“An indulgent B&B in the prize-winning grounds of historic National Trust Buckland Abbey, on the edge of Dartmoor”
The 4 spotlessly clean rooms are simply decorated in a country style, with elegant and carefully chosen furnishings. They seem slightly spartan, but what they lack in frills, they make up for in quality. Each features a statement wall of ornate paper, and huge beds with Hypnos mattresses are wrapped in crisp Egyptian cotton sheets.
The attention to detailed luxury extends to decadent bathrooms which, with the exception of Langworthy, have double-ended rolltop baths. You can also expect Ren toiletries, cosy robes and excellent showers (it was a challenge to leave my heavenly pin-you-to-the-floor drench).
We stayed in Woodbine, the pick of the bunch with its super-kingsize four-poster bed. We also loved Pippin for its large bathtub that looks out over the gardens. Smaller Langworthy shares the same tremendous view but only has a shower. Northwood looks out over the estate and the neighbouring cottage with its charming tower.
A regimentally planted kitchen garden, pretty beehives, free-range pigs and a cluck of hens provide ingredients for Bryony's excellent country breakfasts. We happily gorged on her homemade bread and fruit jams, glasses of apple juice from the orchard, and creamy West Country yoghurts. The lovely cooked menu included home-reared bacon and sausages, freshly laid eggs and Groats pudding (a traditional Devon recipe), as well as smoked salmon.
Though no other meals are served at Cider House, the surrounding countryside is dotted with characterful pubs. Many of them require a drive, but the welcoming Who’d Have Thought It? (The Who’d’y, to locals), is a 15-minute stroll away in Milton Combe. We enjoyed a dinner of belly pork in the ribald and jovial bar (there’s a separate restaurant area, too), along with live music. The Drake Manor Inn at Buckland Monachorum is also walkable (20 mins), with simple, tasty food.