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Lewtrenchard Manor - Review

HIDDEN AWAY IN A LUSH WOODED VALLEY just beneath rugged Dartmoor, Lewtrenchard Manor ticks all those romantic getaway boxes as you turn into the drive past the dovecote, parkland and Victorian walled gardens.

Dating from the early 1600s, this secluded Jacobean manor house was home to a series of colourful characters over the years. Hymn writer Reverend Sabine Baring Gould (of Onward Christian Soldiers fame) lived here in Victorian times and his ancestors still stay regularly.

Inside, Lewtrenchard Manor is all mellow Jacobean – all rich oak panelling, mullioned windows, ornate plasterwork, rows of family portraits and coats of arms. Blink, and you could be treading those polished boards a couple of centuries ago.

Jacobean nights

Pick your bedroom at Lewtrenchard Manor to match your mood. Lie back and think of Olde England in the original Jacobean bedrooms off the upstairs gallery, where you can bed down amid burnished oak panelling, leaded windows and antiques. Light-flooded St Gertrude has light on three sides, with lovely views from its mullioned windows over the parkland, while another has the original bed of Queen Henrietta Maria.

For that true princess-in-the-tower feel you can take the Rapunzel style Tower House – originally an 18th century folly – with its oak front door and snug upstairs lovenest with a pencil four poster. Not surprisingly, it’s a hit with honeymooners.

Other rooms pander to more contemporary tastes. We loved St Clement’s, with its hand-carved four poster, rich floral fabrics and up-to-the-minute bathroom. Others sport modish shades of plum, cinnamon and cream to complement their historic surrounds.

Chef patron Jason Hornbuckle has three well deserved culinary rosettes under his belt for Lewtrenchard’s outstanding modern English food, served in the candlelit oak panelled dining room. Dine al fresco in the colonnaded courtyard – after a Pimms on the lawn, naturally – on warm summer days.

Dreamy gardens set Lewtrenchard Manor off beautifully. Wander past streams and ponds, fountains and statuary, sunken lawns and a profusion of shrubs, down the lovely avenue of beech trees or along the banks of the River Lew. So whether you want to smell the honeysuckle, walk off an over-indulgent lunch or even catch your supper, the choice is yours.

Lewtrenchard Manor was reviewed for Room for Romance by Eva Stanbrook.