Hotel of the week: Gidleigh Park on Dartmoor, Devon
Located majestically on the bubbling upper reaches of the River Teign, Gidleigh Park enjoys an exquisite setting on the very edge of Dartmoor National Park. Famed for its culinary credentials, Gidleigh Park offers an air of tranquillity and romance within a Tudor-style country house, beautifully furnished by the Brownsword family and set within 107 acres of mature grounds.
Set at the end of a beautiful drive along a country lane, guests are met with the grand exterior of Gidleigh Park. Inside, the interior design throughout the house draws inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement; luxurious fabrics sit alongside antiques sourced by the Brownsword family for their authenticity and warmth; exquisite art blends seamlessly with lovingly restored wood panelling and an intimate atmosphere pervades the air, creating a home-from-home the moment guests arrive. The lack of a formal reception desk is a carefully thought through element – creating the feeling that guests are welcomed into the Brownsword family’s country home, far removed from a traditional ‘check-in’ experience.
The majority of the 24 guestrooms and suites overlook the beautiful gardens and the river and are all very individual, with thoughtful touches including a seasonal bowl of fruit and a decanter of Madeira to welcome guests, as well as the almost obligatory walking boots available for loan from the Boot Room. Every guestroom has been designed to have the feel of a private home and this approach carries through to the Pantry on the first floor, stocked with complimentary fruit, yoghurts, homemade biscuits and hot drinks – guests simply help themselves when feeling peckish! The indulgent guestroom interiors throughout exude style and comfort, with contemporary Arts and Crafts furniture designed by the Brownsword family for the house blending beautifully with antiques and paintings from their private collection.
The Pavilion – a self-contained thatched cottage on the croquet lawns – offers a more secluded Gidleigh Park experience. It comprises a two-guestroom interconnecting suite, each guestroom with its own bathroom, an open plan panelled sitting room with kitchen diner and a private veranda. An ideal location for a longer stay, The Pavilion affords guests a discreet bolthole, whilst offering all the luxury of the main house, well suited to guests with young families or for those who enjoy a little more space and privacy.
Critically acclaimed two Michelin Star Executive Head Chef Michael Caines MBE has been at the helm of Gidleigh Park’s kitchen since 1994. Michael and his passionate team of dedicated professionals create dishes with British and Mediterranean influences using seasonal ingredients, locally sourced from as many West Country producers and suppliers as possible, as well as using vegetables and herbs picked from Gidleigh Park’s own kitchen garden.
Matching the high standards in the kitchen, Gidleigh Park’s internationally renowned wine cellar accommodates over 1,300 bins and 13,000 bottles from around the world, overseen by Edouard Oger MS. Home to a selection of European, New World and Bio Dynamic wines, the cellar offers one of the most impressive wine lists in the British Isles.
Address: Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon TQ13 8HH