Our new Escape of the Week does pastoral bliss like nowhere else. Folded into a tree-lined valley on the edge of Dartmoor, this 4-bedroom B&B is the most recent incarnation of Sir Francis Drake’s old cider house and still retains the feeling of rural serenity that first attracted Cistercian monks to the abbey next door many centuries ago.
Cider House may be high on the relaxation scale (something helped by wonderful hosts Bertie and Bryony), but its location on the edge of Dartmoor, not far from the English Riviera, means it’s also a great base for getting out and about. That’s if you can remove yourself from the stunning grounds and halls of illustrious neighbour Buckland Abbey – it has a Rembrandt, don’t you know?
Rooms: The 4 rooms are all spotless and elegant, with carefully chosen furnishings and a good use of space. Each features a statement wall of ornate paper, and huge beds with Hypnos mattresses are wrapped in crisp Egyptian cotton sheets. Expect the same detailed luxury in the bathrooms, where you’ll find Ren toiletries, cosy robes, double-ended roll-top baths (with the exception of Langworthy) and pin-you-to-the-floor-powerful showers.
Food: The kitchen garden, sprinkling of beehives and cluck of hens all provide ingredients for the delicious breakfasts that await in the morning. Expect plenty of home-cooked and local fare (apple juice from the orchard, homemade bread, Groats pudding) to gorge on in the pretty dining room. You’ll have to venture out for dinner, but there are a number of characterful pubs in the surrounding countryside, including the welcoming Who’d Have Thought it? in the next village.
Top Tip: If you’re looking for a truly spoiling meal, try Michelin-starred The Treby Arms, or visit one of the many seafood restaurants offering a gastronomic perspective of the English Riviera.
i-escape gift: a gift of homemade fudge and free entry to Buckland Abbey.