Tudor-style splendour at Gidleigh Park
Set in 107 acres of gardens and woodland on the banks of the North Teign River, Gidleigh Park is an established feature of Dartmoor National Park and has long been a key marker on the South West culinary landscape.
Executive head chef Chris Eden joined the team in September 2019, bringing a produce-led ethos and taking the menu in a slightly different direction. Refined plates, built around flavour, are skilfully laced with touches of adventure and invention. Experience Chris’ cooking at lunch or dinner, served in oak-panelled dining rooms with views out over the garden.
Start your experience in the beautiful sitting room with its large decorative fireplace (filled with crackling logs during the colder months) and object d’art, and delight in a glass of Champagne and a collection of exquisitely executed canapes. It’s the perfect precursor to a dinner that’s crafted to surprise and delight – and also your opportunity to become acquainted with the particularly warm but professional service that the team here do so well. Nothing is too much trouble for the young and international front of house team who clearly take pleasure in guiding visitors through their dining journey. Our advice? Relax and follow wherever they lead.
Similar expertise is provided by an experienced sommelier who has one of the best wine cellars in the UK at their fingertips.
Other treats at this Dartmoor hotel of note include elegant comfortable bedrooms which combine the arts and crafts vibe of the building with contemporary luxuries. There are also wonderful mature grounds and it would be rather special to follow lunch with a game of croquet on the lawn, a round on the Peter Allis 18-hole putting course or a fly-fishing session.
Families are welcome too and the vast expanse of areas to explore and run around in dispense with any worries of children getting bored and antsy after lunch or before you sit down to supper. Alternatively, treat them for afternoon tea on the terrace.
Beyond the grounds, the wonderful wilds of Dartmoor await. Horse riding, trail running and rambling are all excellent pursuits in this astonishing landscape and make a trip to Gidleigh feel like an escape from the bustle of busy modern life to a more genteel time and place where there’s space to breath.
Trencherman’s tip: Gidleigh Park is one of Andrew and Christina Brownsword’s collection of charming boutique hotels. For the elegant escapism of Gidleigh but in a city location, take a look at The Bath Priory.