Once upon a time, there was a city girl, who was longing badly after some quiet time in the countryside. Luckily, there was a beautiful place named Bovey Castle, which made her dreams come true! Here is how the story goes…
“Welcome to my humble home” (I wish)
London, I love you – but sometimes you are just too much! Being born in the Danish countryside myself, I really miss getting out of London from time to time! I might be a city dweller, but when nature calls, I long for fresh air and less people around me… Basically being with my family in quiet (and gorgeous) surroundings
It was like a fairytale arriving at Bovey Castle – and just what the doctor ordered! I have been pretty stressed lately and was told to take a break from it all. So coming here was like being born all over again! Something everybody should try from time to time, if you ask me!
We were warmly greeted at the reception. Everyone were so helpful and friendly!
Bonus-info: Bovey Castle is a large early 20th century mansion on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon. It is a Grade II listed building and a hotel with 60 individually designed bedrooms in the hotel and 22 three-story country lodges nearby
The manor house was built in 1907 by Frederick Smith (the son and heir of the Conservative politician and stationery magnate William Henry Smith). The interior boasted a Jacobean styled staircase, plaster ceilings, an oak panelled dining room, banqueting hall with minstrel’s gallery, open fireplace with a carved stone chimney and an Adam drawing room
Frenchie and I felt like kings and queens here in our new outfits from Dubarry of Ireland! Have you ever seen a backdrop this beautiful?
In 1928, at the age of sixty, Lord Hambleden died and in 1930 Bovey became a hotel operated by the Great Western Railway, known as “The Manor House Hotel”. In 1948 it was taken over by the British Transport Commission. Expanded under new ownership in the 1990s, the castle was purchased and refurbished by the entrepreneur Peter de Savary and since then has continued to expand with additional 22 lodges, a spa, an indoor pool and a brasserie. Today the hotel is run by Eden Hotel Collection, which is owned by Sir Peter Rigby – and the understated elegance of a bygone era continues to echo throughout the hotel
What I really love about Bovey Castle is, that it is so family-friendly… (and dog-friendly too)
The hotel has offered family accommodation in luxurious surroundings for many years. There are so many things to do with children here, as the “Bovey Rangers” have a whole range of activities planned on a daily basis. Yay!
Ladies and Gentlemen – may I introduce you to our “Grand State Room.” (Look at the little teddy-bear, the staff gave Clara upon arrival! How sweet is that!)
All set for a couple of days getting muddy – yet classy!
The suites are all very individual in design, shape, size and decor – but they all offer stunning views across the valley, hotel garden and Dartmoor National Park
Not a view you get to see everyday!
I think that the bathroom was bigger than the first flat, I owned, when I lived in Copenhagen! Just wow!
There was even a robe for Clara… (Things that make you go “aaaaawwwwwww”)
– and even more “aaaaawwwwww” I couldn’t handle the cuteness…
I had to try them on Clara’s little feet immediately! The were perfect like a Cinderella story all over again!
We loved our huuuuge king size bed (with Mulberry Home cushions!)
“Yup – this is where I will be sleeping tonight. How about you guys?”
Obviously the hotel offers cot beds (and there was also a baby chair in the room) – but Clara knows, where she wants to sleep already… And it isn’t the cot bed!
At Bovey Castle you will also find “The Bovey Shop”. Here you can get everything, you could possibly need, when being in the countryside. They have a huge selection of Dubarry of Ireland, which made me very excited as I love this brand so much
They even have a lovely selection of toys and board games…
– as well as super cute socks!
Time for cocktails and some light reading…
Our bartender was quite skilled and made us some incredible drinks! This is a Black Martini – it was spectacular
There are plenty of beautiful and cosy places where you can relax at Bovey Castle. This one was Clara’s favourite room…
– because there was a parrot! It was very chatty and Clara and the other children at the hotel loved talking to it (so did Frenchie!)
Clara is wearing a luxury, sustainable vintage couture dress from Vintage Kit. It’s gorgeous, don’t you think? (So proud of my little princess who has just learned to walk)
There are two restaurants at Bovey Castle – a 3 AA Rosette awarded Great Western fine dining restaurant and 1 AA Rosette awarded Smith’s Brasserie
We decided to eat at Smiths both evenings, as it is such a cosy place and very child friendly
They have a really great children’s menu card…
– and Clara was given all kinds of things to keep her entertained! Thumbs up from me!
