We decided to pop down to Devon for the Bank Holiday as the weather was forecast to be the best in the country in the South West. Buckland Tout Saints was our hotel of choice for our stay. Nestled in the rolling countryside on the outskirts of the hamlet sharing the same name, it was a really great place to stay. Getting to Buckland Tout Saints is not difficult, yet the last mile or so running up to the hotel leads you down tiny country lanes. As you arrive at the hotel, the Hotel building itself faces you, and the view opens up to reveal rolling hills and fields as far as the eye can see.
The land on which the hotel stands was part of a huge estate in Saxon Britain, which was taken by William in the Norman invasion and mentioned in the Domesday Book. There has been a house on the estate for centuries, but it was radically altered at the end of the 19th Century. It has changed hands a number of times throughout the years, and was turned into a hotel not long after 1953 when the last owner died. The hotel was bought by Sir Peter Rigby in 2005 to form one of seven hotels in his Eden Hotel Collection.
One of the main attractions about the hotel is its location. It’s just over two miles out of Kingsbridge and eight to Salcombe, both very popular South Devon towns to visit on holiday. The hotel itself is small with just 16 bedrooms. Its idyllic setting is perfect for those who want a quiet and private place to stay.
The decor is very traditional, in keeping with the age of the building. The main dining room is wood panelled and the Queen Anne room where we took our breakfast is decorated in Wedgwood colours. The views from this room in particular are delightful and breakfast sat here is a wonderful way to start the day.
As we arrived mid- afternoon, we had time for a quick game of croquet on the lawn outside the hotel. There are tennis courts and bikes to borrow should you wish to do something active, too. Our Deluxe room was lovely – very large with a monogrammed four-poster bed, and great views from the front of the house over the fields. We were really pleased to find a platter of fresh fruit waiting for us in our room. The fruit was absolutely delicious and we really preferred this to biscuits or cakes that are so often on offer.
That night, we dined in the hotel restaurant. The food was outstandingly good, with much produce sourced locally. The standout starter for us was the Salcombe crab, served with pineapple chutney, goats curd and brown crab puree, which was really special. The combination of flavours sounds unusual, but was really interesting. For our mains, we liked both choices so much, we swapped half way through. We loved the Roasted tail of monkfish with curried lentils, golden raisin puree and coriander cress. The assiette of new season lamb was cooked really pink and was served on a beautiful risotto made from pearl barley which was full of fresh herbs. Both were excellent.
Buckland Tout Saints is a wonderful place to visit for a restful and private break. Expect to pay around £300 per couple for dinner, bed and breakfast. The hotel is extremely comfortable and the staff are really helpful and friendly. The food is very good indeed. A visit is highly recommended.