“A unique architectural gem of a B&B, set in tranquil woodland within minutes of Dartmouth and the south Devon coast”
One of the big advantages of purpose-building a B&B was the opportunity to plan every detail. There are 4 lovely rooms, all self-contained with their own front doors and decked terraces, and all offering simple, unfussy modernist design: wood floors, contemporary art, floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of natural light.
We stayed in Beech, a large and airy, elevated glass cube, with a terrace overlooking the garden, and steps down to the pool. A free-standing storage unit cleverly divides the room into 2 - a kingsize bed on one side, and a comfortable sitting area on the other. The bathroom has both a tub and a lofty semi-circular walk-in shower of white mosaic tiles. The view of the pool was slightly marred by a blue plastic cover - which helps keeps the heated water hot - but everything else was perfect.
Ash and Oak are set into the hillside above the house and are accessed via steps and walkways. They slightly smaller, but Oak's bed is a super-kingsize and Ash has a super-kingsize which can be converted into twins. Both have smart bathrooms with slate floors and a separate shower and tub. We're yet to see The Roundhouse, but it promises to be a decadent space perfect for a special occasion.
Key features in all rooms include luxurious beds and linens, stylish chromed Nick Munro beverage sets (kettle, cups, cafetière), robes and slippers, fresh fruit, homemade cookies and fudge; for the terrace, citronella candles, deckchairs and sun shades; and, in the bathrooms, Korres natural toiletries. There are towels for the pool, umbrellas in case it rains, and roller blinds at the windows to cut out the light.
Breakfast is served - more or less on demand - at a communal table in Tony and Gordon’s dining area, providing an opportunity to admire Kaywana’s decked open-plan living spaces, the dreamy views and the drama of that sloping roof. First, you will be presented with pretty white dishes of homemade granola, fresh seasonal fruit (berries or a compote) and yoghurt. Next there will be breads and pastries (chocolate croissants, local champagne bread), fresh juices and a cooked breakfast to order: choose from a Full English or the daily special (mushrooms on toast, for example, or crumpets dipped in beaten egg served with crispy bacon and maple syrup, or homemade smoked haddock and salmon fishcakes served with a poached egg). Most of the ingredients are sourced within a 5-mile radius.
For lunch and dinner, there’s a wealth of good places nearby, particularly in Dartmouth. Tony and Gordon recommend, among others, waterfront seafood restaurant The Seahorse run by Mitch Tonks (Dartmouth’s answer to Rick Stein), Angelique (Dartmouth’s Michelin-starred restaurant), and the lively Jan and Freddies Brasserie. For more casual dining, or a takeaway, head for Mitch Tonks' Rockfish Seafood and Chips (basically a high-class chippy). And closer to home, the Ship Inn in Kingswear does decent pub food.