10th December 2019
Luxurous Countryside Retreat at Paschoe House in Devon
I woke up to the sound of birdsong in the morning. All I could see from my bedroom window was the beautiful rolling landscape of Devonshire.
I was staying at Paschoe House just a few miles from the historic market town of Crediton and enjoying a genuine country house experience. I half expected a knock on my door and a query as to whether I would like my bath run now or later the service was so good here. This lovely old house has evolved from a country residence to a fabulous five-star hotel.
The History of Paschoe House near Crediton, Devon
Although the Paschoe Estate dates back to the thirteenth century the original house had to be pulled down due to problems with subsidence and it was replaced with the present house that was completed in the 1850s. This house was designed by John Hayward. He also designed the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter and several Oxford University colleges. Some of the original features of the old house are believed to have been incorporated in the present house including a fireplace, stone lintel window surrounds and a lot of the original stone.
Until the 1940s successive generations of the Hamlyn family owned Paschoe House. During the Second World War they welcomed seventy-five evacuee children from North London. During the 1950s the house was bought by a Bond Street antiques dealer. In 1958 the house was acquired by a local farmer who bought the whole estate. When the house and some of the land was sold off in 2000 it was purchased by the Amador family from Barcelona. They enjoyed the use of the house until 2007 when they began the huge task of renovating the house and rebuilding its west wing. Struck by financial crises the work slowed down and finally stopped until Tabitha Amador-Christie put forward the idea of creating a hospitality venue at Paschoe House. It is thanks to her drive, determination and creative flair that Paschoe House opened its doors to the public in 2017 as a luxury family run country house hotel open to residents and non-residents. The addition of the Glasshouse at the back makes this an excellent venue for weddings and other special events.
The Location of Paschoe House near Crediton, Devon
Paschoe House is in the Heart of Devon and the popular Two Moors Way between Exmoor and Dartmoor passes by the hotel. The historic town of Crediton is a few miles from the hotel down the narrow, twisting lanes that are typical of the lovely county of Devon. As Crediton is on the Exeter to Barnstaple main line it is easy to get the train here and Paschoe House will organise collection from the station. Exeter is also just seven miles away and accessible by bus or train from Crediton. But you may prefer to stay put and simply enjoy the re-created ambience of a country estate home.
The Reception Rooms at Paschoe House near Crediton, Devon
Leading off the spacious and elegant Entrance Hall are the Library Bar and the Morning Room. The latter with its cosy armchairs and settees is ideal for a leisurely coffee while perusing the daily news. The welcoming Library Bar serves an interesting selection of local gins to which specially prepared botanics can be added. Lucy, the assistant Food and Beverages Manager was happy to describe these to me and to suggest which of the local gins I might like to try. I opted for Papillon which has a lovely zesty flavour. My aperitif was accompanied by some delicious and unusual canapes served by Yordan who described them to me. Both the Morning Room and the Library Bar offer a casual dining menu for lunch and dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are also served in the restaurant.
The Restaurant at Paschoe House near Crediton, Devon
A real highlight at Paschoe House is their Tasting Menu a delightful combination of delicate dishes that reflect the current season using local produce whenever possible including vegetables grown in their own Victorian walled garden. Each dish is accompanied by a wine chosen by Matthew, the Food and Beverages Manager. His enthusiasm for the wines he has chosen is infectious and I enjoyed his eloquent descriptions – and the wines he had chosen some of which were unusual. The finale of my tasting menu was the apple dessert accompanied by a sweet apple cider. The exciting dishes created by Head Chef, Craig Davies, often reflect the flavours of France and Asia. It is no wonder Paschoe House is recognised as a 3 AA rosette hotel.
The Bedrooms at Paschoe House near Crediton, Devon
Paschoe House has nine rooms three of which are suites and named for different animals. I was in the Deer Suite and found the tasteful décor and stylish furnishings very relaxing. I enjoyed the luxury of the large, comfortable bed and an end of day wallow in the claw-footed bath in my spacious bathroom. There were some lovely little touches – homemade biscuits on the tea and coffee-making tray, a luscious chocolate, fragrant bubble bath and some bath salts.
The Grounds of Paschoe House near Crediton, Devon
Summer and winter the grounds of Paschoe House are there to be enjoyed. On sunny days, guests can lounge the sun beds that are available on the extensive lawns sloping down to a small lake. There is also a small pavilion there for those who prefer a shady spot to enjoy the views. Tennis courts are available for the more active. Or maybe a gentle stroll through the small wood to the charming Victorian walled garden.
It was hard to leave and return to the reality of the sound traffic as my alarm clock in the mornings.
This review is based on the personal experience of Valery, an ExperiencedTraveller.