Glorious country house hotel
Set amid 107 acres of gardens and woodland on Dartmoor National Park, Gidleigh has long been of note on the South West culinary map.
Current executive head chef Chris Eden’s produce‑led ethos results in refined plates built around flavour, which are skilfully laced with a dash of adventure and invention.
Dishes such as aged fillet of beef cooked over coals and served with smoked bone marrow, garlic and spinach deliver a heady treat for committed carnivores. Plant‑based diners are equally spoilt by creations such as Vulscombe goat’s cheese and spelt agnolotti with salt‑baked onion, hazelnut and artichoke.
The experience at Gidleigh is so much more than good cooking, however. Diners are taken on a journey that begins with a glass of Champagne and exquisite canapés by a crackling fire in the sitting room, and continues with sommelier‑picked wines paired to each course, followed by coffee and petits fours.
Oak‑panelled dining rooms with views of the garden provide an elegant setting for Chris’ creative cooking, while a terrace overlooking the croquet lawn is a pleasing alfresco option.
Trencherman’s tips: although the bedrooms are beautiful, visitors don’t have to stay the night to enjoy Gidleigh’s mature gardens, a game of croquet, a round on the Peter Allis 18‑hole putting course or fly fishing.
Sister Brownsword hotels and Trencherman’s members The Slaughters Manor House, Buckland Manor, Minster Mill and The Bath Priory offer similarly exquisite experiences.