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Gidleigh Park , Devon UK

Gidleigh Park , Devon UK

Old Oct 24, 14, 11:08 am
  #1  
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Exclamation Gidleigh Park , Devon UK

Full pictures as always at www.getsetjet.com.. Definitely my favourite out of Lucknam, Chewton, Whatley and Four Seasons Hampshire... undecided of Coworth as it in my eyes doesn't really qualify a true english country side hotel...

Nestled in the beautiful Dartmoor Natural Park, Gidleigh Park emerges through a winding road revealing itself in its full Arts and Crafts style. Originally built-in 1928 for an Australian shipping magnate, it was finally transformed to a hotel in 1977, undergoing full renovations in 2006, introducing more contemporary aspects, yet maintaining the essence of the original house, including the 1920's handcrafted grand staircase.

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The hotel features 24 rooms of various amenities and sizes. I was lucky enough to stay at the Spa suite, featuring its private sauna and steam room as well a double bathtub with is a the centrepiece of the private Spa area. A balcony overlooking the gardens and river is equipped with various seating areas and sunloungers to soak up the fresh Dartmoor air and to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding the hotel.

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Several walks from beginners to advances are available throughout the moors and maps are provided by the well-trained hotel staff.

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The hotel also host a Michael Caines MBE restaurant , with two Michelin stars to its name offering the very best of classic french cooking using fresh seasonal produce. Perhaps too formal for some, but perfect for a special occasion or anyone with a deep understanding of the complexities of producing a menu with such technique and finesse.

Gidleighl also offers dog friendly rooms as well as other off site activities as fly fishing and a onsite croquet lawn. A 18 hole golf course is also available.

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I arrived to Gidleigh Park from Endsleigh House and the two could not have been worlds apart, combine the location of Endsleigh with the services and restaurant of Gidleight Park, and for a perfect English country house hotel would be born. I could not fault the service in Gidleigh
in any way, everything was delivered with style and every member of staff were gracious and nothing too much trouble. My only regret was that I was not able to stay longer, to truly appreciate the natural beauty of the location and the delectable food.

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Any questions please don't hesitate to ask...
Jetboy is offline  
Old Oct 24, 14, 12:32 pm
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I like Gidleigh Park as long as you don't stay in the 'summer', as there is no aircon. Not sure if I could handle it for more than 1 night, though. Beautiful part of the world, with stunning walks and very good food at Gidleigh.
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Old Oct 24, 14, 1:23 pm
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I'm not a fan at all. I thought the place was sepulchral and the food overly fussy. There are no facilities apart from rooms and a restaurant. And the narrow lane was seriously pot-holed and wrecked the exhaust on my Maserati. A nice room, however, but no better than a few others.

I recently stayed at Barnsley House, Gloucestershire, and Morston Hall, Norfolk, and both were far more contemporary, unstuffy etc. When I eat out these days I don't want to regard the menu as a prayer book.
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Old Oct 25, 14, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
I'm not a fan at all. I thought the place was sepulchral and the food overly fussy. There are no facilities apart from rooms and a restaurant. And the narrow lane was seriously pot-holed and wrecked the exhaust on my Maserati. A nice room, however, but no better than a few others.

I recently stayed at Barnsley House, Gloucestershire, and Morston Hall, Norfolk, and both were far more contemporary, unstuffy etc. When I eat out these days I don't want to regard the menu as a prayer book.
I agree about Barnsley House - I much prefer the food there, especially at The Village Pub across the road, which is part of the hotel. Buzzy, unpretentious atmosphere and very fresh locally sourced produce.

Gidleigh's restaurant is fine for one meal, just as Gidleigh is fine for one night.

You need a Range Rover.
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Old Oct 25, 14, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post

You need a Range Rover.
Ah but a Maserati is much more stylish - and faster. Pausanias is obviously a man of taste!
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Old Oct 25, 14, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by quitecontrary View Post
Ah but a Maserati is much more stylish - and faster. Pausanias is obviously a man of taste!
Beautiful cars but they are divas. The highest maintenance car I ever owned.

But back OT, given the slightly lukewarm comments about this property, is there anything better in the immediate vicinity?
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Old Oct 26, 14, 3:09 am
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Fairly close to Gidleigh Park is Alex Polizzi's place, Hotel Endsleigh, at Milton Abbot, near Tavistock. Not been myself but it was recently described in some detail by the OP, Jetboy.

