A stay at a manor on the English Riviera Get daily updates directly to your inbox+ SubscribeThank you for subscribing!In the age of the generic budget hotel, we have almost forgotten how charismatic an independent can be.
Step forward family run Orestone Manor in Torquay, a Georgian style hotel filled with eastern treasures, distinguished antiques and an unrivalled sea view.Based in the South Devon coastal village of Maidencombe, it has character in abundance and is a credit to owners Neil and Catherine D'Allen who took charge in 2011.With 14 individually decorated bedrooms, most with sea views and some with private balconies, it is the perfect base to explore the 22 mile stretch of oakley store outlet coastline known as the English Riviera.Orestone Manor was once the country retreat of Victorian artist John Callcott Horsley, who designed the world's first Christmas card in 1843.It caused some controversy at the time as it depicted a small child drinking wine.Undeterred, the painter went on to draw his pioneering brother in law Isambard Kingdom Brunel, which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.The hotel's quirky history is evident as soon as you pull in replicating the colonial establishments of India at the turn of the 19th century.With a friendly welcome we wind our way up to our spacious 'feature room' and ogle at the ornateness within.Decorated full of eastern promise, I admire the leaping fish tiles in the huge bathroom, next to a claw foot bath, and beautiful elephant cushions dotted on the beds.Hiding beyond the Chinese patterned curtains is a private balcony, a perfect chilling spot, looking out towards the coast.After an action packed day exploring the highs of the Virtual Jet Centre and indulging in fine cheese and wines at the oakley cyber monday Sharpham estate, we freshen up for dinner.And what a treat it turns out to be both nights. With the passion and detail that can only come from a hotel owned by a couple of chefs, the menu is extensive with an emphasis on modern European food.We drum up an appetite with a tease of the culinary magic, enjoying canapes in the cavernous lounge room.Munching tasty pate cracker breads and mini quiches, it feels like Aladdin's Cave full of interesting possessions like a saxophone shaped lamp and collection of carved animals.Taking a seat in the candle lit restaurant, we both choose fish oakley retailer dishes to start, trying to pace our appetites.The crab Martini with avocado and mango sorbet is such a hit we both want to re order it the next night, as the unusual flavours melt together making for a refreshing but somehow indulgent starter.For mains we both opt for the 7oz fillet steak mine with a deliciously rich port and Stilton sauce served with vine tomatoes, mushroom and hand cut chips.The second night we mix it up with a tender two bone lamb rack for me and half a Torbay lobster cooked in garlic butter for my dining partner.Both are equally as delicious and despite being beyond content we push onwards to dessert.I try a tangy oakley sunglasses official website lemon tart with raspberry sorbet first, following with a chocolate fondant, almond brittleand black cherry sorbet the following day.My brother opts for an unusual selection of ice creams (including Baileys and salted caramel) before indulging in the banoffee plate.Needless to say, we are impressed by the high quality food offering and to match it with a vintage hotel stay is a sure winner.
Whether you want a base to explore coastal Devon or a peaceful retreat, Orestone Manor caters for all.The pretty towns of Torquay and Paignton are only a short drive away the latter playing host to a great zoo where we spend a day.Closer to the hotel, guests can soak up the sun in parkland or take a short steep stroll down to the unspoilt Maidencombe Beach recommended to get away from tourist hot spots.
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