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Our perfect Plymouth day

PUBLISHED: 10:50 25 February 2014 | UPDATED: 09:37 12 March 2014

Chris and James Tanner

Chris and James Tanner

Archant

How would you spend the perfect day in Devon’s Ocean City of Plymouth? CHRISSY HARRIS spoke to local people and asked them how they would enjoy the historic waterfront city from daybreak to bedtime

Plymouth has so much to offer, so we asked a diverse group of citizens how they would spend the perfect day in the historic city.

Kate Sparshatt, 41, is the director of Plymouth Arts Centre in Looe Street and board director at Gecko, an award-winning physical theatre company.

-Wake up?

On a boat – it’s a great way to see Plymouth. I do sail but I’m not lucky enough to have my own boat so it would have to be someone else’s.

-Breakfast?

Monty’s in Southside Street on the Barbican. The food is really high quality at a reasonable price and there’s just such a lovely atmosphere in there. It’s a very relaxing place to be.

-Take a walk?

I would start at Jennycliff, cross on to the Mount Batten ferry and continue along towards the Hoe. You go from the peace and tranquility to the hustle and bustle before it all quietens down again. It’s a beautiful walk.

-Coffee?

It’s got to be Bread and Roses in Ebrington Street. It’s recently opened and it’s a not-for-profit, community owned company. It’s great any time of day but you can go in and have a chat and a coffee.

It’s relaxed and happening and a good place to be. It’s full of artists, students and all sorts of people.

-Go shopping?

Southside Street on the Barbican has got so many lovely shops selling unusual gifts.

I love the Victoria Sewart jewellery gallery (I can’t resist!) and then there’s 45 Southside gallery, which sells all sorts of locally made arts and crafts. I also love browsing in the St Luke’s Hospice charity shop, which is really shabby chic.

-Lunch?

I would grab a box of Thai noodles from the B Bar at the Barbican Theatre. They’re amazing – you just can’t beat them. The theatre is a bit off the beaten track but it’s well signposted. The noodles come in a takeway cardboard box. There’s just something good fun about eating out of a box.

-Spend the afternoon?

I’d wander round some exhibitions. There are some really great places in Plymouth to find art now. There’s the museum and art gallery and KARST in Stonehouse has got some amazing work on show.

-Go for cocktails?

The Refectory Bar in Plymouth Gin Distillery is good. There’s always a lovely atmosphere in there and you’re slightly tucked away from it all.

-Dinner?

I’m going to have to say the Plymouth Arts Centre! There is something so special about having a lovely meal and then going to see a film all in the same place. You can take your glass of wine though with you to the cinema there. It’s bliss.

-Spend the evening?

See above. You can make an evening out of it when you’ve got good food and a good film.

-Overnight?

I’m looking forward to two great new hotels at the civic centre and Royal William Yard.

There are plans to turn the civic centre into a four-star hotel and for a boutique-style hotel at Royal William. It will be great for Plymouth.

Dr Sanjay Sharma is a lecturer in intelligent autonomous control systems at Plymouth University.

The 42-year-old father-of-two also organises an annual cultural dance festival in the city.

Dance, Dance, Dance brings together Bollywood dancing, Morris men, Salsa and more and is now in its sixth year.

Dr Sharma is also Hindu faith advisor to the university’s multi-faith chaplaincy.

-Wake up?

At the weekends I would wake up at home with my two children, aged eight and nine hanging around me.

My wife is working up in Manchester at the moment so I’m on my own with the children a lot. We have a great time though. We’re really lucky because we live right next to Central Park so we often end up there.

-Go for breakfast?

With the children here I end up cooking a lot so I’d probably do them some breakfast at home – a true Indian style with a mix of English.

I really like cooking but I can’t say how good I am at it – sometimes it’s yes and sometimes no!

-Take a walk?

Central Park is great for walking – it’s so big. We would take a walk up to the playground and have fun up there. There are lots of parks all over the city though. We’re lucky here.

There’s also the Life Centre, which has been great for Plymouth. The children go for swimming lessons there and I visit the gym.

-Enjoy a coffee?

I like Costa Coffee in the city centre. I go there quite a bit from work. It’s great being walking distance from town. There’s a lot of choice.

-Go shopping?

It would have to be Drake Circus. There’s plenty to choose from there although, I have to say, I don’t really like going when it’s very busy.

-Lunch?

