The name Best Western does not immediately conjure up rolling acres and sylvan vistas, but as I discovered several seasons ago whilst looking to accommodate my syndicate members close to a south Devon estate without breaking the bank, the Lord Haldon does all of those things. The 11,000 acres belonged to the Chudleigh family, who built the house in the early 18th century, and the view from the adjoining Haldon Belvedere castle some 1,000 feet above sea level includes Exmoor, Dartmoor and Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck.
Many of the 23 refurbished rooms at the Lord Haldon also enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countyside.
Diners in the restaurant will enjoy a seasonal menu, with game used as often as possible.
Run as a hotel since 1952 in what was the east wing of the original building, the current owners have refurbished its facilities to offer 23 comfortable suites, many with stunning views, in a location that is both peaceful yet only four miles from Exeter and the M5. Head chef Dan Foreman runs a seasonal menu and uses game as often as he can with at least three local items on the menu at all times; typically fresh caught Brixham fish, Devonshire pork and beef plus local cheeses.
Location of the Lord Haldon: Dunchideock, near Exeter.
What we ate at the Lord Haldon: Having test driven Doombar in the bar, we ate in the Courtyard Restaurant and among the nice things that arrived on our table were terrine of local game with brioche and baby figs (£6.95), confit of duck with chorizo and bean cassoulet in tomato ragu (£6.95), Brixham seafood bouillabaisse (£16.95), lamb shank (£17.95), roast guinea fowl (£18.95) and Dunchideock-mined treacle tart with vanilla pod ice cream (£5.95).
Lord Haldon plus points: Impressive location, handily placed, shooting and dog friendly at £7.50 per dog per night, modestly priced, staff are eager to please and good food.
Lord Haldon drawbacks: None obvious, though some satnavs don’t speak Devonish, and don’t let the name put you off.
Shoots close to the Lord Haldon: Teign Valley.
Lord Haldon cost: From £80.
Lord Haldon contact: www.lordhaldonhotel.co.uk
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