Planning your next South West staycation? Escape the crowds and surround yourself with nature at these hidden gem hotels
Howard’s House Hotel, Wiltshire
Tucked away in the charming village of Teffont Evias, Howard’s House is one of Wiltshire’s hidden gem hotels. The independently owned country house is a microcosm of peace, quiet and seclusion thanks to its relaxed pace of life and gloriously rural setting.
Head chef Andy Britton treats guests to a taste of the terroir, crafting classic British dishes from produce grown in the kitchen garden and local smallholdings. The best way to sample his accomplished cooking is via the seasonal tasting menu which comprises eight of Andy’s favourite creations.
Gara Rock, south Devon
Salcombe is one of the UK’s most talked about staycation destinations, but the seaside town’s popularity means in spring and summer it’s often teeming with tourists. If you want to experience this gorgeous corner of south Devon without the crowds, we’d recommend continuing round the coast to Gara Rock.
Perched atop the cliffs and reached by seemingly endless miles of country lanes, the contemporary maritime hotel feels a world away from the bustle of Salcombe. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout make the most of the building’s incredible position so, whether you’re soaking in the spa, dining on the morning’s catch in the restaurant or relaxing in your room, you’re constantly surrounded by nature.
Lords of the Manor, Cotswolds
While many luxury Cotswolds destinations have gained international fame, this quintessential country house hotel has remained relatively under the radar – and is all the more charming for it.
There are just 13 bedrooms – all beautifully dressed and boasting glorious views of the manicured gardens and rolling Cotswolds countryside – which lends to the intimate ambience and personal feel. Though the 17th century manor house’s history and location are noteworthy, its two restaurants are what set Lords of the Manor apart from the crowd. Head chef Charles Smith previously worked at a number of the world’s best restaurants (including Per Se in New York and London’s Petrus by Marcus Wareing) and dazzles diners with highly memorable tasting menus.
The Nare Hotel, Roseland Peninsula
If you’re dreaming of a Cornish beach break, you can’t get closer to the action than The Nare on the Roseland Peninsula. The smart seaside hotel sits right on Carne Beach – one of the county’s most glorious stretches of sand.
Whether you spend your staycation lazing on the beach, exploring the South West Coast Path or day-tripping to nearby destinations such as Falmouth and Fowey, the best part of each day will be dinner at The Nare. Evenings start with a decadent cocktail in Ken’s Bar, before dining on phenomenally fresh fish and seafood at the award-winning restaurant which overlooks the bay.
Lewtrenchard Manor, Devon
Play lord and lady of the manor for the weekend with a trip to this mid-Devon destination. An overnight jaunt at this Jacobean country house feels rather like stepping back in time thanks to its ancestral portraits, wood panelling and stucco ceilings.
While the setting is traditional, head chef Tom Browning ensures the dining experience is bang-up-to-date. The ambitious young chef approaches locally sourced and seasonal ingredients with contemporary flair to create exciting dishes which surprise and delight. Passionate foodies can go behind the scenes by booking a seat in The Purple Carrot dining room which live-streams the kitchen action via screens.
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