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“COMBE HOUSE: Gittisham, Honiton, Devon ... AN EXEMPLAR”
Review of Restaurant at Combe House Devon - CLOSED

Restaurant at Combe House Devon
Price range: US$40 - US$75
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Description: In Top Best Foodie Hotels in SW England - voted by readers of Food magazine. Combe House Devon is a stunning 450-year old Elizabethan Manor, set in 3,500 acres of one of Devon's finest estates. It's informal, relaxing and hugely romantic, and wherever you wander (and there's quite a bit of it) something magnificent catches the eye. Devon foodies will undoubtedly have heard of Combe House. The acclaimed restaurant is highly praised as one of the best in the south west, and service is genuinely faultless. There is loads of local game and fresh fish and most of the vegetable and herbs come from the restored Victorian kitchen gardens. The support for local producers and seasonal dishes here is obsessive - and with good reason. The restaurants are popular and The Good Food Guide 2014 describes Combe House as a 'seductive hotel with seriously good dining'. Hadleigh Barrett and Stuart Brown, Master Chefs of Great Britain, are responsible for a changing menu packed with interesting meat and fish options, from scallops with creamy tarragon gnocchi to seared duck breast with braised red cabbage. The cellar is what you'd expect from a grand old country house - but all wines are chosen less to impress than serve the season, mood or nature of their dishes. Eat in one of two spacious dining rooms with traditional fire places. Admire the murals, relish the atmosphere, enjoy the flavours from mercifully well-spaced tables. You'll always receive a warm welcome - it's best to book ahead for lunch and dinner. Genuine hospitality is always on the menu.
Reviewed 6 May 2010

Much has already been said and many words written about the Grade 1 Elizabethan Luxury Country House Hotel that is Combe House Hotel & Restaurant in Gittisham, Honiton, Devon. How delighted we were to discover at first hand that it lived up to all expectations. The wonderful country setting was lovely and provided the perfect backdrop for an all too brief visit.

On arrival we were welcomed by Rachel’s bubbly personality and courteous smile who informed us that we were expected by our hosts Ken and Ruth. This was a good sign which augured well. Imagine our delight when a glass of champagne and a tray of canapés arrived as a precursor to luncheon. We were escorted to ‘The Pink Room’, one of three intimate dining rooms decorated with chandeliers and hand-painted mural walls. Here we sat at our table in the bay window and looked out over the grounds where Arabian horses grazed in the fields and pheasants strolled across the lawns. It was a truly wonderful setting.

Head Chef Hadleigh Barrett and Sous Chef Stuart Brown (both Master Chefs of Great Britain) provided a meal fit for royalty. Our choices from the luncheon menu included (Appetiser) pea veloute; (1st Course) rabbit confit and truffle terrine, foie gras mousse, pickled vegetables; smoked salmon kedgeree, hot smoked salmon, lightly curried risotto fritter, parsley oil; (2nd Course) lamb, roast leg with herb crust, braised neck fillet, gratin potato, pea puree. We did not avail ourselves of the 3rd Course but had we done so we would have chosen blood orange sable, blood orange sorbet; mascarpone and amaretto mousse, chocolate sorbet. The food was perfectly cooked, beautifully prepared and presented, and tasted delicious. Feeling suitably replete, we retired to the sitting room to enjoy coffee and petit fours. The entire culinary experience was an absolute delight and thoroughly enjoyable.

Our hosts Ken and Ruth very kindly took us on a whistle-stop tour of Combe House. All rooms are ensuite and have recently been refurbished to a very high standard. We fell in love with the Signature Suites; Combe Thatch Cottage and secluded Walled Garden, The Linen Suite and Tommy Wax.

Walking through the grounds, we met Head Gardener, Charlie O’Reilly who was clearly passionate about his responsibilities and gladly related how the carefully nurtured grounds, gardens and croquet lawn had evolved during the past decades under his tenure in office. It was comforting to learn that the restaurant’s vegetable requirements are met on a seasonal basis directly from the kitchen garden.

Combe House in Gittisham, Devon is furnished with understated elegance and exudes an airy and magical atmosphere of times gone by. It is a wonderfully, friendly place where the professionalism of staff at all levels and attention to detail are exemplars which makes it feel more like a home than a hotel. We hope to return very soon to sample some more of the excellent hospitality.

Our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the owners Ken and Ruth for looking after us so well and for making our visit so memorable.

Angela & Brian Swinyard

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3  Thank TheHarrows132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (88)
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85 - 88 of 88 reviews

Reviewed 29 April 2010

Dinner for three on 21st April 2010
Each course delighted the tastebuds. The information on local suppliers helps you appreciate the ingredients and the hard work that has gone into creating each dish. The Ark chicken reminded me of what chicken used to taste like. My pink desert was a marvellous creation that complemented the whole menu. You even get the coffee right and those chocolates are to die for!! The attentive and friendly service
Breakfasts on 22nd & 23rd April 2010
Devon breakfasts at their best even down to the toast and croissants. Eggs couldn't be fresher and wish I could find sausages like that in Nottinghamshire!! Chef even produced French Toast for my daughter

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1  Thank Alan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2009

A splendid restaurant within this magnificent hotel, set in extensive grounds. Highly recommended. Check out the combe House website for full details, as this place is so much more than the average restaurant.

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1  Thank carlosand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 November 2007


1  Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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