Back to the UK via LA's British Consulate General
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016
By Bekah Wright
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Image from Wikipedia in Public Domain


A few weeks back, we made a visit to 1960s UK via the KCET series Inspector George Gently (see post here). Then we received an invite that gave us a special thrill:

"Your presence is requested at the British Consulate General Residence in Los Angeles."

Okay, maybe the invite wasn't that formal, but it might as well have been Queen Elizabeth herself delivering an invitation for tea.

Instead, it was a celebration of another sort. It was a night of Doc Martin happiness, with cast member Ian McNiece (aka Bert Large) holding court, per se.  

Indeed, the seventh season premiere of Doc Martin, KCET's most-watched television series was being lauded in conjunction with a fundraiser for the nation's largest independent public television station. 


Photo by Bekah Wright. Image features Los Angeles British Consul-General Christopher O'Connor, Marion Ross and Ian McNiece


Every inch of the achingly torturous rush hour drive only served to heighten the excitement and anticipation of the evening ahead.

Flashing lightbulbs announced: "You've arrived," as Los Angeles British Consul-General Christopher O'Connor, Marion Ross and Ian McNiece were spied making their way down the red carpet past paparazzi.


Photo by Bekah Wright


Stepping inside, the residence's grandeur was immediately evident with a baby grand piano topped by exquisite roses.


Photo by Bekah Wright


An ornate staircase looked fit for royalty. Alas...


Photo by Bekah Wright


...festivities were underway in the garden.


Photo by Bekah Wright


Sustenance awaited in the form of fruit, cheese and passed hor d'oeuvres.


Photo by Bekah Wright


Also on hand -- cocktails inspired by the famed television series.

Where to feast and sup?


Photo by Bekah Wright


Around flower bedecked tables or...


Photo by Bekah Wright


...a charming garden fountain.


Photo courtesy of KCET


Toasts were made, followed by clips from upcoming Doc Martin episodes.


Photos courtesy of KCET


Stepping up to the microphone, Ian McNiece noted Doc Martin's impressive following of seven million viewers. Such numbers have led to...

"...a series eight in 2017," McNiece announced.

As partygoers broke into applause, he continued, "You're all welcome to come to Portwenn and Port Isaac. A lot of Americans come and see us there; we have 200-300 visitors a day. Come for the cream teas and flowered pastures. You're all welcome."

Which led to us daydreaming of a visit to the Cornish community of Portwenn for a "fishing holiday." Perhaps, sipping cream tea with the good Dr. Martin Ellingham himself. 

And no, we didn't just stop at daydreaming. Before the party was over, we were already researching tours like the Port Isaac and Portwenn Tour led by John Brown.

Until reservations are made, though, we're escaping to Portwenn Thursday nights via new episodes of Doc Martin. See you there!

Tune into KCET on Thursdays at 8 p.m. PST (with replays at 11:02 p.m., then again on Fridays at 5 a.m.).


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