Frenchie and I shared the most delicious starter of them all – the garlic baked camembert with toasted sourdough and spiced tomato relish. It was so good that we had it both evenings…
Frenchie wanted to try one of the very popular dishes, so he went for the Brixham day boat cheese crusted fish pie and sautéed greens. It was a big portion and he loved every bite
As you all know, I love a juicy steak, so I went for the West Country Sirloin Steak with delicious sides. It was as good as I was hoping for
As Clara was very tired, we decided to have our dessert brought to our room – another very family friendly service, which made it possible for mummy and daddy to enjoy a 3 course menu without feeling stressed
If you are planning on bringing a date to a very special place, this is it! There is a reason why, Bovey Castle is a very popular venue for weddings…
Good morning! It was time for breakfast. Ours was served in the Great Westerne Restaurant
This place does not let you leave on an empty stomach! There are plenty of choices here, as you can choose everything from the continental buffet…
– to the full English spread!
Clara was very pleased with her French toast!
Time for adventures… You might not be able to see it, but the weather was miserable that day
Unfortunately you can’t always count on the weather being sunny in the UK. Luckily there are still things to do, when visiting Bovey Castle in heavy autumn rain. I was quite excited, when we got picked up by lovely Hannah in the beautiful Land Rover Defender. It was time to have a closer look at the gorgeous Dartmoor National Park
With 275 acres of Dartmoor National Park on the doorstep, you simply must not miss out on all the beauty
I was a bit concerned about the outcome of this trip, but Hannah was a very skilled driver and we really had a lot of fun “getting muddy”
To mention just a few of the things, you can enjoy at Bovey Castle: Off road experience track and take a trip on the wild side in a 4X4 vehicle, or try your luck with the archery range and clay pigeon shooting. There is also cider and sloe gin making in the long barn or cocktail masterclasses, where you can choose to invent your own cocktail or mix up a classic. For families there is the chance to visit the deer park, (which we missed out on because of the weather), and experience their daily feeding – more about this later
Hannah lead us on a nature tour in Dartmoor with plenty of opportunities to stop stretch our legs and absorb all that Dartmoor has to offer
It was however not the best weather, so we were quite happy staying inside the Defender
Stunning, isn’t it?
We also took a step back in time and heard about local history and folk law stories, ghosts, myths and legends. (A lunch stop in a local pub or a picnic can also be arranged – when the weather is behaving well, that is)
We also said hello to some of the “wild” ponies of Dartmoor
Facts about the ponies: The ponies are very hardy and actually thrive on Dartmoor despite the harsh winter weather and poor vegetation. In fact, by grazing the moor they play a vital role in maintaining a variety of habitats and supporting wildlife. Most have not been handled, so you should not approach them too closely, or feed them. Because of their calm temperament, strength and sure-footedness, when taken from the moor as foals and trained on, the ponies have been used for many purposes over the years, which has led to the breeding of the different types seen on the moor today. Down through history they have been used for riding and driving, pit ponies, shepherding, taking the family to market or even carrying the postman delivering mail
Back in Bovey Castle it was time to get warm and enjoy our Afternoon Tea
We were seated in the most majestic surroundings in the stately Cathedral Room with spectacular views over the valley
Champagne, delicious freshly baked scones, delicate sandwiches, homemade cakes and pastries, served alongside fine teas poured in china cups – I was in my happy place (again)
Before dinner, we decided to go and have a cocktail at the bar. Clara was practising walking and did a great job
Espresso Martini and a specialty made by our new bartender friend
Meanwhile Clara had decided to take a walk on her own – to say hello to the parrot!
Well, what do you know! Sunday morning – and the sun was shining from a clear blue sky!
Before breakfast, we went to feed to chickens and the ferrets. It was so much fun!
At first Clara was a little insecure about the whole thing…
But she ended up becoming really good friends with one of the ferrets and wanted to stroke her several times. So sweet!
Unfortunately we missed out on the fawn feeding, as we had a train to catch, but I have promised Clara that she can come back and spend some time with a real life Bambi
We did however get to meet the legendary Martin Whitley, who often comes to Bovey Castle to share the thrill of seeing his exceptional collection of birds, ranging from tiny owls to Artemis and Rosie, Bovey Castle’s eagles
Martin was quite a joker and teased both baby- and dog owners about not coming too close, as his birds might be a bit hungry
Like a post-card. (Did you notice the falcon? It is blending in pretty well)
I did not want to leave Bovey Castle on this gorgeous sunny Sunday – but all good things have to come to an end. Maybe we can come back another time. I would love to try living in one of the stunning lodges
Yup – I could live here for a couple of days!
Bonusinfo: Designed in 1926 by J F Abercromby, one of the finest British golf course designers of the last century, Bovey Castle’s 18 hole championship golf course is both challenging and beautiful. It opened in 1930 and quickly gained national acclaim for its reputation as one of the most enjoyable places to play golf and nearly 90 years later, guests still love to play golf at Bovey
More bonusinfo: You will also find an indoor swimming pool and The Elan Spa at Bovey Castle Echoing the tranquillity and therapeutic flow of the River Bovey, the bespoke spa experiences and treatments using ESPA products have been created to relax, revive and restore the body and spirit
Jerome and I were kindly gifted most of our outfits and shoes/ boots from Dubarry of Ireland