I was put under an immediate miscue when my company booked me in here for two nights, courtesy of Expotel who described it as The Belfry Country Hotel. It's much smaller than I was expecting, although the web site does use the term bijou. It was out of season in East Devon. There was no evening menu, and the pub next door, the Yarcombe Inn, didn't even open on Mondays, much less serve food! Yes, the brochures do say there is a restaurant sitting at the Belfry at 19:30, but apparently not at this time of year. It was therefore left to me to find a pub and sort my own grub. More driving, after a taxing day.
However, the owner Neil was very friendly and walked me through the available facilities, which included a fridge filled with fruit juice and milk in the hallway, and a few snacks and bottles of wine in the room - albeit chargeable extras. The tea tray was attractive and had good sized mugs and 'fresh-ground' coffee bags which are so much better than the normal naff instant coffee sachets you normally encounter (however they were also there if they're your preference).
The room wasn't large, but was large enough. The bed was a kingsize and comfortable with a memory mattress. The secondary glazed window looked out over the countryside, which was very beautiful, and the closed pub, which for obvious reasons was less so. The room was spotlessly clean and smelled fresh even before the provided pillow spray coated the bed in lavender. It was comfortably warm with the radiator pushing out heat and there was even a hot water bottle in the drawer with the hair dryer.
The bathroom was spacious, with a sloping room that weirdly held the shower head over the bath - actually in exactly the right position. The bathroom kits were large pump bottles of good quality shampoo etc, which to my mind is far better than the small plastic bottles you often get in hotel rooms that I strongly suspect never get recycled!
Outside the room itself there was a guest lounge with a large screen tv (a smaller Freeview enabled screen was in the room), along with many books and CDs for the player back in the room. Each room at the Belfry is named after a poet and relevant books are scattered around the place. For info, I stayed in Keats.
Breakfast was very good. Free range eggs from the local farm, bacon likewise and the option of Cornwall smoked salmon. Fair trade tea and coffee, fresh fruit juice and proper bread toast set the day up for me. This is a private venture, run well by a family who know the little things matter. Aside from the out of season issues, this is a quality stopover.
Initially, I would have said I would prefer to have been booked into the country hotel I was expecting. However, that does imply I was going to simply sit about in the bar, and having to go out did make me interact with the landscape, and on the second night I sat outside under the stars on the picnic seating beside the hotel, noshing into very good fish and chips (from Chard, only five minutes by car). I did note the pub had decided to open, and I got a good pint in a bar that was comfortable despite ongoing refurbishments.
Despite the out of season issues, if I'm in the area again I'll be happy to stay at the Belfry once more.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your review of The Belfry and apologies Expotel did not pass on details about the restaurant. We always need 24 hours notice of menu choices, the monthly menu being found on our website under "food and drink".
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This means we cook for you as an individual, fresh to order on the day and not "en mass" for a number.
The restaurant is open every night except Sundays and Tuesdays when we avail ourselves of a night off!
Additionally, just one Monday a month the restaurant is also closed and the date of this is always detailed at the top of the menu on the website....this was why we couldn't cook for you on Monday evening...there are though as you found, some excellent places to eat locally too.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.