Review: Country Escape At Gidleigh Park, Devon
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Where better to retreat from the world, as it is, than in the heart of Devon, on the edge of Darmoor National Park? Read our Gidleigh Park review and find out why you should check in to this Tudor-style Devon haven.
Gidleigh Park Review
Set right on Dartmoor’s edge, the twisting lane that leads to this (very) hidden slice of luxury might feel like it’s never-ending, but what awaits you at the end makes the hair-raising country drive is worth it. Set in abundant gardens and edged by a river and Dartmoor’s woods, this grand, picturesque Tudy-style manor has been in the hands of Andrew and Christina Brownsword since 2005 and is now one of Devon’s favourite country retreats. The interiors are smart with playful touches and luxurious finishes, the views second-to-none. All rooms are spacious and comfortable, with the option to choose a luxury suite such as the Manaton Suite with a private roof-top jacuzzi or a self-contained accommodation such as The Pavilion, a charming self-contained thatched cottage in the grounds overlooking the croquet lawn. Speaking of croquet, a game on the lawn is a must, whether you’re following the rules or simply practicing your strokes.
Current measures include a temperature check for visitors on arrival, plenty of hand sanitiser and social distancing in operation in the restaurants and throughout the grounds. In-room dining is also a wonderful option at Gidleigh Park, with stunning views and comfortable dining settings.
With an absolutely exquisite location on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, there is nothing to do but walk, walk and walk some more. Encounter Dartmoor’s famous wild horses, spot birds, bees, flora and fauna along the edge of the babbling brook, the hills and woodlands on your doorstep. Having said there’s nothing to do, you could also have a game of tennis on the picturesque court, take a round on the 18 hold Peter Allis-designed putting course or try your hand at croquet. Slightly further afield there is also Castle Drogo and the South Devon Railway to explore.
Gidleigh is as famous for its restaurant as its rooms and position. Gidleigh’s celebrated restaurant has chef Chris Eden at its helm, with a produce-led ethos leading to a simple but refined menu of dishes, with local ingredients as the star of every dish. It is unpretentious cooking with a touch of adventure and continues to lure locals and travellers for an indulgent meal in the heart of Devon. Gidleigh Park is also home to one of the country’s best wine cellars, home to over 13,000 bottles. (The Devon rose we had with lunch was delicious, who knew?) If you still need convincing that a precarious country drive is worth it for the delights at the end, check out the breakfast menu. Perfectly cooked scrambled eggs served on a buttered crumpet, wrapped with smoked salmon and topped with caviar? There has never been a better start to the day.
THE FINAL WORD
One of Britain’s most picturesque country retreats and a must-visit for walkers wanting a slice of luxury and a ticket to breakfast perfection. Gidleigh is an ideal romantic country retreat for complete seclusion.
For the ultimate luxury escape, guests can book ‘The Morgan Experience’ package which offers the opportunity to explore the Devon countryside in style, with your very own Morgan Plus 4 for the day. With the hire of a Morgan Plus 4 car included, guests can get up high onto the moor, taking in the panoramic views of the high tors with a specially prepared picnic hamper, brimming with treats, and a Morgan blanket to take home. One & two night packages are available, with the overnight package from £489pp, two sharing, including hire of a Morgan Plus 4 sports car for a day (including insurance for two drivers), picnic hamper lunch, Morgan blanket, seven-course tasting menu, morning newspaper and tea tray to your room, and full English and continental breakfast.
Gidleigh Park is currently open Tuesday to Saturday for overnight stays. Double rooms from £275 per night on a bed and breakfast basis | www.gidleigh.co.uk | 01647 432367