Orestone Manor is well signposted and is situated in the hills above Maidencombe, overlooking Lyme Bay, very typical of very hilly Devon. Although not far from the rail stations of Torre, Torquay and Newton Abbot where you will find taxis, a car is necessary if you wish to explore the area. This part of Devon has numerous tourist attractions and excellent restaurants, and we visited Teignmouth which has a pier and a very nice promenade bordered by gardens. We were on a short break at the beginning of July and it was very quiet with ample parking. We also spent a few hours in Totnes which has lots of interesting craft type gift shops, and very reasonably priced cafes.
If you prefer not to drive, the garden and hotel at Orestone are very peaceful and tranquil and a short walk downhill (this means on the return it is uphill!) to the beach. So, there is no need to venture far, and there are lots of places to sit and take in the views, or to relax with a good book.
The welcome at Orestone Manor Hotel was warm and friendly, and an offer was made to help with cases, with the bedrooms situated up a flight of stairs. There are Coach House Suites which have downstairs en-suite bedrooms, with an upstairs sofa bed, kitchenette with a fridge, remote controlled mood lighting and a roll top bath with a view.
We were booked into room No. 3 which is one of the feature rooms, very large and with sea views. It has a separate toilet and bidet and the bathroom has twin sinks, shower and a bath with a view. Good quality toiletries and lovely fluffy towels are provided along with bath robes an ironing board and iron.
In our room we were greeted with a personal welcome letter which sets out restaurant times, how to get free Wi-Fi, and also the weather for the day, which was a nice touch. There was a television corner with a window seat and comfortable chairs, with both Sky and Netflix on offer.
A good variety of complimentary teas, coffee and biscuits were provided, and a nice touch was bottled water and bedtime sweets.
An interesting read was the nicely printed pamphlet of a short history of Orestone Manor. It illustrated how it is an Edwardian house built in 1830 and home to John Callcott Horsley, the acclaimed narrative painter and best known as the designer of the first commercial Christmas card. It caused controversy at the time as it showed a small child drinking wine! A frequent visitor to the house was his famous brother-in-law Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
When it came to the evening, we were served a complimentary drink on the terrace, which was peaceful with a stunning view.
The evening meal was superb. I chose the vegetarian wild mushroom filled ravioli in a Parmesan sauce, and avocado salad, delicious. I followed this with the rice pudding with clotted cream and fruit compote, which I can highly recommend. My husband chose the venison which was perfectly cooked. Despite it being a Monday night, the restaurant was very full, which speaks for itself. The service was faultless, attentive but discreet.
After an excellent night’s sleep, we enjoyed a full English breakfast, which is served in the breakfast room adjoining the terrace with nice views. There was a choice of cooked food and a very good selection of fruit, yogurt and cereals along with croissants and cakes. The coffee was served with a jug of hot milk, very thoughtful for me as I like my coffee white.
This is a family run hotel purchased by Neil and Catherine D’Allen in 2011, who are both experienced chefs together with their son Craig and daughter in law Laura. Their experience in the hotel trade shows with all the quality touches around the hotel.
I can thoroughly recommend the Orestone Manor for those who value good service, good food and a pleasant ambience in a tranquil setting, and with a twist of historical interest.
Orestone Manor Hotel & Restaurant
Rock House Lane
Devon TQ1 4SX
For more information, please visit www.orestonemanor.com
More about Pamela
Pamela Huggett is retired and previously she worked for a social research company as a project controller. Since retiring she travels as much as possible, from weekends in cities, cruising and escorted coach tours, to house sitting for pets including stays in Grade 2 listed properties which she very much enjoys.