I enjoy a McDonald’s now and then and I like a pasty. I don’t have a particular favourite pasty shop – any one will do!

-Spend the afternoon?

If it’s sunny, we’ll head for the beach. We like going down to Newquay or else we’ll go to Blackpool Sands or Bigbury-on-Sea. It’s amazing there.

My wife is from Russia and her sister comes to stay with us in the summer and we like to show her around all the beaches.

It does make you think – particularly after the summer we’ve just had - that it’s great living in Plymouth.

The city is changing too. The dance festival I help to organise is getting bigger every year. People are very receptive and appreciate the different cultures. It’s an exciting time to be living here.

-Cocktail?

With my wife away, I don’t really get chance to go out for drinks much at the moment but when I do, we like to go to the Barbican. It’s great because you don’t have to go to just one place, you can visit a few places.

I also like Chiquito in the Barbican Leisure Park, near the cinema.

-Dinner?

My wife and I try to meet up at least twice a month and she loves French cuisine so we’d go to Chloe’s in Princess Street. I really like the food there. I’ve been to France many times and developed a taste for lobster.I also like frog’s legs and snails!

At home, I’d probably cook something special for my children. They miss their mum but they have Skype. And they quite like the fact there’s no one to tell them to tidy their room all the time.

-Spend the evening?

I normally just invite friends over and have a gossip and drinks but I enjoy going to the cinema. The Vue Cinema here is great and I often take the children at the weekends and in the holidays.

-Overnight?

At home, tucked up, maybe with a movie.

Top chefs Chris, 43, and James Tanner, 38, own two restaurants in Plymouth - Tanners and Barbican Kitchen.

James Tanner regularly appears on television cookery shows and has a slot on ITV’s Lorraine programme.

-Wake up?

With my girls at home.

-Go for breakfast?

I’d have to have a decent fry up at The Terrace Café, which is right on the Hoe. The views are spectacular.

-Take a walk?

I’d stay on the Hoe and stroll down towards the Barbican.

-Enjoy a coffee?

I’d have a lovely latte somewhere on the Barbican, looking out to see and over the marinas. You can’t beat it.

-Go shopping?

I’d check out the independent retailers around the city. There are so many dotted around.

-Lunch?

I’m going to have to say I’d enjoy a nice, lazy lunch at the Barbican Kitchen in Southside Street.

-Spend the afternoon?

After an easy start to the day, I’d carry on the theme and chill out by walking along the Barbican, across the marina bridge by the National Marine Aquarium and walk along to the Barbican Leisure Park to catch a movie at Vue cinema.

-Go for cocktails?

It’s got to be Plymouth Gin Distillery.

-Dinner?

Tanners!

-Spend the evening?

After drinks in the courtyard at Tanners, I’d head over to the Barbican again for a boogie in one of the many bars and clubs there.

-Overnight?

I’m lucky enough to live here so it would be back home for me.

Chris Tanner was a protégé of the Roux Brothers, and began his career at Le Gavroche as Commis Chef in 1989.

Chris has also appeared on television, including This Morning on ITV1.

-Where would you wake up?

At home.

-Go for breakfast?

Somewhere on the Hoe.

-Take a walk?

Again on the Hoe. Plymouth is so lucky to have it.

-Enjoy a coffee?

I’d visit one of the many cafés on the Barbican.

-Go shopping?

Along the Barbican, which is full of independent outlets. You never know what you’re going to find there.

-Lunch?

Barbican Kitchen.

-Spend the afternoon?

I’d be in the Plymouth Gin Refectory Bar drinking cocktails.

-Go for cocktails?

(see above!)

-Dinner?

Tanners of course, for a lovely, leisurely indulgent evening.

-Spend the evening?

I’d still be in Tanners, enjoying myself.

-Overnight?

Back to home, sweet home.

Kevin Hodges, 53, is the academy manager at Plymouth Argyle Football Club.

He lives in Plymouth with his wife Carole. He has two children aged 25 and 14.

-Where would you wake up?

My home here in Plymouth. I just love my home and like to be around my family before I start the day. I moved to Plymouth from Dorset when I joined Argyle as an apprentice, aged sixteen. We are so lucky to live in this beautiful part of UK, surrounded by the moors and the sea.

-Go for breakfast?

There is nothing nicer than breakfast with my family, in the garden on a gloriously sunny Devon day.

-Take a walk?

I obviously enjoy walking around the Hoe and Barbican - the view from the promenade is just breathtaking.

