I have eaten at Hotel Endsleigh many times over the years, and after a lovely anniversary lunch recently decided it was about time I put finger to keyboard to let anyone who reads this know what a truly special place this is.
The approach to the hotel is in itself an experience - a long, winding drive fringed with rhododendrons, a riot of colour in season, leads you through established grounds. Occasionally, pheasants appear, dashing in front of the car with no warning and gaps in the dense cover of foliage allow you tantalising glimpses of the RIver Tamar in the distance. The drive is narrow so encountering a vehicle coming in the other direction can be a little bit worrying, this rarely happens though and when it does, a bit of careful manoeuvring allows you to pass with ease.
There is plenty of parking space when you finally reach the hotel and often you'll find a member of staff waiting to greet you as you enter the hall. Here wooden floors, a log fire (even in August!) and earthy coloured fabrics give a warm and welcoming first impression.
The wood panelled dining-room looks out onto the glorious gardens bursting with colour and health and a well tended lawn allows staying guests to have a game of croquet. If you're lucky with the weather you can eat outside on the terrace, there's a stone alcove providing useful shelter from any irritating breezes, request lunch here for a treat and a bit more privacy.
Inside, the dining-room isn't particularly large so has a nice intimate feel to it. Lunch was £28 for three courses including hors d'oeuvre, extremely good value considering the quality of the food and the whole experience. Service is slick, professional and the staff friendly. The food, imaginative without being pretentious, a treat for the taste buds and always beautifully presented. Coffee and petit fours in the lounge can follow if you wish, I would recommend it. A lovely room, tastefully decorated with comfortable furniture and again more of those stunning views. Sit back and relax.
If you haven't been before and are considering it, GO. You will fall in love with this wonderful place and want to return again and again.