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“Devon Sunday Lunch”

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Fairwater Head Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hawkchurch B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2013

If you are out in East Devon looking for Sunday lunch, you will be pleasantly surprised if you stop off in the Fariwater Head Hotel. We chanced upon it by the roadside sign and followed our noses. The hotel is set in the Devon beautiful countyside and tucked away but if you make the short trip, you are met with a lovely old hotel with stunning views north to Axminster.
We were met and shown through to the lovely bar where they have a surprisingly interesting and extensive wine menu as well as a great food choice. We opted for the Carvery and had delicious hot food with generous portions of everything, all served in a lovely dining room adorned with fresh roses at every table.
You cant get better than this and all at a tenner for lunch !. A Devon secret revealed.

Room Tip: Ask for a window table for the stunning views
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 - 141 of 271 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2013

The Fairwater Head Hotel is an independent family run hotel which we have stayed at several times over the years since it was taken over by the current and delightful owners. It is a lovely quiet retreat and yet very close to Axminster and Lyme Regis. We love the location - down quiet unlit country lanes and it has a wonderful terrace to drink and admire the sunset over the Blackdown Hills. Fantastic wine list; modern dining; delightful gardens and grounds, with a great circular walk through the surrounding fields and meadows. Menu is on par with the finest restaurants, so this represents a far nicer choice of stay than one of the chains if you want to relax and enjoy the dining. We love the little snug to read the papers and books after breakfast. Ticks all the boxes for us.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Jeffirving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

I had a business meeting last week and needed somewhere to hold a private and confidential meeting for myself and four colleagues. I've been to the Fairwater Head Hotel before and called to see if they could help. The receptionist was very helpful and arranged for a private small dining room to be converted for the day. The room was perfect and the service could not have been better. The owner actually served the afternoon tea and could not have been more helpful. The meeting over run so in the end my business colleagues and myself even stayed for dinner.

I would thoroughly recommend the Fairwater.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank OldNigel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

We stayed last weekend for a long break and it was a return to this hotel after staying there last year for a nearby wedding. Last time we only had a flying visit and only ate breakfast and one meal so didn't really have a chance to judge properly. This time we enjoyed ourselves from start to finish - when we arrive the receptionist ( a very helpful young lady who we discovered had recently got married) remembered us and asked all the right questions to make us feel welcome. She gave us a choice of rooms and got Chris (the manager?) to carry up our bags. Our room was very pleasant with a lovely modern bathroom ( main house) and immaculately clean. We thoroughly enjoyed our first drink on the terrace followed by a wonderful dinner. We both had Thai fishcakes and then my husband had the steak ( cooked to perfection)and I had the local lamb which was faultless. The portions are generous and beautifully presented. We tried River Cottage the next evening which was also good but picked our last meal back at the hotel as we found it more relaxing.

We love the position of the hotel as we can easily visit some great places like Forde Abbey and Mapperton and the Jurassic Coast is nearby which we just love to explore.

My only complaint - that we couldn't stay longer.

Room Tip: We have only ever stayed in the main house which is charming
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Stephanie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

I do not like to be negative about this hotel as the service and food were excellent but the room we were given at £150 for the night was a real disappointment. It was on the ground floor in the extension part of the hotel, you expect a bit of luxury for this amount of money but there was none. The bathroom was awful and to be honest I would not use the shower, there was no fan in the bathroom and no windows in there, the toilet bowl was dirty and stained. The room itself was quite basic and you could hear everyone in the surrounding rooms moving around. The owner was on reception and the matter of the bathroom was brought up when he asked if we had enjoyed our stay, he was rude and actually walked off when confronted with our issues. He said he couldn't be everywhere!!! Would not return with an attitude like his.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HLW2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FWHH, Owner at Fairwater Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2013

I am sorry to hear you did not feel your room was value for money. The East Wing rooms have been fully refurbished although I appreciate due to constant use there may be some maintenance issues or decor which need addressing periodically. Having inspected your room following the note housekeeping found left in there I did arrange for maintenance to renew the grouting & mastic in the shower and also carried out some painting in the bathroom. There is an extraction system built into the bathrooms due to some of them not having windows. We are in a hard water area and are therefore affected with limescale which we treat in an environmentally friendly way with fruit acid based cleaners. I appreciate this may not remove the limescale as well as heavy duty chemicals however the toilets are cleaned daily and any staining is from hard water.
I was surprised by your feedback about me, the owner, walking off when confronted with these issues as I was on Reception and can clearly recall asking you if you had enjoyed your stay and thanking you for the feedback about the bathroom, as it is impossible for us to identify all issues as we cannot be everywhere at once. I apologise if you misinterpreted the context of the reply as it certainly was not intended in the manner in which you have implied. We ask all our guests for feedback on departing as we genuinely appreciate them taking time to speak to use in person about any issues and preferably at the time the issue occurs, so we are given the opportunity to rectify it immediately.

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Reviewed July 30, 2013

I was booked into the hotel for 4 days, mid week this month as it had been recommended by River cottage where I was attending a cooking course, (that was fab by the way). Unfortunately my experience and all the groups experience was not the same as the cooking course. The hotel looks lovely in the photo's, on arrival it doesn't look too bad as its set in nice grounds and once upon a time would have been a lovely place. A very typical early 70's extension has been added on for extra rooms. I was staying in one of these rooms which was overbearing in the heat even with all the windows open. The decor was very poor and dated and the shower was a joke.

The experience though was made far worse by the hotel owner, I have never met such an arrogant attitude in the hospitality industry before. We were all made to feel like some sort of inconvenience, (maybe because e were all full of food and not dining at the end of the day), however we all liked to have a few drinks in the evening. This turned out to be a chore for the owner as he huffed and puffed about getting ice for a g&t, nobody ever came to see if you would like another drink and as it was only him managing reception and the bar, standing at the bar was
quite futile.

We took our business elsewhere, the local pub in Hawkchurch was much nicer.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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5  Thank Bat94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FWHH, Owner at Fairwater Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Thank you for your feedback and I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us. As a small country house hotel we have little requirement for air conditioning and it was some of the hottest days for year during your stay, however a small fan is provided in every bedroom. The East Wing has been completely refurbished over the past five years and has been decorated in keeping with the style and location of the hotel.
We have been working with River Cottage for over 6 years now and have accommodated guests for 13 cookery courses totalling approx. 100 bookings, which excludes the many guests who book directly to attend their one day course or gourmet evenings.
I am sorry if you felt the service was not up to your requirements but at quiet times of day particularly between 2pm and 6pm, one member of staff is sufficient to manage both Reception and the bar. The feedback from other guests staying on the recent course was very positive.

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Reviewed July 28, 2013

great place to stay with dogs, great breakfast comfortable room,dinners also very good would stay again. staff and owner very helpful, difficult to find and down some narrow lanes. dog loved the gardens and owners dogs friendly great views from the garden

Room Tip: garden rooms very nice
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank mrjohn_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairwater Head Hotel

Address: Hawkchurch | near Axminister, Hawkchurch EX13 5TX, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Hawkchurch
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Hawkchurch
Price Range: $114 - $190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Fairwater Head Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away in peaceful open countryside and approached down leafy lanes of Hawkchurch - the ‘village of roses’ – the Fairwater Head Hotel is a mere 4 miles from Axminster and 5 miles from Lyme Regis and the Jurassic coast. If you’re looking for a short-break, a room for the night or a romantic, intimate wedding venue, you’ll find the Fairwater Head Hotel the perfect place to relax, entertain or dine in style. ... more   less 
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