Devon has never been a hotel hot-spot. Parts of the county at Dartmoor and Exmoor are wonderfully bleak and wild and there are also some lovely coastal villages and creeks. The town of Dartmouth is Devon's version of Padstow and can be quite a foodie place and there is a terribly trendy new gastropub called the Treby Arms at Sparkwell.

Go for the food and scenery and compromise on the accommodation.

Further west, in south coastal Cornwall, I loved a little hotel called Driftwood.
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Old Oct 26, 14, 9:23 am
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luckily I arrived in a range rover and faced no such issues. If you don't want overly fussy food Gidleigh do at least at summer times, serve a much simpler and more casual menu outside on the terrace, without the "pomp and theatre" that comes in the inside dining room
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Old Oct 28, 14, 12:12 pm
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Gidleigh was the favorite retreat of English poet Ted Hughes (husband of Sylvia Plath).
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Old Oct 28, 14, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Jetboy View Post
If you don't want overly fussy food Gidleigh do at least at summer times, serve a much simpler and more casual menu outside on the terrace, without the "pomp and theatre" that comes in the inside dining room
Yes, I have taken lunch on the terrace - quite a contrast to the gourmet offerings - maybe too much of a contrast?
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Old Oct 28, 14, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
I'm not a fan at all. I thought the place was sepulchral and the food overly fussy. There are no facilities apart from rooms and a restaurant. And the narrow lane was seriously pot-holed and wrecked the exhaust on my Maserati. A nice room, however, but no better than a few others.

I recently stayed at Barnsley House, Gloucestershire, and Morston Hall, Norfolk, and both were far more contemporary, unstuffy etc. When I eat out these days I don't want to regard the menu as a prayer book.
Seems to me that you are debating what kind of fussy you want. You don't want your food to be fussy, but I can't think of a fussier car than a Maserati.
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Old Oct 28, 14, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
I'm not a fan at all. I thought the place was sepulchral and the food overly fussy. There are no facilities apart from rooms and a restaurant. And the narrow lane was seriously pot-holed and wrecked the exhaust on my Maserati. A nice room, however, but no better than a few others.

I recently stayed at Barnsley House, Gloucestershire, and Morston Hall, Norfolk, and both were far more contemporary, unstuffy etc. When I eat out these days I don't want to regard the menu as a prayer book.

Almost did Barnesly last time I was in the UK. We ended up at Coworth instead just for logistics reasons. Very pleased with it, but certainly still aiming for Barnesly at some point.
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Old Oct 28, 14, 2:15 pm
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We are extremely keen gardeners and do several trips around the UK visiting and photographing gardens. We had visited Rosemary Verey's garden at Barnsley House in the late 1990s and actually had the privilege of chatting with her. So that's the main reason we stayed at Barnsley which was part of a tour that included the Prince of Wales's garden at Highgrove.

As a hotel, Barnsley ticked many of the right boxes, though I think it's overpriced, like many Cotswold places. We liked the casual-ness of the place and of the two dining options we much preferred the Village Pub where they served just about the finest grouse I have ever eaten. Our room was in the sort of stables, so very contemporary in style. The bathroom was brilliant . . .except you got there by using a shockingly steep and narrow spiral staircase. We coped with it but we didn't find it fun or charming or eccentric. It was bloody annoying.

Fussy food and fussy Maseratis. Mmmm . . . never thought of that equation. I don't have the Maser anymore.
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Old Oct 28, 14, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
Yes, I have taken lunch on the terrace - quite a contrast to the gourmet offerings - maybe too much of a contrast?
Yes, rather peculiar having a roast beef sandwich on the terrace with crisps whilst 20 meters away people are tucking into a 7 course tasting menu with all the panache accompanying it....



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Old Oct 29, 14, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
As a hotel, Barnsley ticked many of the right boxes, though I think it's overpriced, like many Cotswold places. We liked the casual-ness of the place and of the two dining options we much preferred the Village Pub where they served just about the finest grouse I have ever eaten. Our room was in the sort of stables, so very contemporary in style. The bathroom was brilliant . . .except you got there by using a shockingly steep and narrow spiral staircase. We coped with it but we didn't find it fun or charming or eccentric. It was bloody annoying.
I know exactly the room you stayed in, Pausanias and agree it is ridiculous, as are many of the other rooms and suites here. Barnsley is not somewhere I enjoy staying and although the food in their restaurant is good, it is nowhere near as good as The Village Pub across the road.
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