I would like to be able to give a wholehearted recommendation to this B & B. In many ways it is delightful and reasonably priced.
The house looks from the outside like something from an M R James story, a tall eighteenth century red-brick mansion, surrounded by large trees. We arrived as the sun was setting. Rooks were darkening the sky and croaking a slightly sinister compline.
The 2 first floor bedrooms that we slept in were large, clean, comfortable and warm (although it was possible to turn down the radiators). They had wonderful high ceilings and good views over the gardens and the rooks. The bathrooms were fine. The beds were firm and comfortable. The public rooms are equally light and airy. The garden was a little unkempt, and in many ways the better for that. There was a good-looking paved seating area, although it was a little chilly to use it on our short stay.
I appreciate that interior decor is very much a matter of taste and others might disagree, but I found it rather too clean and tidy, somewhat clinical perhaps. An upright piano in the entrance hall was a nice touch but where was the sheet music to suggest it was ever played? The entrance hall also housed the only books on display in the whole of the public side of the house: a small and not very inspiring collection of travel guides and chick lit. A few more books, and more interesting books, in the public rooms and perhaps more antique furniture would, I think, have made a lot of difference.
The service was very good. We asked for breakfast half an hour earlier than usual and the very polite gentleman owner was more than happy to oblige.
Unfortunately although breakfast was commendably punctual it was dull and unimaginative. No fresh fruit, no yoghourt; dull sliced toast, institutional little bits of butter and plastic pots of jam, pink and unappetising-looking rashers of bacon (though I did not actually try any myself).
There is wonderful food available in this part of Devon. Where was the cheese, the cream, the locally-produced jam, the apples, the "artisan" bread? The tea was the usual tea-bag - why not try making it with loose leaves, it would certainly make a better drink and might even be cheaper?
I am sure with a few tweaks this would be a great place to stay. At present though, it is not quite up there with the best.
One further warning: other reviewers have mentioned that it is walking distance from the centre of Budleigh Salterton. That may well be (although I should think it is a good 15 minutes walk); but BEWARE! The road outside the hotel may be a small B-road but it is a death-trap to walkers. I foolishly tried walking a short distance along it at night and it turned out to be madness. I had not walked 50 yards before I was driven to cling for my life to the ivy on the bank beside the road, gibbering in terror as cars whizzed by missing my trembling body by inches, the drivers oblivious to my presence. Thinking that the road would be safe in daylight I attempted the same route the following morning, with similar results.
As the owner laconically remarked when I mentioned these experiences, Devon roads are not good for pedestrians.
First floor rooms probably better than second floor.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.