Life’s busy right? But we all need a getaway. A bit of me time, a couples retreat, a chance to celebrate life’s successes or even somewhere to escape parenthood, obligations, or even the washing pile for just 24 glorious hours. You want to feel like you’re somewhere else without travelling far. To be cocooned, welcome, looked after? Well look no further than Deer Park Hotel.
Situated in 80 acres of land, 5 minutes from the centre of Honiton, The Deer Park offers the definition of escapism and hospitality. Managing Director, Mark Godfrey, and his team thrive on providing excellent service and facilities throughout the year whether it’s a wedding, corporate event, birthday dinner or a couples rare night off.
Along with the 10 rooms, situated in the grounds is the glorious treehouse. A symbol of childhood dreams but aimed at adults, this treetop retreat is a Devon delight. When I was invited to enjoy an overnight stay and dinner, I immediately booked in a special date for myself and hubby.
On arrival we were shown to this wondrous retreat in the trees, less than a minutes walk from the main hotel building yet miles away from our busy lifestyle and responsibilities.
It’s a thing of beauty and, for me, a reminder of childhood holidays in Rondavel’s in my birth country of South Africa. It’s simple yet gorgeous. With a balcony that enjoys views over the fields and beyond, the interior is perfect – a sea blue sofa for cosying on, a foot-fiddling-worthy fluffy rug all by the log burner, rope edging all around framing every wooden crevice, a touch of glitz added by the shiny copper framed round bed, and then the bathroom… well bath mad hubby was happy with his tub with a view whilst I was pleased with the circular shower cubicle.
After investigating our re’tree’t, we settled down with some liquid refreshment, the DAB radio for background music and our game of scrabble. It was so refreshing to have a bit of relaxation time without our bouncing 8 year old wanting to get involved, or even having to worry about the household chores.
We also went for a stroll around the grounds – there’s a walled garden full to the brim with flowers, herbs and vegetables, a lovely pond, you can see the orchard over the wall where they make their own apple juice from, walk around the Italian garden, the putting green, admire the outdoor kitchen and even swing the time away in one of the swing seats.
Dinner time came; whilst perusing the menus we enjoyed a pre dinner drink in the lounge area. There is a wonderful grandeur to Deer Park hotel yet you feel warm and welcome. The hotel restaurant is open to non-residents and afternoon tea’s are also very popular in the lounge areas.
A good selection is available to eat, with three menu’s available consisting of Relaxed Dining, Vegetarian, and Table D’hote. We noticed vegetarians were very well catered for here, with even more veggie options included on the two main menus as well.
The dining room is smart yet still relaxed enough, with beautiful bay windows looking out over the gardens.
We kicked off our dining experience with Dressed Brixham Crab, Smoked Eel, Wild Garlic Potato Salad, Garden Shoots and Radish Salad and a Local Rabbit Ballotine, Carrot and Ginger Puree, Hazelnut and Bacon Crumbs and Pickled Carrot.
Both meat and fish were delicate and sweet with great savoury accompaniments and textures.
Struggling to settle on a chosen main course, we agreed on two we’d both like and switched plates at half time. Chive Gnocchi, Feta, Broccoli, Pine Nuts, and Lemon Butter Sauce along with Monkfish Champ Potatoes, Leeks, Garden Greens and Lemon Butter Sauce.
The gnocchi were firm yet smooth and the meaty fish with creamy champ was a great partnership. We did feel however, that the portion of gnocchi was a little small for a vegetarian option.
We finished off dinner with a Peanut Butter Parfait, Salted Caramel, and Brownie Ice Cream. Perhaps a bit more texture on the plate would have been great to break up chilled components but none the less, it all did what it said on the tin – the brownie ice cream being particularly excellent.
Off we went back to our wooden house under the stars, following the well lit path, where we had a wonderful nights rest.
Morning broke and with a cup of coffee in our hands and a fluffy robe donned, we sat the balcony before breakfast enjoying the endless view. All that was missing were some slippers to protect my tootsies from the hardwood decking.
Breakfast was truly delicious, along with some excellent options on the table – I especially enjoyed the fresh juices and the granola and greek yoghurt.
Alas, it was time to be on our merry way. We enjoyed a very relaxing stay, in a unique treehouse and I would definitely recommend it for that special romantic break. Of course, the hotel and it’s rooms are ideal for any occasion and Deer Park Hotel is adept at all kinds of events, personal or business.
The reasons for visiting Deer Park Country House Hotel really are endless – anything is possible here, just let Mark and his team in on your ideas and they will certainly run with it…and then some!
Deer Park Country House Hotel,
Buckerell Village, Weston, Honiton, Devon, EX14 3PG
*This stay was complimentary but as always, opinions are my own*