Su­per ser­vice

SU CAR­ROLL steps back in time at an his­toric inn at the heart of Dart­mouth

Devon Life - - Competition -

It’s funny what makes a stay at a ho­tel spe­cial. For me, it’s the Three Bs – Bed, Bath and Break­fast. A com­fort­able bed with top qual­ity bed­ding, a bath­room with a touch of lux­ury and a break­fast which cel­e­brates good lo­cal pro­duce.

The Ba­yard’s Cove Inn in the Old Town area of Dart­mouth ticked all three boxes eas­ily. But what re­ally made our stay spe­cial was the nat­u­ral warmth of the staff. This was ably demon­strated dur­ing break­fast taken in an area at the back of the inn. Nearby were a group of (ob­vi­ously) lo­cal ladies gath­ered to­gether in a cross­word club – all at­tempt­ing to solve the same pho­to­copied news­pa­per puz­zle.

“Hur­rah!” yelled one en­er­get­i­cally throw­ing her hand in the air and promptly knock­ing a dish out of the hand of the wait­ress clear­ing the break­fast ta­bles. Re­as­sur­ance was in­stant and gen­uine and much laugh­ter fol­lowed. The at­mos­phere re­turned to some­thing akin to a well-be­haved party – there were peo­ple chat­ting to one an­other at ad­ja­cent ta­bles, much fuss­ing over dogs and a gen­eral air of bon­homie. You can train your staff all you like, but if you don’t re­cruit the right peo­ple in the first place you will fail.

Luck­ily, it’s not just me who has no­ticed the great ser­vice at Ba­yard’s Cove Inn. They were fi­nal­ists in two cat­e­gories at the 2018 Devon Food and Drink Awards, won a Gold Award from Taste of the West and Bronze in the best Small Ho­tel Bou­tique Ac­com­mo­da­tion cat­e­gory at the Devon Tourism Awards.

Ba­yard’s Cove Inn is a charm­ing des­ti­na­tion in a great lo­ca­tion – a Tu­dor man­sion in the Old Town area of Dart­mouth, op­po­site the his­toric lower ferry and a short walk from the Ba­yard’s Cove Fort, a Tu­dor for­ti­fi­ca­tion now main­tained by English Her­itage. Sev­eral Tu­dor build­ings have sur­vived in Dart­mouth – in­clud­ing the Cas­tle at the mouth of the river, also now pro­tected by English Her­itage – and the town is en­thu­si­as­ti­cally em­brac­ing its con­nec­tion to the Mayflower 400 com­mem­o­ra­tions.

In Au­gust 1620, Pil­grims on the Mayflower and sis­ter ship the Speed­well would have seen the Ba­yard’s Cove Inn build­ing from their moor­ing near the Fort af­ter the ships sailed into Dart­mouth for re­pairs. The two ves­sels then re­turned to Ply­mouth where the Mayflower set out alone across the At­lantic. Dart­mouth is de­vel­op­ing trails to guide vis­i­tors around the town to con­nect Tu­dor sites and im­por­tant places in the Mayflower story. When you’ve walked the trails and vis­ited the Dart­mouth Mu­seum in the beau­ti­ful But­ter­walk (highly rec­om­mended) head back to the Ba­yard’s Cove Inn to en­joy a de­li­cious evening meal which show­cases lo­cal pro­duce in­clud­ing lamb, beef and (of course) fish and crab.

A pop­u­lar choice is their an­swer to moules frites – lo­cal mus­sels cooked in Heron Val­ley cider. For in­for­ma­tion on Dart­mouth’s Mayflower 400 project go to dart­mouth­ Ba­yard’s Cove Inn can be booked on­line at ba­yard­scov­

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