My two hotels in the West country are each very different and I love them both. One for its perfect position and views of the Cornish sea, the other for its extraordinary architecture deep in the secluded Devon countryside.
Hotel Endsleigh is a Grade I historic house set in 100 acres of fairytale woodland, follies and grottos created by Humphry Repton. The Duke of Bedford, who owned a third of Devon, chose this spot for his fishing and hunting lodge.
Hidden on the edge of the Dartmoor, many of the 18 bedrooms have magnificent views of the gardens, the river Tamar and beyond into Cornwall.
There is no muzak whatsoever at Endsleigh only the birds singing and the bats squeaking.
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This summer has reminded me of the long, hot, languid and quite possibly imagined summers of my childhood. The holidays lasted forever and there was nothing to do but concentrate on the finer things in life, like lying in the long grass next to the river, listening to the buzzing of insects, hurling ears of corn at my friends, damming streams to make swimming pools, climbing trees and building dens in the woods. Whilst I haven’t done much den building this year and there has been so much watering to do I haven’t had a chance to lie by the river, I have relived my childhood by building a few dams to redirect water to where it is most needed.
Out of Office Re:
In 1814 Humphry Repton visited Endsleigh and spent three days being carried around in a sedan chair, visualising the future gardens. He created a Red Book of descriptive writing and watercolours to demonstrate his ideas to the 6th Duke of Bedford. As a result the gardens were commissioned.
Country House Hotel of the Year
MEANWHILE AT TRESANTON…
Olga Polizzi’s hotel on the Cornish coast