Good Hotel Guide Review
The Empress of Blandings among Robin Hutson’s Pig hotels (see index), this honey-stone Elizabethan manor house in the Otter valley is reached by a mile-long carriage drive. ‘A beautiful house’, with rococo plasterwork, mullioned windows, fireplaces and panelling, it has been filled by Judy Hutson with antiques, paintings, Paris trade-fair finds, Zoffany fabrics and signature rustic-chic pieces. Readers’ ‘comfy luxe’ bedroom had a ‘long, narrow bathroom with freestanding bath at the window, and a walk-in shower with an amazing drench head’. Many have an in-room roll-top bath. The Horsebox, in the old stable, has the original stall partitions. A Guide insider loved the ‘drawing rooms, all with roaring fireplace, and magnificent hall turned into a striking bar’ but a regular reader felt ‘there was a faux air about the hotel’. However, ‘the 25-mile menu shows impressive commitment to local sourcing, as does the beautiful kitchen garden’. Meals in ‘the lovely dining room’ feature local venison, Lyme Bay fish and home-grown produce by the bushel. ‘Breakfast was terrific.’ (Michael Gwinnell, David Birnie, SR)
30. 10 in stable yard, 5 in cottages (2 for family), 3 rooms suitable for disabled.
bar, 2 lounges, restaurant, Folly (communal dining), private dining rooms, in-room TV (Freeview), civil wedding licence, spa treatment rooms, 3,500-acre grounds, public rooms wheelchair accessible, adapted toilet.
in public areas.
all ages welcomed.
Amex, MC, Visa.
per room £175–£389, family £309–£399. Continental breakfast £12, cooked £16, à la carte £35, set menus £22.50–£28.50. 1-night bookings sometimes refused.