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Head south-west to Paschoe House, a little piece of Heaven in the heart of Devon.
There are country house hotels which feel like hotels and there are country house hotels which feel like homes, and then there is Paschoe House, a stunning grade II listed, family-run, country house offering luxurious rooms and a glorious 3-AA rosette fine dining experience!
Paschoe House bills itself a “five-star restaurant with rooms” and seeks to offer ultimate relaxation and a secluded retreat. It succeeds on both counts. It’s located in the heart of Devon near Dartmoor, 25 minutes from the lovely city of Exeter, in a sheltered valley amongst 25 acres of land. Arriving by car, you’ll travel through ancient countryside and sleepy villages before turning up a gravel drive to the impressive manor house. Alternatively, you could really switch off, let the train take the strain, and the Paschoe team will be pleased to meet you at Exeter Station and whisk you away in the estate car.
On arrival be prepared for some quirky touches in the public areas. The welcoming entrance hall, Library Bar, Morning Room and Restaurant are tastefully decorated with a mixture of contemporary fabrics and colour. The card-carrying urbanite might need to take a moment, however, to assess the amazing collection of artfully positioned pieces of taxidermy on view!
Upstairs the nine en-suite bedrooms offer a bubble of comfort from the outside world. All individually designed and decorated, they feature beds cloaked in luxurious linen and perfectly-weighted soft, cosy duvets offering the softest embrace and the deepest of sleeps. All are “smart bedrooms” with underfloor heating, electronic curtains and enormous TV screens. Here you can hunker down and screen-binge with the added convenience of fresh pop-corn delivered to your door!
All rooms boast enormous bathrooms complete with huge roll-top baths, luxurious lotions and potions and lovely underfloor heating, to ease the transition between bath and bed. With in-room spa treatments on offer, it would be quite easy to spend your whole stay in these rooms. But then that would mean missing out on the main event: dining!
The Restaurant is open to guests and non-residents Wednesday to Sunday for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Head Chef, Craig Davies, creates exciting dishes drawing on influences from French and Asian flavours using sustainably sourced ingredients selected from quality suppliers throughout the UK and from Paschoe’s own walled garden. All are presented in the most delightful and innovative manner; from the breakfast through to the seven-course taster menu.
After a playful onion soup cappuccino (with a parmesan shortbread biscuit on the side), and then a scrummy duet of a haggis and a smoked haddock crocket coated in curried cornflakes, our fabulous feast began with a flavourful veloute featuring taleggio, whirls of crisp parsnip, hazelnut, and truffle oil. What followed was a parade of pure and delicious culinary delights.
Lobster filled macaroni with brown shrimp and a shellfish bisque; pig cheek accompanied with Iberico ham, onion, Pommery and toffee apple (creating a deeply satisfying blend of salt and sweet); a fabulous fish dish of perfectly cooked halibut infused with Mediterranean herbs, served with Baeril caviar, salsify, clementine and a tarragon emulsion and a very clever red deer dish combining melt-in-the-mouth loin and Wellington shoulder with a winter blend of artichoke, mushrooms, chestnuts and truffles.
To finish you’re under no pressure to choose your pud, because the menu brings you two! The “Snow Egg” featured a quince sorbet wrapped in a steamed meringue, sharing a bowl with plum sorbet, vanilla brulée and plum granita. This perfectly balanced, beautifully presented menu finished with a Manjari chocolate mousse with malt and whiskey parfait decorated with gold leaf. Perfect indeed!
This is food to make you happy and this principle features throughout the restaurant’s offer. Judge a hotel by its breakfast and Paschoe House passes with flying colours. “The buffet” is brought to your table complete with its own little cupboard – you can’t help but start the day with a smile! The cooked course is fresh, plentiful and ensures that happy glow is maintained well into the day.
If you have no plans for your day, the Paschoe team will be happy to take you in hand. Wellingtons are on offer in every size to explore the grounds or to head off further afield (literally) with or without a guide. Tennis rackets are available to borrow and Lawn Games to play. On a drizzly afternoon you could book a session with the in-house sommelier for a whisky, gin or wine tasting session (they have a great list featuring both heavy-weights and more commercial brands). If you’re wanting to go further afield, chauffeur-driven trips can be organised to take you out to a range of attractions and historic sites. On Tuesday nights you’re welcome to join the staff at their weekly yoga class and if you’d like some air before dinner join the Estate Manager for a twilight stalk around the estate.
Offering a setting for romantic weddings, family gatherings, or country pursuits, the team at Paschoe House is knowledgeable and approachable. To ensure you enjoy a special occasion or get the breakaway you’re hoping for, they’ve created a range of special packages, offers and experiences available throughout the year. For more information, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01363 84244
Jenny was a guest of Paschoe House, located at Bow, Crediton, Devon, EX17 6JT.
Thinking of spending more time in the West Country? You might enjoy The Lugger Hotel in Portloe, Cornwall. And, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite boutique hotels in Devon so if you fancy checking out other parts of this lovely county do take a look.
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