Scottish Daily Mail

AN IN­SPEC­TOR CALLS

He pays his way... and tells it like it is

- Recreation · The Good Hotel Guide

PASCHOE House seems to have slipped un­der the radar. It’s been go­ing for three years, oc­cu­py­ing a won­der­ful po­si­tion some six miles from Cred­i­ton in Devon.

And it’s owned by a woman who grew up in the house and in­vested huge sums con­vert­ing it to a nine-bed­room ho­tel. Yet, it doesn’t merit in­clu­sion in The Good Ho­tel Guide or Saw­day’s.

So, we don’t know what to ex­pect as we drive deeper into rolling coun­try­side be­fore turn­ing off a lane on to a drive that me­an­ders for half a mile, past a farm and then up to the house it­self, with crunchy gravel and invit­ing stone porch.

It’s some house. Ev­ery mem­ber of staff gives us slightly dif­fer­ent dates as to when it was built. Ap­par­ently, some parts are 14th cen­tury, although it’s mainly early Vic­to­rian with a Gothic twist.

The walls in the hall and up the grand, wide stair­case are pink; there’s but­ter­fly wall­pa­per in the draw­ing room and flflo­ral wall­pa­per in our bed­room and bath­room. And it’s a long time since we’ve come across pel­mets.

The at­mos­phere is hushed, po­lite; the sser­vice for­mal. But who on earth came up with the idea of a TV in the hall show­ing rolling footage of the ho­tel?

A Ger­man fam­ily is hav­ing a cream tea when we ar­rive, so we have one, too. Next to the draw­ing room is a bar where a huge stuffed os­trich hangs over the fire­place. Taxi­dermy seems to be one of the themes. There are African king­fish­ers be­hind glass in the din­ing room.

What takes us by sur­prise is the elab­o­rate food. It’s the full works, with canapes, an amuse-bouche, home­made bread with both or­di­nary and Mar­mite but­ter, re­hearsed ex­pla­na­tions about the dishes, rich jus and pricey wines.

There are two choices: an £80 tast­ing menu or £69 per per­son for three cour­ses a la carte. We opt for the a la carte.

It’s cre­ative, but overly so. My scal­lops come with curry velouté, shal­lots, kaf­fir lime and al­mond. I feel sorry for the scal­lops com­pet­ing with that lot.

But we like the cre­ativ­ity at break­fast. Each table has its own portable shelf, car­ry­ing crois­sants, gra­nola, pots of jam, but­ter. And there are mini milk crates con­tain­ing, well, milk, plus juice.

On check­ing out, we’re given wa­ter and a choco­late muf­fin. My wife eats hers and says it’s the best she’s ever tasted — so good that I’m in­structed to phone Paschoe House and pass on my com­pli­ments to the chef. Which I do. Paschoe house Bow, Cred­i­ton Devon eX17 6Jt tel: 01363 84244, paschoe­house.co.uk

Dou­bles from £149

 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK