Make yourself at home at the grand but friendly Lewtrenchard Manor, Devon

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Lewtrenchard Manor is one of those classic country house hotels which actually feels like someone’s home (a rather impressive stately home, that’s true) rather than a hotel. Tucked away in the Dartmoor hills between Tavistock and Okehampton, Lewtrenchard Manor is a grand, historic building and has grand, historic rooms to match: there’s a sweeping staircase, wood panelling, stained glass windows, open fireplaces, tapestries and even a vast upstairs gallery full of books, antique furniture and a piano but which is long enough to serve as an indoor bowling alley.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Lewtrenchard Manor is a Jacobean manor house dating from the 1600s but the site was first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086

That it is actually a hotel rather than a private home comes in little hints such as a reception desk, but even that is hidden out of sight when you first arrive at Lewtrenchard (there’s a lounge instead) and there is no bustle of staff here, no official notices, none of the paraphernelia of hotel admin which means you are left completely to your own devices.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
There is a welcoming lounge with a log fire to greet you when you arrive

If you fancy a drink then wander into the empty bar and someone will soon arrive to take your order before leaving you to it – and if you think there’s something familiar about a room featured in one of the magazines left lying around you’ll soon see it’s because you are sitting in that very room.

We arrived in style, in an Aston Martin DB11, and the ultra-modern car looked rather good at the gates to the Manor and outside the building itself, a Jacobean manor which dates back to the 1600s.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
The Aston Martin DB11 at the gates of Lewtrenchard Manor
luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
When classic British design meets… well, more classic British design. The Aston Martin DB11 outside Lewtrenchard Manor

Having taken several hundred pictures we finally checked in and found our room, which was on the first floor just off the upstairs gallery. It was a good size, with a separate lounge/study, and was furnished in a classic if not overly luxurious style. The window seat was a great perch to admire the gardens and the bathroom was on the moderate size but still managed to fit in a jacuzzi-style corner bath and separate shower.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Our room was on the first floor off the central gallery and was decorated in a classic country house style
luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
The bathroom was small but packed a lot in
luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Lewtrenchard Manor is full of antiques including quirky ornaments and family portraits

There seemed to be no-one else about so we had the run of the place and enjoyed examining the various antique pictures, books and ornaments dotted around the place. There is a piano in the gallery which we, probably wisely, refrained from playing, and in the summertime weddings are held in the pretty courtyard between the buildings.

We were shown around the other rooms which were all different – some had four-poster beds and some has their own balconies – but all done in a similar classic country house style.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Each bedroom was decorated in a unique style

To book directly with the hotel, go to: Lewtrenchard Manor
To compare prices for Lewtrenchard Manor click on: Booking.com – Expedia  Hotels.com
To read more reviews click here to go to Lewtrenchard Manor on TripAdvisor


luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Many of the bedrooms were off the vast hall on the first floor

The hymn Onward Christian Soldiers was written here by the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould who lived here in the 19th century and there are little notices dotted around the rooms with information of other hymns he composed.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Our room was named after one of the many hymns written by former resident, the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould

Having been a manor house belonging to several notable local families for several hundred years, Lewtrenchard Manor become a hotel in 1949 and was bought in 1988 by Sue and James Murray. Having sold it to the ill-fated von Essen hotel chain, after nine years the family managed to buy it back and our pre-dinner drinks were made by their son Duncan Murray, who now runs the hotel he grew up in.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
We had pre-dinners drinks in the hotel’s lounge

After appetisers of cheese straws, olives and mushroom arancini, Duncan led us across the hall to the dining room and served us a very good meal of dover sole in a shellfish bisque to start, followed by glazed short rib of beef with pressed potato and oyster mushrooms and citrus-roasted fillet of brill.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Dover sole in a shellfish bisque to start
luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Citrus-roasted fillet of brill with roasted cauliflower

The restaurant also offers a seven-course ‘surprise’ tasting menu for £69 which uses locally-sourced ingredients and is also currently working on a chef’s table concept, although with TV screens showing the food being prepared rather than guests experiencing the kitchen atmosphere which is an interesting if unusual concept.  A highlight of our meal was the excellent cheese selection which included the brilliantly-named Sharpham Elmhurst – a gorgeous  creamy and buttery cheese with lingered on the taste buds – alongside Cornish Garlic Yarg, Cornish Brie and Devon Blue. Petit fours were served with coffee and we retired to our bedroom very replete.

Thankfully our sleep was undistrurbed by the hotel’s resident friendly ghost (a former lady of the house who is supposed to haunt the room next door – Duncan has yet to see her) and we woke to a discreet knock on our door which signalled our morning tea and coffee had just arrived, a lovely start to the day. We then enjoyed a hearty cooked breakfast in a room at the front of the hotel which was decorated with portraits of previous inhabitants of Lewtrenchard Manor before heading outside to explore the grounds.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
It was time for a walk in the countryside and this pleasant tree-lined walk is just next to the hotel and was a favourite with the ladies of the house

There is plenty of choice of places to walk from the hotel rather than having to drive anywhere, from pretty forest walks to ambling around the lake in the grounds and from there a visit to the pretty local church next door.

luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
The church of St Peter’s is just next door to Lewtrenchard Manor and is full of the estate’s rich history
luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor
Inside the church at Lewtrenchard Manor

Losing track of time we ended up checking out later than expected but it didn’t seem to be a problem and indeed nothing would disturb the relaxed charm of this very laid-back, family-owned manor house hotel.

Lewtrenchard Manor, Lewdown, Okehampton EX20 4PN
Tel: 01566 783222

Lewtrenchard Manor is a member of the Pride of Britain Hotels collection. A one-night stay costs from £180 per room (two sharing) with a full English breakfast or £270 per room on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

The hotel runs events throughout the year including history and garden tours, jazz lunches, wine-tastings and murder mystery nights. 


To book directly with the hotel, go to: Lewtrenchard Manor
To compare prices for Lewtrenchard Manor click on: Booking.com – Expedia  Hotels.com
To read more reviews click here to go to Lewtrenchard Manor  on TripAdvisor


 

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Sarah Bridge

Sarah Bridge

Every review is personally researched and written by me, Sarah Bridge, who, when I'm not writing about leisure for a national newspaper, spends my time seeking out the best leisure experiences, from city centre boutique hotels to country house estates, Michelin-starred dining to the newest openings. Some of the links on my reviews are affiliate marketing links, which means if you click through I get a small commission if you end up buying on these sites. This in no way affects the independence of my reviews, but helps with website running costs and I just wanted to let you know so as to be fully transparent.
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