Boringdon Hall‘s striking stone towers, secret archways and ancient arrow slits hint at an intriguing past, while a brilliant new chef and just-announced status as The Times’ Best Spa Hotel, bodes well for the future, discovers Rosanna Rothery
The Elizabethan manor house in Plymouth offers one of the most ornate dining experiences in the South West, not to mention a unique secret supper experience that you’ll want to be in on.
VISIT FOR a coveted place at the secret supper table. A prosecco in the Great Hall loosens you up to chat to fellow guests before you’re whisked away to an atmospheric dining room, complete with leaded windows, candelabras and Elizabethan style portraits. Here head chef Scott Paton talks you through the sumptuous delights to come, while restaurant manager Lonel Besliu delivers a dialogue of amusingly eccentric and characterful between-course musings on wine pairings.
DON’T VISIT if you like modern and minimalistic. The Elizabethans didn’t do subtle.
WE LIKED Scott’s enviable flair for combining science and art to concoct masterpieces that look as magnificent as they taste. With a Q&A at end of the night, impressed fans even manage to elicit a couple of secret kitchen tips from the three AA rosette chef.
INSIDER’S TIP For utter indulgence, lounge in the hydrotherapy pool in the swish Gaia Spa then snuggle down into a four-poster bed.
What we ate (secret supper)
Vulscombe goat’s cheese terrine with pickled beetroots, elderflower and gingerbread
Brixham crab salad with curried emulsion, mango and cardamom
Poached and grilled breast of Creedy Carver duck, carrots, anise and charred onion
Dulcey chocolate tart with salted peanut and sour cherry
Mint and chocolate variations
With its cornucopia of delightful ingredients, from luxurious comfort to drop-dead-gorgeous dining, this country house hotel has plenty of reasons to blow its own horn