There’s a new kid in town, well west of the city, and it’s called Paschoe House.
Having been a family home for the Amadors since 2000, daughter Tabitha decided the buildings future was as a hotel and wedding venue and, along with her father, has worked very hard for around 5 years to get it to where it is today with a bigger push over the last year. We recently shared their news of the appointment of Alex Gibbs as their head chef.
I visited in September to try their foodie offering on behalf of Crumbs Magazine (write up due out early October), for whom I am a guest writer. The hotel had only been open a couple of weeks so I was open minded as to how the evening would go and what level of finish and service there would be. It was also my birthday so I felt very lucky with the timing!
With autumn fully on its way, the sun had already set by the time we arrived for our dinner but the warm glow exuding from the building gave me a good feeling inside of what was to come.
The open entrance hall with soft pink tones and beautiful grey geometric tiled floor caught my eye instantly along with the obvious connection to this Grade II listed buildings heritage as well as the current outdoor pursuits on offer, thanks to the taxidermy animal heads dotted about.
The ostrich on the wall in the gorgeous duck egg blue lounge bar is something to behold – ostriches are a firm memory of my South African childhood (my brother even raced on one once as a child) – and I was both taken a back and fascinated by this specimen coming out of the wall. I guess it’s a bit like art – there to create conversation and a different interpretation for everyone. In the end I grew quite used to him whilst we enjoyed our drinks and delightful trio of pre-dinner canapes in this comfortable and suave space, his black and white plumage proudly showing off.
This may not be to everyone’s taste but I can assure you the dining room is animal free. The dining room itself is of a much more masculine stature; rich dark turquoise wallpaper with silver geometric design that bounces the light gently, matching suede chairs, original fireplace, understated chandeliers and crisp white linens bringing it together.
Connected to the lounge bar was a sitting area with original fireplace, walls adorned in butterfly wallpaper with a fabulous purple settees. Certainly a room that would cheer you up on even the greyest damp winter day whilst cosying up to the fire with a good book and a drink. Saying that, with the outdoor activities on offer here, you could don your mac and head out instead and embrace it – it is amongst 25 acres of land after all, on the edge of the Two Moors Way footpath.
A broad staircase crowned with antler chandelier leads you to 9 beautiful bedrooms, all with a different personality; it’s all about style and comfort for the staying guests but they are also geared up for weddings, boasting a lovely conservatory room for such event and plenty of lawns and acreage for exploration and photo opportunities. The venue is open to non-residents too of course, for lunch, dinner or even afternoon tea as a reward, for a special occasion, general good behaviour or to relax after a long walk.
Anywho – let’s get on to the good stuff – the food!
Evening menu choices include a three course a la carte menu for £50 with six choices for each course, or you could opt for the no holds barred six course taster menu for £65 where you can technically have twice the food (2 x 3 = 6 see what I’m saying?), maths aside, you don’t have to miss out and you can have a bit of everything.
We dived into starters of salmon mi-cuit with beetroot, horseradish, lemon and mustard and Devon scallops with pea, bacon, black pudding and shallot; both fishy friends were cooked perfectly, surrounded by flavours that respected yet enhanced every mouthful, and I declare that I have found the best black pudding I’ve tried so far, thanks to local supplier Pipers Farm.
Spiced Creedy Carver duck breast with heritage carrot, confit leg and duck sauce as well as lightly salted hake, clam, broad bean, sweet pea and beurre blanc were next in line. A plump duck breast and a crunchy bon bon were happily living side by side – until I devoured them with gusto. The hake was a delicate yet meaty dish that was respected by not being over complicated and was cooked beautifully.
Pudding was described in four words – milk chocolate, banana and hazelnut; I was intrigued! A generous pudding of unctuous milk chocolate cream, with added textures of a mille feuille type pastry layers and sticky bananas – it was sooo good.
I was then delighted by a little birthday treat of petit fours and birthday wishes – the macarons were delicately crispy , flavoursome and as light as air!
I had a quick chat with Alex, who was happy to have some of his previous brigade with him, front and back of house, and it showed – service was excellent, relaxed yet professional and they really were a knowledgeable and smooth team for such a new opening. In this demanding industry, experience and good leadership really does show.
Sadly we couldn’t stay that evening, but it’s on my list for a child free night! Being only 20 minutes west of Exeter, you can find this new country house hotel retreat waiting to embrace you – and I urge you to let it.
Paschoe House, Bow, Crediton, EX17 6JT