The best hotels in Devon

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What is it? A 500-year-old whitewashed longhouse on a hillside in Dartmoor National Park, it opened last winter as a rustic-cool hideaway with wonky beams, modern art and photography on the walls, and retro decor such as Ministry of Food tins and film-set paraphernalia.

Behind the scenes Jo Gossett and Sam Perry, who used to work for Conran restaurants, moved from London to Higher Westcott Farm six years ago and opened the old farmhouse as a B&B (it’s now a self-catering holiday home). This is the couple’s newer, hipper venture with more than a touch of East End edginess, set in about four acres of apple, damson and chestnut trees (plus a recently added pétanque pitch).

Sleep The Hackney-on-the-moors feel continues in the five bedrooms, each with quirky touches such as a collage of Fifties pin-up postcards, hessian-sack cushions, sheepskin rugs on the deep window sills or paintbox-coloured anglepoise lamps. Orla’s Room has a super-king bed with a bath at the end of for soaking up the view through lovely latched windows. The bathrooms are in sleek stone and chrome, stocked with fragrant local herbal bath products.

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Eat Dinners are very sociable: the set menu is eaten with other guests at a three-metre-long, polished-slate table by a wood-burning stove. Just-caught-crab salad was followed by a chicken, chorizo and cider pie, bubbling away in an enamel dish with a buttery pastry lid. The world’s best homemade brown-bread ice cream had a rum and caramel kick and was served in an antique tea cup atop a long-stem base. And it was all washed down with a rich, fruity red from a list of biodynamic wines. Breakfast is just as wholesome and hearty: homemade granola and local apple juice, or a Full English for those who can manage it.

Who comes here? Foodie couples from Bristol and London; young families (children are very welcome, with camp beds and a kids’ supper menu).

While you’re here Ramble till your heart’s content in the national park, or go fishing and shooting nearby. Come for foraging weekends in autumn or the pop-up supper clubs planned for later in the year. After a busy day, mingle till late in the low-roofed honesty bar (six-footers had better stay seated), with its funky stag-head wall lamp and all you need to mix your own cocktail.

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We like The chilled soundtrack – from Balearic beats to reggae and soul – that hums quietly from sleek Sonos speakers in the sitting room, dining room and bar. Thoughtful touches such as a thermos of cold milk left out last thing at night so you can make tea in your room in the morning.

We don’t like The radiators are a little creaky when they fire up in the morning.

Address: Weeke Barton, Dunsford, Dartmoor, Devon
Telephone: +44 16472 53505
Price: Doubles from £110, including breakfast
Book your stay

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By Grainne McBride. Published in Condé Nast Traveller August 2013

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