The county of Devon is one of my favourite parts of the country to escape to, and more recently we had the opportunity to stay at Boringdon hall, an iconic and luxurious a Grade I listed 16th century 5 star Elizabethan Manor House and Spa hotel, with an ideal location being so close to Plymouth, as well as being on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in striking surroundings.
It was a great pleasure driving to the hotel seeing the moss smothered and honey coloured heaths in Dartmoor along the way, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It’s absolutely idyllic with the most adorable sheep grazing beside the road as you drive through the various gorgeous country lanes.
As we arrived through a sweeping driveway, the view of the hotel is magnificent and as we walked through to the reception we were greeted with beaming smiles, taken on a mini tour of the hotel to familiarise ourselves all the while our luggage was conveniently taken to our room so it was ready for us as soon as we turned the lock to settle in. The perfect service!
Boringdon Hall’s location could not be more ideal, positioned just 10 minutes away from Plymouth should you want to visit, and also quite rural to have that perfect break from the hustle and bustle of every day life in a lush setting where all you can hear is birds chirping and actually enjoy the peace and tranquility of it’s beautiful grounds.
If you are into hiking and exploring, there are lots of areas of interest all around. We decided to visit the Burrator Reservoir, but there are also beaches, as well as National Trust grounds close by to seek out, perfect for a day out. On our last visit to Plymouth we also frequented the Plymouth Gin Distillery which I recommend.
With exceptional dining, a state of the art Spa, understated luxury and a fabulous location, Boringdon Hall is perfect for a countryside retreat, a romantic weekend, a Spa treat or a gastronomy-themed break, with a fantastic Afternoon Tea offering and an exceptional dinner tasting menu which leaves me bewildered as to why on earth it doesn’t have a Michelin star. Come on Michelin Guide! It is also perfect for Vegetarians, catering so well with exquisite food choices, which really impressed me, even though I am not fully vegetarian.
History of Boringdon Hall
The name ‘Boringdon‘ comes from the Saxon ‘Burth-Y-Don, which ‘The Enchanted Place on the Hill’ and one of the earliest mentions was recorded in the Domesday Book.
It’s belonged to the Parker family, at one point was owned by the National Trust, and was then converted to a hotel by a previous owner but was unfortunately destroyed by a fire in March 1989.
It was then restored to all its glory and the Gaia Spa was added on in 2016, which is relatively modern in comparison to the rest of the building. It has been an iconic place in Devon to stay ever since.
There are 40 rooms and suites at Boringdon Hall, and we were staying in one of the Four Poster Rooms called The Catherine Room, which was just incredible and a capacious space. The bed was massive, the room was spacious and there was a stunning standalone bath tub in the corner of the room, next to the most charming fireplace.
The room had everything you needed should you want to ensconce yourself within, with a coffee machine, TV, richly textured robes, comfortable fluffy slippers, books, magazines and high quality Gaia toiletries, which the hotel also kindly gifted me a selection of, which was ever so generous!
The shower in the bathroom was heavenly making me question why the one we had at home was so rubbish in comparison!
The hotel had left us a sweet welcome card alongside the most thoughtful gifts which included a Devon Cookbook, a massive bottle of Gin with tonics chilled on ice, a selection of pastries and Gaia toiletries.
During turndown service we were left a batch of delicious Lavender Fudge on our pillows.
Food and Drink
If you are a foodie, Boringdon Hall could not be more perfect with their Traditional Afternoon Tea offering being just so special, which we experienced with a Laurent Perrier Champagne Flight with tasting notes pairing it with pastries from the sweet tier of the stand in the Mayflower Brasserie. I loved this experience!
The scones were heavenly and the savoury selection so delightful!
At the time they also had a Special edition Toy Story themed offering available, perfect for children (or adults) and as we left they had just introduced a Cocktail themed Afternoon Tea, which included a Mojito cake, and we all know how much that makes me happy!
Read more about my experience of the Afternoon Tea.
Dinner was one of the best tasting menus I have had this year, with 7 courses of just outstanding food served in the Gallery Restaurant, which has 3 AA Rosettes! I actually tried the Vegetarian/vegan menu whilst Amit went for the regular menu, and paired with a wine flight it was hands down one of the best dining experiences we have had. There is also the option of a 5 course menu or a la carte.
If you happen to be in Devon, get yourself booked for the tasting menu as it is perfect for a treat, special occasion or just because, and the wine selection was so good that we are actually hunting down some of the ones we tried. I love that about wine pairings – you always discover something new and learn so much! The meal ended with heavenly dessert and a cheese selection, which was delicious.
Breakfast was also so worth getting out of bed for with a spread of pastries, cheese, cold meats, yoghurts and cereal alongside an extensive hot food menu. I went for the Vegetarian Full English on both mornings.
While staying at Boringdon Hall you must explore every nook and cranny to find their Hidden Bar! When you do discover it, reward yourself with a cocktail and soak in the atmosphere. A clue is, it’s easy to find if you are a book worm 😉 I love this aspect as it aids to the air and mystery of staying there.
The Gaia Spa
I thoroughly enjoyed one hour of utter blissful relaxation at the Gaia Spa and for the first time in my life indulged in a facial, and not just any facial, Gaia’s Signature Jade Facial which left my skin feeling baby soft, hydrated and brand new!
The treatment started with a foot scrub and then I relaxed on the spa bed whilst the Spa therapist treated my skin to all sorts of lovely products, some of which I was kindly gifted in my room on arrival, and then went over my skin with Jade crystal wands. It was just amazing and I can’t believe I neglected my skin for so long from facials. I will be booking them in regularly now!
The Spa facilities are state of the art with a relaxation room, steam rooms, pool, hot tubs and everything you need to just switch off, recharge and rejuvenate. I would so easily come back for a spa break here, and if you are looking for one, book it!
After your Spa session I highly recommend dining at the Spatisserie where you can have light lunches, afternoon tea and Champagne.
We had lunch here and it was fabulous!
On this visit to Devon we decided to go to the Burrator Reservoir on the south side of Dartmoor which is one of a number of reservoirs and dams that were built over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. It was perfect for a ramble and was very scenic.
We also popped into Plymouth for a spot of Devonshire Cream Tea which has become a little tradition for us.
The location of the hotel is great as there is so much to do and see in the local area should you want to step out to explore.
Checkout from the hotel was seamless, but we were also so sad to leave as we had such an incredible relaxing stay. Guests are given a very thoughtful departure bag for the journey which has bottles of water and biscuits, which came in very handy for the 5 hour drive home!
All in all Boringdon Hall is such a wonderful venue for a luxurious countryside retreat with a fantastic location, charming character, unimpeachable, unhurried and endearingly-warm service, outstanding food and an award winning spa that is simply superb for a bit of R&R. The treatments are restorative, relaxing and leaves you feeling like a brand new person.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and will definitely be back, both for the absolutely amazing food and for that Jade Facial!
Find out more and book here: https://www.boringdonhall.co.uk/