We originally booked for 2 nights, but because the weather was so good and the hotel so perfect we added another night.
I can't really understand why this hotel is only rated a 3*, as it is immaculate. It doesn't have any additional facilities such as pool, gym etc but apart from that the only improvement would be air conditioning in the bedrooms, but having said that we stayed on one of the hottest weekends this year with a room that caught the sun during the day and it was still bearable at night. Anyway, not sure adding aircon to such a beautiful old manor house would be in keeping. This should be rated 4* and the bedrooms, public areas and beautiful gardens are the equal of many 5* hotels I've stayed in.
We had an upgrade to one of the suites, the Warrington, which was on the first floor across the courtyard with a view to the side across part of the gardens. It was a lovely large room, with very quality furniture and a beautiful kingsize wooden sleigh bed, which was one of the most comfortable hotels beds we've experienced. The bathroom was quite small but immaculate, and the shower over the bath had decent pressure which is often not the case in very old hotels.
All the staff without exception were smart, friendly and efficient, and the Murray family are wonderful hosts. Whilst I have no problem with foreign hotel staff it was refreshing that all the staff were British and local.
The restaurant has 3 AA rosettes, which in my book is a fraction below Michelin 1*. When we arrived we discovered that they had a new chef only 3 months earlier, so having had a similar bad experience with a Welsh hotel last year we approached dinner with a bit of trepidation, as decent food is very important to us. We decided to go the whole hog and try out their "Purple Carrot" dining experience. This costs £80/head or £30 if you are upgrading from a DBB package as we were. For this you get canapés, a glass of champagne and an 8 course tasting menu. A flight of wines can be added for £35 which gives you 5 glass of wine matched to the food. As my wife drinks little we shared a flight. You are also given a tour of the kitchen, introduced to the chef (Matt -really nice bloke, very friendly and informative), then sat in a room next to the kitchen with a marble counter with 3 large TV screens showing all the action in the kitchen. At any time you can get up and wander round to a counter looking in to the kitchen where Matt was more than happy to chat about anything whilst he was cooking. All courses were served personally by Matt who would explain the dish and was happy to talk about the techniques used in preparation. Wine was served by the Murray's son who was very knowledgable and clearly passionate about wine, which was all excellent. The food? It was fantastic, beautifully presented and delicious. Apparently when a restaurant has a change of chef it temporarily retains its AA rating before it is reassessed -I think Matt will easily retain the 3 rosettes. If I had one critisism it would be the same as for all fine dining restaurants that there are never enough veggies with the main course. You don't expect mountains of the stuff but a little bit more than a few tiny but beautifully presented mouthfuls would be appreciated, especially when a lot of it comes from their own kitchen garden. Trouble is I know it doesn't fit with the aesthetics of this quality of food.
Anyway, a bit more than I intended to write (haven't started on te beautiful gardens and area surrounding the hotel) but in summary we will definitely return. And no, I am not a friend or relation of the Murray's!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded by the hills of Dartmoor, Lewtrenchard Manor offers luxurious accommodation in a magnificent Jacobean house. Views from the glorious gardens stretch far over the parkland, and Dartmoor National Park is almost within walking distance.Delicious fish, beef, pork and game dishes feature on a menu prepared by an award-winning chef. Some of the hotel's fruit, vegetables and herbs are sourced from the kitchen gardens. There is also a tasting menu, where you can try a range of fantastic food.Each room at Lewtrenchard Manor has unique character and charming features. Many have views across the grounds, and all feature a TV, seating area, and en suite bathroom.The family-run hotel is situated in Lewdown, a 20-minute drive from Launceston. Here you can visit the many National Trust properties in the area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lewtrenchard Manor Hotel Lewdown
- Lewtrenchard Manor Okehampton
- Lewtrenchard Manor Hotel Okehampton
- Lewtrenchard Manor Lewdown, Devon, England