that you'll be missing all the fun of a Traditional Family Christmas at Stoke Lodge Hotel - the Mayer Family would have really loved to welcome you to join them but there really IS no room at the inn this year...

Christine, Stephen, Sam, Chelsie and Sigourney - and of course their partners and staff - really look after you from the minute you walk in from the cold into their warm, cosy and comfortable family-run 
'Hotel by the Sea'.

With full board and afternoon tea you won't have to even think about cooking, just sit back and enjoy all the wonderful meals and let yourself feel relaxed and pampered for a few days.

There's  a walk to the beach or Dartmouth Castle on Christmas Day - optional, of course! - and a fun Boxing Day Treasure Hunt with clues hidden in nearby Dartmouth (where you can meet at the end for coffee and cake).

If you yearn to get out on the water for a breath of bracing sea air, there's a Boat Trip on December 27th - then a warm fire awaiting you at 'home'
followed by a sumptuous Seafood Buffet.

There are evening quizzes if that's what takes your fancy, and with the comfortable atmosphere and all those little extras it's plain to see that the Meyer Family & Co do everything they can to make your Christmas stay really special and one to remember.

That's why so many guests return there for their Festive Christmas Fix every year - so if you don't want to miss out next year make sure you book early..

 oh and here's a link to show you what you you've been missing! https://goo.gl/pAq18I

Merry Christmas!


Monday, 12 December 2016

What a Starry Starry Start to Christmas..!

Stoke Lodge Hotel's 'Starry Starry Night' entry at the Christmas Tree Festival.

This weekend we were lucky enough to visit the 10th annual Christmas Tree Festival at Stoke Fleming Church, and what a peaceful, friendly and enjoyable start to Christmas it was - despite the cold and rain.

Upon receiving a warm welcome into the church, we were told there were thirty beautifully trimmed trees to admire - and admire them we did!

We really enjoyed wandering around doing the Spot The Oddity competition, sipping comforting mulled wine and listening to the church organ playing - it was just delightful.

All who took part in decorating their trees had obviously put so much effort into it and the trees were simply stunning - and it was a joy to take time out from all the weekend chores and great to know that all proceeds will be donated to St Peter's Church and Rowcroft Hospice.

Thank you to all concerned for a most enjoyable afternoon.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Stoke Fleming Christmas Tree Festival

It's that time of year again, and Stoke Fleming is celebrating Christmas with its 10th Christmas Tree Festival.

This popular  annual event is  in held in St. Peter’s Church, Stoke Fleming from  December 9th - 11th, with all money raised to go to the Church and Rowcroft Hospice.

St Peter's is open 10am and 6pm and 10am on Sunday finishing with a carol service at 5pm.

Entrance to the Church is free, and there will be a welcome glass of mulled wine for all  and refreshments on Saturday.

The trees are kindly supplied at a discounted cost by Gardentime, with local clubs, schools and organisations buying a tree each and decorating them with a different theme.

There are usually between fifty and sixty trees, and Stoke Lodge Hotel's theme this year is 'Starry Night'

There is also a 'Spot The Oddity' on each tree so keep your eyes peeled for anything untoward lurking in those fragrant pine branches..!


The Green Dragon Inn (opposite the Church) will as usual be hosting the ever-popular Christmas Fete on Saturday afternoon, so come along and enjoy the festive fun - everyone is welcome!