One of a remaining few family-run country house hotels in Devon, this is a must-visit for glorious escapism where you can dine like lord of the manor, says Jo Rees
It’s all so thrillingly authentic. The dark wood panelling, the oil paintings of the Baring-Gould family lining the dining room, the fabulous library with roaring fire and huge sofas, the four poster beds and resident ghost … It’s no wonder Lewtrenchard has cultivated a special place in the heart of so many South West gourmets over the years.
VISIT FOR sheer escapism. No-one’s tried to jazz this place up with wacky furnishings, cool accessories or create weird and wonderful “unique selling points”. It’s simply delightful in a thoroughly old-school way; like stepping into another place and time.
Rich fabrics, large stone fireplaces crackling with flame licked logs and a lively babble of well annunciated vowels from diners enjoying canapès and aperitifs in the lounge set the scene for an entertaining dinner.
With its novel historic setting (no-one lives in a place like this anymore, right?) there’s theatre at play, which shows in the slightly giddy abandon of the guests as they revel in fabulous fine dining and the accompanying wine list.
DON’T VISIT in your jeans. Do this glamorous setting justice.
WE LIKED head chef Matthew Peryer’s modern British cooking, which entertains with multiple elements. The talented chef displays expertise and finesse in menus that beautifully balance complementary and contrasting flavours and fine presentation without any showing off.
INSIDER’S TIP Follow dinner with coffee and exquisite petit fours by the fire in the library. Then mosey upstairs to one of the comfortable bedrooms for a night at the manor.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Ceviché of monkfish, flaked Devon crab, pickled ginger, Thai puree
Main Honey and five spice roasted duck breast, fondant potato, garden parsnip, thyme jus
Dessert Iced pineapple and yoghurt mousse, compressed pineapple, tarragon dust, yoghurt sorbet