To arrive at Gidleigh Park is truly breathtaking – a sumptuous feast for the eyes and a heart warming affirmation that yes, fairies really do exist and this is their land! Gidleigh Park is an hotel situated in a secluded, wooded valley surrounded by stunning wild and emerald green Devon countryside with tumbling rivers; this place is truly wonderful.
The building has an imposing Tudor style embraced in an oasis of gardens, river and woods and has a unique, almost mystical calm and romantic feel.
I was lucky enough to stay here as this was my prize for winning the Michael Caines Uniform Foodies Challenge.
The house dates back to the 16th century then restored in 1925 and again in 2006 by its current owners. It is a place to utterly indulge and relax in understated elegance and absolute luxury. There is also a pantry where you can sneak in at any time and make your own coffee and enjoy freshly baked homemade biscuits.
The fine fabrics, wallpaper and wood paneling create a unique warm atmosphere and as the hotel only has 24 rooms you almost feel like being at home. There are plenty of friendly and helpful staff to attend to every need and everything is done with care and precision. Attention to detail and perfection are the right words to describe what makes this place so special. I felt like I was in a scene at “Downton Abbey”.
Michael Caines cuisine is incredibly creative, excellent and very approachable.
One of the most beautiful rooms is the lounge: spacious and luminous with a view of the river. It felt grand and posh having a cup of tea there.
Every part of this hotel has a luxurious feel to it and everything seems just so perfect. There were fresh flowers everywhere. The delicate perfume of lillies was so uplifting! It felt like spring was already here.
The dining room, so elegant! They even put a folded napkin on your lap before your meal!
The food was stunning. We started off with an aperitif and nibbles then with a tuna tartare appetizer
I chose pate’ de foie grass (which I never had before), it melted in your mouth: so buttery and creamy and the presentation was a work of art. Look at this!
These were some of the dishes: fresh local scallops, really tender Cornish duckling dish and local saddle of venison.
My dessert was “Rose infused white chocolate candle”. It came with a lit candle in the middle. The waiter carefully removed it with tweezers and when I started eating it it had a gorgeous pink mousse inside! I would have licked the plate too given the chance!
After the dessert we were taken to the lounge for coffee and petit fours which were handmade chocolates and a assortment of mini and very yummy desserts.
Oh I loved being pampered with so many delicacies!
Our bedroom had a balcony with a view of the river (together with the soothing water symphony) and of the green countryside.
And the height of luxury – a decanter of sherry, huge medjool dates and juicy tangerines for sheer indulgence in your bedroom.
Breakfast on the terrace was really romantic and what a view!
After breakfast we had a walk in the park.
A stunning place and there is a nature trail. Perfect if you like long walks in the countryside.
I went back home feeling really refreshed and happy. I will probably never forget this place and maybe one day for a special occasion hopefully I will be back!