“Small boutique hotel with 6 stylish rooms and delicious food, just a couple of miles from the beautiful south Devon coast”
A wide staircase takes you up to 6 airy bedrooms. Expect stripped oak floors, quirky Florence Broadhurst wallpapers, arc lamps, handmade wooden beds, and clever blinds which lift from below. Mattresses are superb, sheets are Frette linen and there are heaps of pillows, as well as fluffy white towels and bathrobes. We liked the unusual minibars: wood-clad chill boxes filled with Champagne, wine, beer, organic drinks and complimentary milk and water in old-fashioned bottles. You also get all the gadgetry: plasma TV, Sky HD, DVD player, CD stereo, iPod dock, free WiFi, and a Nespresso coffee machine.
Bathrooms have good-quality showers and baths (either free-standing or unusual square-shaped Omni tubs with rain showers overhead). The owners have created their own range of toiletries, hand-blended locally using natural oils such as sandalwood, damask rose, peppermint and grapefruit. You'll find at least 7 different products to try depending on whether you want to be revitalised, invigorated or relaxed. All come in large aluminium bottles which you can buy at reception to take home.
Our favourite is Room 5, with an enormous emperor-size bed, a purple velvet armchair big enough for 2, and a row of windows overlooking the lawn. The highlight was the fabulous bathroom with a lead-clad bath and huge rainshower.
Room 4 lacks the garden view but has a romantic 4-poster bed, a black crystal chandelier, and a roll-top bath in the bedroom. Room 3 faces the side of the house and the road behind; the bathroom is lovely, and you can watch TV from a swinging basket chair. Rooms 1 and 2 can be connected if you're with teenagers.
The largest is Room 6, tucked away in the eaves and accessed via a private staircase. It has a bedroom and a separate sitting area with a sofabed that can be made up for 2 additional guests, as well as a free-standing tub and a huge shower in the bathroom. It’s lovely, but the low beams mean tall guests will have to duck.
Breakfast is excellent and thoughtfully runs until 11ish. Homemade mueslis in Kilner jars, warm pastries, thick yoghurt and delicious poached fruits in elderflower are laid out on a butcher's block. But it was the tempting cooked menu that won us over. We recommend the grilled Salcombe "Smokie" with crispy bacon or wild mushroom and potato frittata; the sausage sarnie, Full English, and boiled egg with soldiers also hit the spot. Tea and coffee are served in big mugs and there's freshly squeezed juice, too.
Drinks are available at the bar (served 11am to 11pm) as well as antipasti boards, fresh breads, toasted sandwiches and soups. Complimentary cream teas are served for guests in the afternoon - Champagne, tea and scones taken in front of the fire or on the terrace.
If you're thinking of heading to the beach for the day, the hotel’s Beach House café at Thurlestone Bay is a great option for a lunch. Sitting in the dunes, this rustic beach hut serves tasty treats from morning ‘til night. Expect Full English breakfasts, beefburgers, moules mariniere and fish finger sarnies, as well as sweet treats, hot drinks and lighter snacks.
Elsewhere, The Seahorse in Dartmouth is highly recommended for seafood and grilled meat dishes. For pubs, we love the Millbrook Inn in nearby South Pool: a small, cosy pub overlooking a charming brook. Also worth a visit, for the atmosphere rather than the food, is The Pig's Nose in East Prawle.
Children 13 and over are welcome but we'd recommend it more in summer than winter (unless you're taking over the whole house): the big lawn area offers a good outlet to run around and there are plenty of child-friendly beaches nearby.
Teens (over 12)
Rooms 1 and 2 connect (sleeping max 4 adults); Room 6 has a sofabed. All rooms have bathtubs as well as showers.
Romantic couples might not appreciate teens in the snug sitting rooms