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Nov 2017

Cornwall Coat of Arms

Mrs Guff's just back from the Congo, don't you know, and her anti-malarial medication has reacted badly to all the G&Ts that she likes to knock back of an evening.

She's fainted and fallen half-way down a cliff in Cornwall, cracking her head and bleeding quite badly but in all the kerfuffle and the encroaching dusk, this one's only gone and got his foot stuck in a rabbit hole! HELP! HELP!

That's a joke, of course, but in real life a hapless policeman might just happen to be passing and he'd summon the local doctor, a curmudgeon of a man called Martin with a fear of blood, who'd only go and save the day with help from a special guest visitor to the village.

  Doc Martin

Not seen it? ITV's gritty 9 PM-slot drama sees Martin  Clunes, OBE, playing the grumpy doctor whose  haemophobia has curtailed his career as a top surgeon in London and he's made to relocate to the home of his childhood holidays to practice some, well, general practising.

Classic medical,  fish-out-of-water fayre so far but Clunes brings some proper pathos to this repressed role calling on all his acting chops although that's largely in the earlier series[1].

They seem to have mislaid the main character's arc and things are a bit more 'capery' these days and the scenario above could apply to most of those episodes.

[1] Open up man! Just tell her you love her!

In real life, there's no idea why he's such a grouch because, from near his front door, there's a lovely view down to and over the beach and harbour of the traditional, Cornish fishing village of Portwenn.

Perhaps it's because there are lots of potential patients taking snaps of his pad and that's made any attempts impossible today. This has just flipped into November so it can't be imagined what it's like in summer meaning a long shot to where he lives in real life from the opposite side of the small bay will have to do.

  Port Isaac - Main Car Park (B3267)

They say this place gets swamped in summer and the old car park up top fills up quickly.

You can take your chances with the new one on the main road in and it's so new, it doesn't show up on Google™ Maps, yet.

It's a little further out but still just a 10-minute stroll and a doddle compared to your lug up on the way back, either way.

Thankfully the ankle isn't sprained but it's not half throbbing so where to get some Ibuprofen?  Mrs Tishell is just down the hill and the neck-brace wearing neurotic should be able to prescribe something suitable?

Strange? It's full of fancy fudge and stuff today? Must be Mrs Tishell's day off and this is just a pop-up for the tourists because in real life, this is the village pharmacy.

The Doc's footsteps have been followed but the hill he can often be seen awkwardly running down looks to be the one opposite? Must be a camera trick, the image reversed and accidentally overlooked in the edit? What other possible explanation could there be?

  Buttermilk Shop (Church Hill)

Award-winning and handcrafted confectionary that's firmly in the fudge arena. Visitors are encouraged to buy a Doc Martin map with all proceeds going to the RNLI and the Cornish Air Ambulance.

It's hard to believe that in real life this is an idyllic place populated with eccentrics and where it rarely ever rains.

It's been dressed today as overcast with lobster pots to give the illusion of a small, working fishing village.

The Crab and Lobster pub has been renamed to the Golden Lion and although the fishmonger's open for business, the new signwriter is soon for the sack, he's only gone and spelt the village name wrong.

There's a guided tour being done that, given the show's key demographic, is not so much a tour but more of a cull! The lug up Rose Hill could finish half of them off and all this to see where the well-intentioned but hapless PC  Joe Penhale lodged briefly in series 3, or something.

  South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path, England's longest National Trail, passes through here and if you're walking it anticlockwise from Minehead, you're about 150 miles in so just the 480-or-so to go to Dorset. If you're coming from Dorset then well done but it's still about 150 miles to Minehead.

Whenever the Doc turns left out of his house and heads uphill, that's the wrong way to the village and is where the path proper resumes. He must simply be walking the near 200 miles to Truro for those vital blood results eh?

The path's next port of call is actually Port Quin. When it's said properly by a salty-old smuggler, it sounds like Portwenn, which is how they came up with the name, you see.

The inevitable lug is part of the drill in these places since you'll need to park at the top and walk down to the village[1]. There are still a few options up here but it's seen they've temporarily relocated the garage since in real life, that's back down at the bottom.

One option is Nathan Outlaw's upmarket restaurant,  Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, of course. £62 for a four-course lunchtime taster with the monk, the bass and the turbot covered. You can double that in the evening and then nearly double again if you want the wine but he is one of the UK's top purveyors of the piscine.

During filming, this is where the director and Clunes dine daily while the rest of the cast scrap with the seagulls for chips near the harbour, probably. Since  Bert's restaurant closed, there aren't that many other options for them.

[1] See also pretty much every other fishing village in the UK.

  Ruby Tuesday's Cafe (New Road)

Settling up for a pair of scones and a couple of coffees the bill was just north of £10 but some clarification was sought...

Is it  jam or clotted cream first?
Jam first then cream on top. says the lady.
Oh,
I've been doing it wrong.
That'll be £50 then!

Exquisite timing there from the young man piping up at the espresso machine but we're still not convinced. Looks like things will have to wait until the border's crossed back into Devon where it's much more natural to spread the cream first, surely?