Review: Moorland View Cottage, North Bovey in Devon: Feminine French boutique meets Devon country charm
If you search for the term ‘idyllic,’ I am sure Moorland View Cottage would pop right up. With dreamy décor and a remote location, the early 18th century cottage in the tiny village of North Bovey, among the luscious hills of Dartmoor, is the perfect place to spend a few peaceful days.
The cottage has a feminine French boutique style and is billed as a romantic destination – I can see why! The two bedroom old miners cottage built around 1705 has been renovated and decorated in a sumptuous style fit for honeymooning couples and those looking for a moorland escape. It is cosy, comfortable and charming in its decor – a dramatic copper bath for two is a centrepiece and the window seats in the rooms are the ideal place to gaze upon the picturesque garden and moors beyond. With neutral colours, ornate furniture and lighting, and wood beams above the windows and fireplace, it’s a stylish and luxurious space designed to be calming – and is certainly is!
The beauty isn’t just in the decor but also in the more subtle touches that are scattered throughout such as the old pictures of previous residents standing outside their home in days gone by, the local honey in a jar in the kitchen and the original features that remind you of this beautiful cottage’s history. There are wellies in differing sizes at the door, umbrellas, marshmallows in a jar by the fire, locally made items throughout the cottage, including baskets, and books and print outs of local walks, among many other thoughtful elements. And then there are the items that make you think you’ve stepped into a swanky hotel – an iPad, Sonos sound system with speakers throughout, lovely scented The White Company toiletries, fluffy robes and slippers in the wardrobe and a bottle of Prosecco chilling for your arrival. The guest book will show you just how happy previous guests have been during their stay and how they wish to return in future, and that really says something.
I had a great night’s sleep and felt no rush at all to get up, dressed and get out, however the tor was beckoning from the window, so I pulled on some boots and went for it. You don’t necessarily have to like ascending steep hills but it might be a bonus (the only benefit obviously is coming down is so much easier!). It is a stunning walk through some glorious woodland up to Easdon Tor and once you’ve battled the final, and probably steepest, part at the top of the woods, the trees clear and the views are just fantastic. What makes it better as you make your way back down is the local pub that beckons.
The Ring of Bells Inn is a gastro type pub, with a clean and fresh feel with wood beams, old and new, peeping through. There were plenty of visitors on a Friday night considering North Bovey is so small and I liked the welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. There’s a small pub area that locals can chit chat in and plenty more space to eat some of the delicious and well-portioned pub style food. The crispy wood pigeon scotch egg with asparagus and wild garlic salad and nettle pesto comes highly recommended as does the beer battered fish and chips (oh the chips!) and beef burger with cheese and bacon. You can’t go wrong with the chocolate brownie or dark chocolate and Grand Marnier mousse for dessert and we liked it that much we returned the next day for that post-walk drink and for dinner.
Of course there are towns nearby with fine eateries and you really aren’t far from Bovey Castle with its 3 AA rosette awarded fine dining Great Western restaurant serving Bovey Estate venison, Dartmoor beef and local fish (and a delightful chocolate soufflé). There’s also the wonderful Smith’s Brasserie, an ideal visit for lunch or a more relaxed supper (try the poached lobster, smoked salmon, confit vine tomato and basil macaroni – it’s gorgeous). If you choose a meal (or spa visit) at Bovey Castle then don’t forget to pick up the loyalty card from the cottage for some discounts. The nearby hotel also offers a championship golf course but if that’s not your thing, there’s the miniature pony centre nearby, Becky Falls waterfall, a plethora of walks or the nearest towns of Chagford and Moretonhampstead. If you are looking to go further afield, the beaches of the South Hams (1 hour drive) are something else.
IN A NUTSHELL
If you’re looking for excitement and an activity filled trip then I don’t think this is the place for you, but if you fancy a slower pace, some tranquility, nothing but the sounds of birds serenading you and deep breathing some fresh Devon country air, while marching up a Dartmoor tor, then this is it.
Address: Moorland View Cottage, North Bovey TQ13 8RA
Phone: 07786 264865