We found Lewtrenchard Manor via the 'Late Rooms' website when planning a road trip to the West Country. On being put through to the Manor's reception by Late Rooms the friendly but efficient receptionist was told about my wife's dietary requirements and assured us that it would not be a problem so we booked a table for a moderately expensive dinner. On arrival the sat nav took us down a very small road that caused our MX5 to bottom out a few times so beware if you have a low car and take the main approach road to the west of the hotel.
The building was absolutely beautiful, although the reception could (in my opinion) be better sited, instead of forcing new arrivals to wander in past guests taking afternoon tea in the lounge before eventually wandering through to the main stairwell.
We were staying in the folly outside of the main building, the room was named 'Merrial' and on first sight looked very impressive, with the spacious and luxurious ground floor bathroom (why is there a telephone socket on the wall by the loo?) and a peculiar wardrobe in the space under the stairs. Upstairs the room was largely taken up by a king size four poster bed.
There was no canopy above, Just four posts. Apart from a single chair in the corner and two bedside cabinets there was no furniture. There wasn't room for any. Looking up from the bed the exposed cross beams had their own web sites - very hand for catching flies. The robes provided were very handy considering the wardrobe was downstairs from the bedroom.
A TV was perched on the window cill, and that really, apart from the stunning views, was it.
A wander around the grounds revealed a rather impressive central fountain, and various water features, along with a sunken garden and a ha-ha where the meadow lead down to a milky looking lagoon optimistically referred to as 'the lake'.
The gardens were a little spoiled by neglect, the beds and borders needed re-stocking, many of the lawns had been scalped by a badly adjusted mower, most of the grassed areas were ruined by a pile of rotting clippings in the corner. Time to spend a bit more money on the grounds chaps.
An afternoon visit to the bar for a coffee in silent oak panelled surroundings and a ticking clock had all the reverence of a Gentleman's Club, I half expected Rowley Birkin Q.C. from the Fast Show to pop his head round the corner and explain that he was 'very, very drunk'.
Having perused the sample menu in the room we were looking forward to dinner, but on asking for an actual menu we were rather disappointed to see that every item except one of the deserts was totally unsuitable from my wife's dietary requirements (as discussed at time of booking).
Taking a leaflet from the reception we opted for a visit to a local 'gastro pub' - The Harris Arms. Big mistake. (see reviews)
On returning to Lewtrenchard as the weather was decidedly hostile rather than trudging across the rainy gardens we opted for an evening in, and were disappointed to find that there were no tea making facilities, and that there was wifi, but it had to be paid for. It's 2013 folks!
After a very good night's sleep and a complementary cup of tea we joined the guests in the main house for possibly the best breakfast ever, all the more disappointing that we'd had to miss dinner.
On checking out I mentioned the dietary requirements faux pas to the receptionist, and she told me that we could have had something special cooked. A bit late now! Also were told that we could have called reception for tea and coffee the night before, but if they are charging for wifi how much would that cost?
Would we visit again? Absolutely.
Only opt for 'Merrial' if you don't mind a small room and crossing the garden in whateve...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Martin H,
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Many thanks for your review, I however did want to correct a few incorrect facts.
1) The lawns were not scalped they had had Iron Phosphate put down in order to kill moss and then scarified.
2) We do not have any ticking clocks in the lounges, however I do a very good impression of Rowley Birkin Q.C!! One of my favorite characters from the Fast Show.
3) With regards to the menu we do not change the menu for everybody dining just because of one individuals dietary requirements. We are very happy to adjust the menu to suite individual requirements, and do so almost daily, however it is not clear in your review if you discussed this with any of the staff. I have checked the menu on the night you stayed and looked at your wife's dietary requirements and most of the dishes seemed to be fine.
4) We do not charge for WiFi and have never charged for it since owning the hotel so I am not sure what signal you managed to pick up, possibly the local BT Openzone.
I am very pleased to see you would come back and we look forward to welcoming you here in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.