With Dartmoor’s rolling hills setting the scene, an impressive culinary line-up from the two AA rosette restaurant and a good dose of country glamour, Ilsington Country House Hotel ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a relaxing rural retreat. Factor in the family-run hotel’s brand new luxury spa and we’re predicting full marks; the Trencherman’s editorial team went to investigate …
Visit for a sophisticated hen do, a weekend with the girls, a romantic break; what the heck, celebrate the fact it’s Tuesday, any excuse to spend a day in the hotel’s gorgeous spa. Lose yourself in a sea of bubbles in the sumptuous tub, sweat it out in the sauna or simply slump into one of the new-age deck chairs with a good magazine in the country house’s sleek new set up.
Don’t visit if you’ve got an unbreakable bond with your phone. Nestled between the national park’s towering tors, don’t expect any phone signal or 3G connection in this neck of the woods. Leave your laptop at home and reconnect with your nearest and dearest in this idyllic pocket of the British countryside.
We liked the informal, bistro style dining at Ilsington’s Blue Tiger Inn. After a morning of ultimate R&R in the spa, not having to worry about the odd mascara smudge was a god send. Tuck into proper good pub grub like the smoky pork terrine with chunky chutney and olive spiked melba or the home-smoked salmon, you’ll be needing the energy to stay awake in the full body massage to come after lunch.
Insider’s tip Order a smoothie – or a glass of fizz – poolside, you’ve earned it.