“A cossetting B&B on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, with chic rooms, crackling fires and fabulous home-cooked food”
Accessed via a pair of steep staircases twisting up from the dining room, the 5 rooms are named after the eldest children of the first guests to stay in them. All make stylish and soothing sanctuaries, with views over hills and wooded valleys, and pared-down décor that shows off the beautiful original features.
Each room has a different colour combination (grey and orange, purple and mint green, crimson and taupe) set against beamed ceilings and wonderfully wonky whitewashed walls. Furniture is an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary, and lovely little details - an embroidered footstool, a horse-print cushion, a ceramic owl-shaped lamp - are dotted here and there. We particularly loved the sheepskin-covered window seats in every room, and spent a lazy afternoon curled up in the sunshine watching Jo and Sam’s cat chase butterflies on the lawn outside.
Orla’s Room, where we stayed, is a vast space with a free-standing double-ended tub and a TV which swivels so you can watch as you snooze or soak. Almost as large are Avalon’s Room, which has a bathtub and shower in its ensuite, and Henry’s Room, where an ornate mantelpiece and a shower room with double sinks sit under soaring rafters. Otis’ Room and Alfie’s Room are smaller but no less lovely, with ensuite rain showers.
All come with St Kitts Herbery bath and shower goodies, bottles of fresh water, WiFi, hairdryers, bathrobes and flat-screen TVs (there’s no signal, but you can help yourself to DVDs from the bar downstairs). Larger rooms also have kettles, tea bags and jugs of fresh milk; if you’re staying in a smaller room you’ll find a tea-making station on the landing outside. Beds throughout are super-kingsize or kingsize (no twins) and sink-into comfy, with cool, crisp linen and snuggly throws. Best of all, you get near-total silence, with nothing but the gentle braying of distant cattle to wake you from your slumber.
Jo used to work in top London restaurants and her penchant for local, seasonal and organic fare, combined with her deft hand in the kitchen, produces some mouthwatering results. If it’s not homemade then it’s sourced nearby, and she’s even creating a biodynamic kitchen garden where vegetables will be grown in harmony with the seasons, the moon and the stars.
Dinner, available by prior arrangement, is a real treat. It kicks off with tipples from the honesty bar, which is stocked with local ales, cider, biodynamic wines, bottled beers and spirits, before moving into the cosy, convivial dining room. Here, guests sit together around a vast slate table, lit by flickering candles and flanked by a glowing wood-burner, as jazz plays softly in the background. Dishes are as delicious as the tempting aromas wafting through from the kitchen suggest: we tucked into venison and juniper pie and delicate buttered greens, followed by apple and vanilla crumble with blackberry-infused clotted cream - perfect comfort food after a day roaming the moor.
Breakfast is a similarly hearty spread. Laid out on the table are bottles of fresh apple juice, jars of homemade granola, baskets of home-baked bread, local jams and preserves, steaming pots of tea, and cafetières of coffee. Hot dishes are cooked to order - perhaps succulent sausages and bacon, eggs from a neighbouring farm, and juicy slow-baked tomatoes. In summer, you can eat outside on the sunny terrace.
For lunch and evenings out, there are plenty of good pubs within a short drive. Our favourite was The Horse in Moretonhampstead (15 minutes away), which serves up Mediterranean-inspired grub (gnocchi, rustic pizzas, club sandwiches). Jo also recommends The Ruggle Stone in Widecombe (30 minutes away), where outdoor tables line the banks of a burbling moorland stream.
Weeke Barton's laid-back ambiance and homely charms make it ideal for families seeking a stylish country base. Children of all ages are welcome: baby cots and extra beds can be added to rooms for a small supplement, though the steep staircases mean you’ll want to keep a watchful eye on roving toddlers.
There are plenty of attractions nearby to keep little ones amused, and they may even spot a Dartmoor pony on the moors. Some of Devon’s best beaches are within striking distance, too.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
All rooms can accommodate a baby cot, and the larger rooms (Henry's Room, Avalon's Room and Orla's Room) have space for a rollaway bed. Avalon's Room and Orla's Room are the only rooms with bathtubs
Jo and Sam can recommend tried and tested babysitters
Baby monitors work between the bedrooms and the lounge, bar and dining room downstairs – you'll need to bring your own
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Jo can tailor dishes to young tastebuds by prior arrangement, and will happily prepare simple meals like pasta with tomato sauce. Children's supper is served at 5.30pm, and kids are welcome in the dining room until 7
All rooms are on the first floor, accessed via steep spiral staircases