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The Old Rectory Hotel
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Reviews (1,003)
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All reviewsafternoon teahuw samsoupswine listpre dinner drinksattention to detailperfect hostssmall hotelother guestsheddon suitemoment you arrivecoach housesecond visitgin menuold friendsnorth devonfirst class
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Reviewed 15 July 2013

We stayed here about 4 years ago and were keen to return.
It is hard to describe the beauty of this location and the gardens in particular - cool and serene in this very hot weather. We enjoyed walking the coastal cliff paths on our last visit, but decided it was just too hot, and lounged in the garden instead.
A lovely place to unwind with afternoon tea and cake in the gardens, and later a drink and appetiser before dinner. I know that reviewers have criticised the fact that there is one sitting for the evening meal, but the timing suited us, and the amazing food - all locally sourced - is well worth any compromise. All of the 4 courses were delicious (as was breakfast), and we can't wait to return.
We left feeling totally relaxed and recharged.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lanno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for one night. Most idyllic and remote location. Beautiful hotel and grounds. Room was nice and comfortable. only issue was water pressure, but not a real problem. Meals were nice and staff were attentive also offering great local knowledge. Walks surrounding the hotel are nice and local church also interesting. Woody bay also worth a visit. Lots of nice photo opportunity. Overall a nice place to stop with great hospitality and an excellent location.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2013

Wonderful two night stay in Westgate. Sam is excellent front of house backed up by Huw's cooking and the services of local people with the dinner and breakfasts. From a value for money perspective this place really can't be bettered. It is not aiming to compete with Michelin starred dining and obsequious service, nor with £1000 wine lists or waterfall shower rooms. To compare it to places charging three times the price does not recognise the value and comfort that is being offered.
What it offers is ultimate country relaxation in beautifully decorated rooms. many separate comfortable common areas to relax in, Molton Brown toiletries, a lovely garden with chairs in secluded places, home grown vegetables and fruit and wonderful spring water that supplies the house (after going through multiple filters and UV treatments, hence no bottled water - it is certainly not needed). Just arrive and let Sam and Huw take care of you.
The wine list was full of surprises and familars. Sam is having a great time expanding his wine knowledge and with 52 on the list at the moment, he knows them all well and is happy to recommend whatever would best suit your likes and your dinner order, regardless of whether the wine is half the price of the one you were looking at. As he says, there is no point in selling a wine someone won't like.
There is a lot of mention of the fixed 7pm start for apperitifs before dinner. We had no problem with the fixed time given the size of the establishment, and found dinner with well chosen background music to be quite fun - when we stayed there was certainly some chat and banter between tables. The start time for eating of around 7:45/8pm is a little early for us, but when you are being served four courses dinner was not finishing before 10pm or just after, and so made sense with this in mind to cater to the majority of diners.
Food was accomplished without aiming to be fussy and was good portion sizes. We did not need lunch. Afternoon tea with a freshly made cake each day was very welcome. Breakfast was particularly good - fabulous scrambled eggs. And the butter served was some of the best we have had in ages.
It is an easy short walk to the coast. We did the walk along the coast path to the Hunters Inn and back and it took a leisurely 3 hours (at speed would take about 1hr45). The coast view itself would take about a 12 minute walk. You need to find exercise with all the food that is on offer.
We will certainly return later this year. It is a long slog from London to Exmoor, but the Old Rectory makes it easily worthwhile.
My only suggestions would be to include bathrobes in the rooms (given how much time I spent lounging around) and that perhaps the bathroom in Westgate whilst clean and a good size, is due for a freshen up.

Room Tip: Look on the website - the photographs are very true to life.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank tal27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2013

This was our fourth visit to the Old Rectory, and everything was perfect, as always. Sam and Huw are so welcoming, with the gift of making hotel guests feel like old friends. Our room was newly decorated, calming colours on walls and furnishings, lovely bath room (Molton Brown etc). A recent reviewer complained about the lack of bottled water, but I can't see why bedrooms should have bottled water when the tap water tastes fine. There was wifi connection which worked reasonably well, with no special password needed.
Both breakfast and dinner were excellent and the special vegetarian menu much appreciated.
The new conservatory is a great improvement on the old one, and is a lovely place for pre-dinner drinks. Do have a good look round the garden if you go - a delightful balance between cultivated and wild and a real pleasure to visit.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jandgro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

We went for the weekend to celebrate, belatedly, our silver wedding. The Old Rectory is akin to going to a private country house party. As has been said countless times before Huw and Sam are the most charming and effective of hosts. The food and wine were absolutely exceptional, and the house "rule" of everybody dining at the same time makes for a friendly but informal atmosphere in the spacious dining room. We are now on a diet!!
The gardens are delightful and the location perfect. The rooms comfortable and clean.
Will certainly return; can't recommend highly enough.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Colin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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