We also have a National Trust membership and love to walk around Saltram House and gardens.

We used to take our children there when they were young to feed the ducks.

Cotehele House and gardens is another family favourite

I also like taking the ferry across to Mount Edgcumbe and walking to Cawsand when feeling very energetic. It’s lovely there during the spring when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

-Enjoy a coffee?

I often combine the coffee and the shopping. My son and I will have a coffee and some chocolate fudge cake in Café Nero in House of Fraser whilst my wife does the shopping bit.

-Go shopping?

When I need anything to wear I normally head to House of Fraser. I usually know what I want and get the job done pretty quickly. I have also found Keith White of Michael Spiers very helpful when I have had to buy jewellery for special occasions.

Lunch?

I really like the atmosphere in Royal William Yard. I’ve had some very nice lunches in River Cottage and Le Bistrot Pierre is good value for money,

We also like driving out to the Ship Inn at Noss Mayo to enjoy fresh crab sandwiches.

-Spend the afternoon?

If I was working I’d enjoy watching our young players in a game. Seeing them develop is the most satisfying part of my job.

Obviously on a Saturday I’m most happy at Home Park watching Plymouth Argyle’s first team win.

If I had a free afternoon I’d be happy to spend it at the beach, weather permitting. We have some super beaches close to Plymouth. We like Whitsand Bay, although the climb back up the path can be tricky.

In the other direction, there’s Bantham, Thurlestone, and just little further along the coast, Blackpool Sands.

We take a football, the cricket set and some boules as well as the BBQ but I do like to chill out and just read the paper. It has to be very warm for me to get in the sea!

We also are fortunate enough to be close to Dartmoor National Park. A good walk following the leats is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.

-Go for cocktails?

I very rarely go out for cocktails. I enjoy a jug of Pimms or Sangria in the garden pre-BBQ with friends and family.

Dinner? My favourites are Positano in Mayflower Street - the scallops here are just the best! If it was a special occasion, it would be Chloe’s for French cuisine with the lovely sound of the piano in the background. I’ve also enjoyed many a great steak or the Greek meze in Lanterns, Cornwall Street.

-Spend the evening?

I enjoy the theatre and have seen some great productions here in Plymouth at the Theatre Royal. I also like the cinema. I’m looking forward to the development at Home Park with a cinema on site.

-Overnight?

As a player, I spent a lot of time travelling on a coach all over the country with a great deal of Friday nights away from home.

I spent a lot of time away so my preference now would always be an overnight stop at home in Plymouth!

Shelly Jones, 43, is the landlady at the Minerva Inn, Looe Street. It’s said to have been Sir Francis Drake’s local and was established in 1540, making it Plymouth’s oldest pub.

-Where would you wake up?

It would have to be at home or at least somewhere I could get a decent breakfast.

-Go for breakfast?

I like the Caffine Club in North Hill, opposite the university. Their portions are nice and generous and you can watch all the students making fools of themselves!

-Take a walk?

Mount Edgcumbe is great. I’d get the Cremyll ferry over and take the dogs on the walk to Cawsand. They love it.

Enjoy a coffee? Up at the Terrace café on the Hoe, watching the ferry come in and the boats go across the Sound.

-Go shopping?

Locally, it’s got to be Drake Circus but I’d have to know what I wanted, go in and then come out again quickly. It gets so busy.

If I want to spend a bit more time, I’d go to somewhere like the Barbican Totnes which has got some lovely quirky little shops.

-Lunch?

I’d head over to Royal William Yard. I like the River Cottage Canteen. There’s a great atmosphere in there and it’s good, wholesome food overlooking the water.

-Spend the afternoon?

I’m usually working in the pub – it’s quite rare that I get an afternoon off but if I did, I’d take myself up on the Hoe for a quick stroll.

-Go for cocktails?

I’d be in the Minerva! It’s a real pub full of real people and we have great live music.

-Dinner?

I’d go to Morgans in Princess Street. They do a nice pre-theatre menu and there’s a decent choice of food.

-Spend the evening?

I’d go to the theatre to watch some Shakespeare, if there was any on. I love it. I used to be an English teacher before I became a landlady so it’s something I’m really interested in.

The plays are a lot easier to watch than they are to read.

-Overnight?

There’s a lovely little place on Citadel Road called Seymour Guest House. There are great views over the green and the couple who run it are just lovely people.

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