Near North Molton, Exmoor National Park, Devon
Unpretentious Georgian gastronomic bolthole cradled in the hills of unspoiled Exmoor
Paul and Jan had a dream of setting up a cosseting country retreat,
and after years of searching for the right spot, finally did it.
The good news is that you get to share their dream. As relative
newcomers to the business, they have a passion and freshness that
more experienced hotel owners often lack. Paul, a former software
salesman, and ex-primary teacher Jan, dislike the term boutique
hotel, which for them smacks of sterile perfection. Their
characterful 8-bedroom Georgian dower house, which sits in the
folds of Devon’s Exmoor hills, is more like home without the
housework, and from the moment we arrived to be greeted by friendly
Jack Russell terrier Rosie (introduced as "Head of Guest
Relations"), we knew we were in for a truly restful stay.
The price tag is as unpretentious as the house and its owners. Come here for the couple’s warm hospitality, the artful décor, and Paul’s superb cooking. Explore the hamlet of Heasley Mill, once famous for mining (the mine captains resided at Heasley House), or stride out onto Exmoor or along the coast, just 20 minutes’ drive away. This is a place of deep relaxation in a genuinely unspoiled and quiet corner of Britain.
Reviewed by Clare Hargreaves
- The special service that comes with a husband and wife combo - no impersonal reception staff, just the warmth of owners who really care about giving you a good time
- The tasty food is scrupulously sourced - if it's not homemade then chances are it comes from the village
- Peace and quiet in an area that doesn't swarm with tourists - we challenge even the most hardened city dweller not to be utterly seduced by the setting
- Pretty bedrooms, with generous beds and original artwork
- When we revisited in 2012 the house remained as spic and span as ever thanks to a full refurbishment
- No mobile reception - but hey, isn’t it time to switch off anyway?
- We found the ambiance at dinner hushed rather than buzzing
- You'll need to drive if you fancy eating out
- Being in a valley, you don’t get grandiose views. But it only takes a few minutes’ walk onto the moor to find them
- Weekends are often full, and house parties book another chunk, so you'll need to plan ahead for your stays here
We loved it for the little things that cost nothing...The Good Hotel Guide