If you’re thinking of a romantic weekend escape from the city, Boringdon Hall Hotel is a super choice. A stone’s throw from bustling Plymouth, and close to the delights of the Devon coast and Dartmoor, this historic retreat is perfectly positioned for long walks, pub lunches and a spot of shopping, too. The Grade 1 listed 16th Century castle has a long and Royal history, having been owned or frequented by Henry VIII, Lady Jane Grey, Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh – to name just a few.
Viewed as you enter the long driveway, it has the appearance of a small and rather quaint castle; when we arrived, the scene was set perfectly, as there happened to be a falconry demonstration with majestic birds of prey – very much as they would have used back in the 16th century. This was a sport that the most famous of Henry VIII’s wive’s, Anne Boleyn, was reported to be particularly fond of; the unfortunate Queen even had a falcon as her emblem.
Step inside and you are instantly transported back to Tudor time, too, complete with huge oak doors, flooring and heraldic shields. Enter the lounge and bar and you’ll find a high, oaked ceiling hall; a gallery, and an enormous fire place. Imposing and grand though it is, it still manages to feel cosy and welcoming.
Room-wise, there is a choice of elegantly-appointed suites. For particularly special occasions, opt for The Royal Suite, which is quite possibly the only place in the UK where you can sit beneath the stars sipping champagne in a heated outdoor Jacuzzi, positioned within the original turret of an Elizabethan manor house.
Set over three levels, the Royal Suite includes a lounge, intimate private dining area, secluded terrace with heated Jacuzzi and an exceptional bedroom space. With Boringdon Hall’s royal heritage is
reflected throughout, the elegant Royal Suite is fully equipped with every desirable mod con, as well as many unforgettable extras.
We loved the Saltram Suite, which was the five-star hideaway for our stay. It has a cool, contemporary and welcoming vibe and, situated on the fourth floor of the main house, this rich-in-historic-charm suite boasts a super king sized bed, double ended bath with glorious garden views and a relaxing lounge area: in short, a stunning space, perfectly suited to a weekend break or a few days away. The bathroom is similarly spacious: bright and airy with a huge walk through shower. We enjoyed a wonderful night’s sleep under the stars, which we could see through the window in the ceiling.
Accommodation comforts aside, Boringdon excels as a place to dine – and spa. The first is a revelation. Overlooking the Great Hall, you’ll find the intimate and sophisticatedly romantic Àclèaf; a space to gather around the table and taste exquisite menus created by Head Chef Scott Paton.
It really is a showcase of inventive British fare, using only the finest locally sourced ingredients. We couldn’t speak highly enough of the fantastic, seasonally-led, signature four-course menu, paired with wine flights perfectly matched to each individual dish. Since our visit, Àclèaf is now a AA 4 Rosette restaurant and features in the MICHELIN Guide 2022.
The spa, with its lovely countryside outlook and large pool, is the perfect place to while away the hours and restore, relax and re-set.
For further information visit Boringdon Hall Hotel www.boringdonhall.co.uk
By Lisa Curtiss