Honiton, near Exeter,
Captivating Combe House Devon, near Exeter, has won the coveted Condé Nast Johansens 2012 Award in the ‘Most Romantic Hotel in UK and Ireland’ category. A magical Grade 1 Elizabethan country manor, restaurant and gardens hidden deep within 3,500 acres on one of Devon’s finest country estates, Combe House oozes romance for a fabulous, fairytale romantic retreat.
There are 15 light and airy bedrooms, each individually furnished with small, quirky touches. Cuddle under the canopy of a four-poster bed or unwind in the Linen Suite with its huge, 6ft diameter, round copper wash tub. Romantics can also choose the pure escapism of the Thatch Cottage, which sleeps just two and is tucked away in the woods nearby; this charming little retreat has its own private walled garden.
Couples venturing out can seek hidden coves on secret beaches along the nearby World Heritage coast between Sidmouth and Lyme Regis, returning to Combe in time for some chilled champagne to watch the sun set across the valley.
Combe was acquired and refurbished by Ruth and Ken Hunt over 12 years ago. They have also now restored the extensive Victorian kitchen gardens, glasshouses and potting sheds to the highest standards. Homegrown produce ensures that their two talented Master Chefs of Great Britain create fabulous food – they talk just ‘food yards’ rather than ‘food miles’ at Combe House Devon.
The awards were based on responses from guest nomination forms and survey reports, plus the judgement of Johansens’ regional inspectors who visit the hotels featured in their most recent guides. Combe House Devon is recommended by spellbound visitors and locals alike as a favourite place to stay in the West Country. Prices start from £199 B&B per double/ twin room per night.