We spend a fair bit of time between Devon and London and so the three-hour commute can be a bit of a strain at times. When DeVere Tortworth Court contacted us to see if we wanted to stay the night at their palatial manor house it seemed like a no-brainer; a night of luxury that would provide the perfect rest stop between the Capital and our West Country home (with the tiniest of detours just up the M5).
The first thing that strikes you about Tortworth Court is it’s presence. After a fairly sizeable journey up the secluded private driveway, you enter through the gates and are met with the imposing sight of a huge blocky stately home complete with turrets and sculptures. The theatre continues inside too; the reception area is nestled at the foot of a huge atrium, and is surrounded by a snaking old wooden staircase. Check-in is a breeze; all COVID-guidelines are followed strictly and it was only a matter of minutes after arrival that we were handed the keys to our room.
Our room for the stay was a Deluxe Junior Suite. It was very spacious and contained all of the mod-cons you could need. The bed was incredibly comfortable and our view out over the expansive gardens was beautiful, especially first thing in the morning. Other touches included a sizeable leather sofa which was ideal for the both of us if we needed the rest and really split the room well between a sleeping and a living space.
Upon arrival we decided to explore the gardens. Tortworth Court is an extremely popular wedding destination and the gardens, in their perfectly manicured state, are the ideal backdrop for any ceremony. There’s a lovely little loop from the terrace down to the field which, with a pregnant wife in tow, was more than adequate for stretching our legs. Speaking of the terrace, the on-site Horsebox Bar is a fantastic place to grab a drink if you wanted to catch some sun. My only feedback would be that it did close a little earlier than we would have liked, meaning we couldn’t enjoy a drink on the terrace at sunset.
Dinner that evening was served in the 1853 Restaurant. Again it overlooked the gardens and was a lovely place for a bite to eat, with an atmosphere to match. I went for a bottle of Pinot Noir to go with a starter of Sauteéd King Scallops that was served with squid Ink cauliflower purée, chorizo, spring salad, peas and cauliflower crisp. For mains, and as a treat, I chose the Pan Roasted Breast of Duck. I rarely eat meat and this dish was incredibly special. Katie went for the Toasted Plum Tomato and Basil Soup to start and Pan Fried Sustainable Seabass Fillet for mains. We were so impressed by the quality of the food and the portion sizes were very good. Incredibly we did still have room for dessert and so I had the Cheese Board while Katie (ever the sweet tooth) went for Ice Cream.
After a very good night’s sleep, we spent the next morning once again wandering the grounds and soaking up the sunshine. The Arboretum is definitely worth checking out and is a real focal point for the on-site weddings; the glass frontage is absolutely beautiful and it’s easy to see why bookings are hard to come by in such a unique space. By 9am we both heard the the unmistakable sound of an empty stomach, and so we headed to a buffet-style breakfast served (once again) in the 1853 Restaurant. There was plenty on offer and it was a nice relaxing way to enjoy the morning. I highly recommend the cooked options if you are really hungry!