Romantic breaks at Combe House Devon
17:04 08 February 2011
Combe House Devon is a wildly romantic country retreat for couples planning a short break. Devon Hotel of the Year 2010, this stunning Grade I Elizabethan manor is hidden in a lush 3,500 acre country estate where Arabian horses and pheasants roam freely. Its also close to the South West Coast Path at Sidmouth and within easy reach of several National Trust houses and gardens.
Guests first glimpse of the house is through the trees as they drive up the mile-long drive from the pretty cob thatched village of Gittisham. When opening the broad oak door, they are warmly welcomed into the wood panelled Great Hall with its huge crackling log fire and squashy sofas.
The hotel is renowned for its contemporary British cuisine created by the two resident Master Chefs of Great Britain, Hadleigh Barrett and Stuart Brown, whose imaginative dishes are served by candlelight in two intimate dining rooms.
Restored Victorian Kitchen Gardens
Hadleigh and Stuart are passionate about sourcing the freshest and best quality products, much of which comes from Combes restored Victorian kitchen gardens; they think in food metres, not miles. Other ongoing restoration projects include new orchards to re-introduce the Putt apple and bring back cider-making, plus the creation of soft fruit gardens and conversion of two large lawns into further kitchen gardens.
Accommodation in the main house is in fifteen luxurious en-suite bedrooms and suites, some with beautiful country views; a special treat is the Linen Suite which occupies part of the original Victorian laundry and features a 6ft diameter round copper wash tub.
Tucked away at the entrance to the drive is the beautifully restored Combe Thatch Cottage a romantic hideaway for two. The original cottage features have been enhanced with comfortable contemporary furnishings in shades of natural linen and limestone, all complimented by carefully placed fine antique pieces and a wood burning stove in the huge fireplace.
Picture Postcard Setting
The hotel is located in one of Devons finest locations surrounded by old beech woods, gardens and meadows. Guests can wander down the drive to Gittisham which dates back to Saxon times. It was once described by HRH Prince Charles as The Ideal English Village with its pretty cottages, Norman church, village green and babbling stream.
Visitors can also browse the antique shops and galleries in nearby Honiton; drive into Exeter or visit the attractive coastal resort of Sidmouth. From here a scenic route leads through the pretty fishing villages of Branscombe and Beer to the World.
Heritage Coast between Lyme Regis and Charmouth, which is also a haven for fossil hunters. Powderham Castle, Bicton Park Botanical Gardens and Forde Abbey are also nearby.
Bed and breakfast at Combe House starts from 199 per room for two sharing; a two-course lunch midweek is 27 per person and a three-course dinner 49, both with canaps. Dogs are welcome especially in the cottage, which has its own secure walled garden. For more information call Combe House on 01404 540 400 or visit www.combehousedevon.com