We had to break a recent journey with an overnight stay, and decided on Salisbury. It didn’t disappoint.
This ancient Roman city has both an ancient and modern feel to it. There is a by-pass that takes you close to the city centre but not into it, but unfortunately modern-day traffic needs have overwhelmed the system designed for thirty odd years ago. Queues at roundabouts are frequent, with designated lanes taking the unwary in the wrong direction, despite the excellent road signage.
We had booked to stay at the Cathedral View B&B, in Exeter Street, and joint proprietor Steve had sent excellent directions by e-mail. It was 6.30pm on a rainy mid-December night when we negotiated the Salisbury system, and were pleasantly surprised to find our front door quite easily. Steve provided me with excellent private parking directions round the back, while Pam checked in.
The room was delightful. We had a very comfy 6ft bed, more than adequate bedside tables, press sensitive lamps, plentiful tea/coffee facilities, and a lovely large bathroom with a delightfully large walk-in shower. The quality smells were in small bottles, shower gel and shampoo.
There was a fresh, clean feel to the room, which was number two, first floor landing on the left with a view of the rear of the property. Steve and Wenda, the resident proprietors, have their own separate accommodation on the premises.
Steve provided us with a map of restaurants, and we chose the Chapter House in St. Johns Street, which was only a fifty yard walk away. Despite being only ten days away from Christmas, we managed to get a table for two. The service was attentive but not overly so, and we had a plate of olives to start as we had some drinks. Pam had a cocktail of I don’t know what (she said it was good, anyway) and I appreciated a pint of local ale.
They source as much locally as they can, and the pork chops we both selected were tender, well cooked, and tasty. The veg was okay, strange tasting sprouts with small pieces of strongly flavoured smoked bacon, the mash was creamy and delicious. I like the way that they have a large selection of wines by the glass, either 175 ml or 250 ml, or a full bottle.
Pam had the cheese which was quite a selection with good number of biscuits, and I tried the crème brulee with winter berries and short bread biscuits. Both tasty, both good.
The bill was reasonable, and after a couple of hours we ambled back to the Cathedral View. An American lady guest was having problems with her front door key, so we assisted her and went to bed. We woke at midnight with the bedside alarm going off.
No light, me without clothing and glasses, staggering and cursing round to the other side as the increasingly strident alarm was surely waking all the other guests in the adjacent rooms. Some previous guest with a strange sense of humour had set it.
Next morning we shared a table with two other couples for breakfast. The times were staggered by quarter of an hour to aid Steve and Wenda’s serving and cooking. Wenda is a very tactful lady. This is what she said to the six of us at the shared breakfast table.
‘Being in the B&B business, you experience many strange occurrences. About nine last night, Steve found a strange American lady in the hall who couldn’t get into her bedroom. He had to explain to her that she was in the wrong B&B. Hers was next door.’
Pam’s hand went to her mouth, and we were both full of apologies. How embarrassing, we had let a stranger into their house!
No, that’s not why I have written such a good review of the Cathedral View B&B in Exeter Street, Salisbury. It is because the Cathedral View merits an excellent review.
Steve has written a guide for visitors so they can walk and see the best bits. There is an excellent weekly market that we saw, as well as an additional Christmas market. Their breakfast is fresh, lots of choice, and it’s very unusual to have a both fresh coffee and fresh orange juice on offer. There was also an option of smoked salmon with scrambled eggs.
Would we return? Most definitely.