Have you ever found yourself away for the weekend in a lovely self-catering cottage, snuggled up in front of a roaring fire, or maybe even at home, tucked under a blanket, and thought to yourself, ‘what would make this perfect right now would be if someone were to bring me a tray of tea; some sort of friendly, discreet butler would be lovely.’ Well, that’s what happened when we visited Weeke Barton for the weekend, anyway.
*Cue Sam, half of the couple who run Weeke Barton guesthouse in Devon, arriving with a tray of tea and offering to add another log to the fire in the huge living room, full of squishy leather sofas.*
Often when we go away for one of our weekend mini-breaks, we end up doing that thing of tiptoeing around our unfamiliar surroundings, unsure of where you’re allowed to go or what you’re allowed to touch. Come dinner time, you loiter in your room, nervous about how to strike the right balance of smart / casual, and concerned about the embarrassment of a child refusing everything on the menu.
Weeke Barton is exactly the opposite of this.
From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel as welcome as if we were old family friends. A converted long house, Weeke Barton has a wonderful mix of cosy fires and character features alongside spacious rooms and wide windows. Inside, you feel cocooned and yet free, both at the same time. It’s jolly clever.
Weeke Barton is full of interesting books, magazines and curiosities, and yet it doesn’t feel at all forced. With some hotels and restaurants I’ve visited, I imagine a marketing meeting that has gone something like this:
“Saffy darling, you had a wonderful idea – do you want to tell the group?”
“Thanks, Quentin! My idea is simply this – vintage eclectic.”
Pause for gasps of admiration.
“That’s genius! Tarquin, get online and buy some props.”
At which point Tarquin heads off to purchase some overpriced retro biscuit tins, a tableau of stuffed squirrels and a lamp in the shape of a pineapple.
At Weeke Barton though, you just feel like you’re in somebody’s home, and that the items around you have been carefully, lovingly collected over the years from exotic travels and back street junk shops, run by an old man with a beard who always has an unlit pipe in one corner of his mouth.
The rooms at Weeke Barton
There are five double rooms at Weeke Barton, and an extra bed was put up in our room for Belle. You can either come as a regular catered guest, or you can hire out the whole house, fully catered or self-catering. Altogether, it can sleep up to ten adults and four children, so it would be absolutely ideal if you wanted to go away with a group of family or friends over the summer holidays. If you want to go self-catering, Sam and Jo simply shut off their part of the house and open up the main kitchen for your use. There are only a few weeks left for this summer, so do get in touch if this sounds like your sort of thing. It costs £2,500 in total for a week in the summer, which I think, between 10 adults, is an absolute steal.
Our room was lovely – an amazingly comfy bed, stylish fixtures and fittings and a gorgeous en-suite with a separate bath and shower. Everything at Weeke Barton is finished to an exceptionally high standard. We had a little peek in the room next to ours too, which was empty, and absolutely loved the free-standing bath arrangement. How wonderful would that be for a romantic weekend away?
Food at Weeke Barton
There are plenty of lovely places to eat nearby, but we chose to have dinner at Weeke Barton, and were very pleased we did. I really loved the fact that wasn’t a menu, that we were just told what was for dinner that night. I hate having a huge menu plonked in front of me, so this was ideal for me, and it added to that feeling of being a guest in someone’s home, rather than a customer.
That said, they were very accommodating when it came to any special requirements. Belle has a bit of a thing with lactose, and they were happy to cook her something different, and provided soy milk and yoghurt options too. The quality of the food is extremely high, with everything home-made and locally sourced wherever possible. We enjoyed a lovely local cider with our pork and chorizo pie, taken from the honesty bar – simply jot down whatever you take during your stay and it gets totted up at the end.
Weeke Barton special offers
On Sunday morning we woke up to gorgeous sunshine and blue skies, and got a real sense of what attracted Sam and Jo to Devon, and Dartmoor in particular. If you like a good stomp, Weeke Barton is a brilliant base for hiking, and there are gorgeous beaches less than half an hour away too.
We’re just across the border, an hour away in Somerset, and yet that’s all it takes really to get away from things isn’t it? You don’t have to go far, you just need that change. Weeke Barton would be ideal if you’re already in the south-west, but just fancy escaping for a night, even in the middle of the week. In fact, they do a great deal on these sort of off-peak breaks – during March and April, any room on a Sunday is just £100 for bed and breakfast, or you can get dinner, bed and breakfast during the week for £149.
Get in touch
So there you go, I can heartily recommend a stay at Weeke Barton, whether it’s a week-long family summer holiday or a sneaky mid-week escape for two, you really won’t be disappointed.
To find out more, you can visit the Weeke Barton website, or give them a call on 01647 253505.
Do not use the number below…
We were guests at Weeke Barton for one night. All opinions are our own.