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Exclusively British - - Visitor S ' Guide -

• Bor­ing­don Hall Ho­tel and Spa On the north­ern fringes of the city, just min­utes from the vast, open spa­ces of Dart­moor, sits Bor­ing­don Hall Ho­tel and Spa, (bor­ing­don­hall.co.uk) a 5* de­light for its his­toric ar­chi­tec­ture, its lev­els of com­fort and ser­vice, its out­stand­ing cui­sine and fab­u­lous Gaia spa fa­cil­i­ties. The heavy oak door, at the base of a soar­ing, five-storey tower, all gran­ite-mul­lioned and leaded lights, leads to a magic, low­ceilinged re­cep­tion and a per­ma­nent sense of well-be­ing. A me­dieval manor house has stood at Bor­ing­don since the monas­ter­ies were dis­solved in 1539 and parts have sur­vived the tur­bu­lent years since, in­clud­ing Cromwell’s 17th cen­tury as­sault, owner ne­glect for 200 years and a dev­as­tat­ing late 20th cen­tury fire. It is a huge achieve­ment by the cur­rent own­ers (and their ar­chi­tects) that the whole prop­erty, built around what lit­tle was left of the orig­i­nal, re­tains the same me­dieval look and am­bi­ence that was en­joyed by il­lus­tri­ous vis­i­tors of the dis­tant past, among them Sir Fran­cis Drake, Sir Wal­ter Raleigh and Queen El­iz­a­beth I, while pro­vid­ing 21st cen­tury stan­dards in the ex­quis­ite gue­strooms, sump­tu­ous restau­rants and per­fectly-pre­sented pub­lic ar­eas. From the re­laxed and el­e­vated com­fort of the 3 AA Rosette, fine-din­ing Gallery Res­tau­rant, con­tented din­ers look over guests paus­ing in the Tu­dor-era Great Hall, now the bar and lounge, who can­not but be im­pressed by the great man­tle over the fire­place, de­pict­ing the coat of arms of James I. The su­perb Head Chef, Scott Pa­ton, is proudly re­spon­si­ble both for the ‘Gallery’ and the al­ter­na­tive ‘Mayflower’, a brasserie with the same high qual­ity, but a more in­for­mal set­ting. Af­ter a day’s ex­er­tions, ei­ther in the city or roam­ing the by­ways and vil­lages of south Dart­moor, the joys of the Gaia spa might be just the thing for nour­ish­ing the mind, body and soul. Diane Net­tle­ton and her team pride them­selves on their abil­ity to sat­isfy guests’ de­mands, whether for one of their tai­lor-made treat­ments or car­dio­vas­cu­lar chal­lenges, di­etary ad­vice or just a so­porific ‘dip’ in the in­door pool, set at a sooth­ing 30 de­grees Centi­grade.

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