Trencherman’s trio: historic hotels

Enjoy luxurious lodgings and a taste of history in a getaway fit for royalty at one of these historic hotels in the South West

Thornbury Castle, Bristol

Thornbury Castle, Bristol

History buffs and fine-dining enthusiasts alike will be enamoured by this unique staycation destination near Bristol. Once the property of Henry VIII, Thornbury Castle is now a luxury Relais & Châteaux hotel which blends Tudor splendour with the best of 21st-century hospitality.

England’s most notorious ruler may have spent only ten days at his grand pile on the south Gloucestershire border, but the interiors of this striking castle are dressed as if it’s expecting a second visit at any moment.

Executive chef Carl Cleghorn’s refined dishes perfectly complement this grand setting. Using the finest locally sourced and castle-grown produce, he crafts classic European dishes executed to the highest standards. Whether you plump for the à la carte or tasting menu, dinner starts with drinks beside a roaring fire in the lavish drawing room and the evening is punctuated with little surprises such as canapés and amuse bouche.

Read more here.

Àclèaf, Boringdon Hall Hotel

Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plymouth

Grade II-listed Boringdon Hall Hotel is steeped in history, thanks to its inclusion in the Domesday Book and dramatic Elizabethan architecture. And, from the moment you pass over the threshold, stone archways and grand wooden doors will whisk you away into its magnificent past.

The grand country house hotel is also the home of contemporary dining. Its restaurant Àclèaf is an intimate and romantic setting in which to sample seasonal four-course menus or tasting experiences from talented head chef Scott Paton.

Dining at Àclèaf is interactive — a four-course menu with twists and turns along the way,’ says Scott. The focus is fully on ingredients and the chef expends serious energy sourcing the best produce to create his completely novel dining experience. Scott’s eye for exquisite design-driven plating and nose for palate-pleasing pairings are complemented by an English-led wine flight.

Read more here.

Lewtrenchard Manor

Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton

A visit to this Jacobean manor house in rural Devon is rather like stepping back in time, thanks to wood panelling, stucco ceilings, ancestral portraits and crackling logs lighting up huge elegant fireplaces.

The house is steeped in history and was even mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1626 it was bought by Henry Gould and remained in the family for many generations (eyeball the Gould clan over dinner – their portraits hang in the dining room). In the 19th century, Reverend Sabine Baring Gould – who penned Onward Christian Soldiers – inherited the property and transformed it into the house it is today.

However good Baring Gould’s taste in architecture, it’s odds on he didn’t have a chef who could create the kind of beautiful dishes that modern-day visitors experience. Lewtrenchard’s head chef David Brown keeps busy crafting the next phase of the country house hotel’s culinary reputation. He’s got great raw ingredients to work with, including many freshly plucked from the kitchen garden.

Read more here.

Enjoyed Trencherman’s trio: historic hotels? Check out our round-up of elegant escapes here.


april, 2024


Restaurant Hywel Jones, near Bath

Restaurant Hywel Jones

The thought of splashing £200 plus on dinner for two might make you wince, but every penny is well accounted for in the uber luxe Lucknam Park experience.

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