Gidleigh Park Hotel, a wonderful place to stay

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.

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

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.

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

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.

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

The dining room, so elegant! They even put a folded napkin on your lap before your meal!

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

The food was stunning. We started off with an aperitif and nibbles then with a tuna tartare appetizer

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

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!

pate' de foie grass

These were some of the dishes: fresh local scallops, really tender Cornish duckling dish and local saddle of venison.

dinner at gidleigh park

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!

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

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.

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon petit fours

Oh I loved being pampered with so many delicacies!

in the lounge

Our bedroom had a balcony with a view of the river (together with the soothing water symphony) and of the green countryside.

our bedroom

And the height of luxury – a decanter of sherry, huge medjool dates and juicy tangerines for sheer indulgence in your bedroom.

dates and sherry

Breakfast on the terrace was really romantic and what a view!

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

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.

walking in the park Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

trees at gidleigh

the bridgethe river

wild ponies

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon

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!

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13 Responses to Gidleigh Park Hotel, a wonderful place to stay

  1. Mimi

    What a beautiful place to stay! I knew it was England when I saw that first photo. So gorgeous. You’re very lucky, but you deserved it after your win! Congratulations again!

    • Alida

      Thank you Mimi. I know what you mean, it is easy to spot England when you see emerald green grass. I love it!

  2. gloria

    Alida look like a beautiful and amazing place!!
    And the food stunning!

  3. la cucina di Molly

    Che posto incantevole, sarebbe bello visitarlo! Grazie per averlo condiviso con noi! Un abbraccio!

  4. Phil in the Kitchen

    I stayed here last year and I absolutely agree that this is a wonderful place. The pantry is a great idea – it makes the place feel special and homely at the same time. The food’s superb, of course, but I was especially impressed by the staff. It’s not often that you find people that good at what they do while remaining so friendly and cheerful. And I was even lucky enough not to meet any traffic on the narrow approach road.

    • Alida

      Hello Phil! I agree. The staff is so friendly, so polite and helpful and it is not easy to find it quite like that these days, even in very expensive hotels. This hotel is so unique. Great that you stayed there as well!

  5. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    OMG! I loved this post. You are so lucky to have won this prize…First I have to say your words and descriptions are outstanding…I felt like I was reading a romance novel..I absolutely could see you in this majestic place. It really does seem like you were in a scene of Downton Abbey…I was waiting for Cora or Carson to greet you…The food is so gourmet but looks inviting. The rooms are so lovely and pristine. I love that they cater to your every request. The scenery is awesome! Love to see the horses out just grazing in the grass. Love the fresh flowers as well. That hallway going up stairs is so beautiful. I love the big portraits on the wall. Alida this must have been a weekend to treasure. I would have loved to be there, this is totally my speed, maybe someday! Thank you for sharing your journey with us… Have a wonderful rest of the week…
    Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Thank you Dottie! Yes I truly enjoyed my staying there. It is one of those places you rarely forget! Ciao!

    • Alida

      Thank you Kate x

  6. Elisabetta

    Utterly stunning and the perfect example of English style and elegance in pristine countryside. Thanks for sharing those gorgeous pics. You look right at home there; bet it was difficult to leave! A very well deserved prize. Maybe Michael Caines can help get you your own tv cookery show – wouldn’t that be great?

    • Alida

      Thank you Elisabetta. I really had a fab time with true British politeness and settings. The countryside over here is gorgeous!

  7. Catherine

    So beautiful Alida. I am happy for you to enjoy this. xo Catherine

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