We were invited for a review stay to the Moorland Garden Hotel in Yelverton Devon last weekend. The Moorland Garden is owned by Brian and Sonia Meaden, parents of Deborah Meaden from Dragon’s Den.
When we arrived at the hotel, the actual building itself was huge… and nice but lacking slightly in wow factor appearance wise. However, turn your head and the wow factor hits you. The gardens of the hotel are beautiful and ridiculously quirky in a gorgeous way.
As you can see from the photos above, as you walk around the extensive gardens, you find all sorts of quirky things. The giant picture frame looking item, has steps at the back. Perfect for children to act on, although I suspect it may have been there more for the weddings that had taken place that day.
I haven’t even shown you all the fun sculptures and fun things above. In one area there is a giant spider’s web with metallic spider. There are also lots of lovely outdoor seating areas for sunny days. I can well imagine sitting in one of these or on the extensive patio area on a sunny morning, taking in the sights and sounds.
The positioning of the hotel means that it is right on the edge of Dartmoor. This makes for some beautiful views and also a high chance of spying sheep hanging around the grassy areas just outside of the hotel grounds. It isn’t far at all from Plymouth either, so you have the best of both worlds. Plenty to do, but also peaceful tranquility and beautiful views.
Our stay at the hotel was child free. We were offered the opportunity to bring them, but we decided that it was time we had a night just for us. This did however mean that we had to rush back the next day and so missed the chance for a nice long walk on Dartmoor.
After exploring the grounds a little, we went to the reception to check-in. The female member of staff who checked us in, was so helpful and friendly it immediately made us feel very welcome.
We stayed in the Peony Suite, which was at the furthest end of the hotel from the reception, which meant a bit of a walk. However this made for a lovely quiet room, and beautiful views out over the gardens to each side of us.
I feel a little mean to have said the hotel lacked wow factor before, whilst it is true of the outside in my opinion – something that is very hard for the owners to change easily – inside the hotel is full of wow factor. I fell in love with our suite as soon as we opened the door.
The four-poster bed was not only beautiful, but also one of the most comfortable beds that I have ever slept in. The suite was just perfect, with wonderful attention to detail with the artwork, cushions, throw and even the faux flowers all tying together perfectly with the colour scheme.
Inside the glass-topped coffee table, there were books on numerous subjects, a Dartmoor magazine, days out leaflets and more. There was fruit left for us, biscuits, water and guides to the hotel and surrounding area.
The thing that hit me the second I walked through the door though, was how pretty the entrance hall was. I have never stayed in such a beautiful room before
The bathroom of the suite was fine, lacking a little in character but the shower was powerful and there were little helpful additions. These included a jar of cotton wool balls, small packs of toothbrushes with toothpaste and even razors. Basically the things that you are most likely to forget.
We headed downstairs for dinner in The Wildflower restaurant, where we had been booked a table before arrival. You can also eat in the bar of the Moorland Garden if you prefer, or if it is only a snack you are after. In fact you could even just use their extensive room service menu. The restaurant itself was actually stunning.
We ate quite early, so for most of our meal we actually had the restaurant to ourselves. It was lovely to sit looking out on to the gardens, and a sudden downpour made it seem even more cosy indoors.
For starters I had a Twice Baked Cheese Souffle and Si had a Chicken and Ham Hock Terrine. Both of which were delicious, especially my souffle which was just perfect. For mains we went for the Rump of Devon Lamb and Homity Pie. Normally I don’t like lamb, but a little taste of Si’s dinner and I was impressed. So tender and tasty, though I still preferred my Homity Pie with the best coleslaw I have ever had.
Dessert wise Si went for the Selection of Local Cheese which he really liked. His favourite cheese was funnily enough Cornish Blue, which personally I couldn’t even stand the smell of. I went for the White Chocolate cheesecake.
Usually I am a huge cheesecake fan, but this was the only thing that I didn’t really enjoy of my food choices. There didn’t actually seem to be any white chocolate, just plain not very sweet cheesecake. Luckily I was full anyway so didn’t mind too much, but I’m hoping I just got a ‘dud’ one as it sounded so promising on the menu.
The waiting staff in the restaurant were absolutely wonderful, so polite and nothing was too much trouble for them. They were so smiley and the service was really fast considering the fact that they were also catering and serving a wedding in the function room down the hall. The sound proofing at the hotel must be very good, as we couldn’t hear anything from the wedding, until we were in the corridor outside of the restaurant.
In particular our waitress Cody (or Codie, kodie, Kody… I really should have asked how she spelt her name) was a real asset to the Moorland Garden Hotel. She couldn’t have done more for us whilst we were dining.
After eating we made our way to the hotel bar, which was quiet despite there being a wedding on at the hotel. This is because they have a separate bar that they use for weddings.
We spent a lot of hours sat at the bar drinking, talking and making plans that I have no idea how we’ll ever afford. I’m thinking we should have nights to ourselves like this more often. When you have children it is so easy to get immersed in the day-to-day practicalities and to almost not ‘see’ each other any more.
On our night away we spent so much of our time laughing and just enjoying being the two of us for a change. I won’t get all soppy here as he’ll read it and get a big head, but it was just what we needed and made me realise again just how lucky I am.
The bar area was so cosy and relaxed. I loved the armchair above even though Si wasn’t keen – just as well we have no room for a similar one. The whole hotel has little touches of quirkiness all around it, which I absolutely loved. So many things I spotted that just made me smile and it made it seem more homely and welcoming.
We slept really well in the comfortable bed and then had breakfast. I have no photos of breakfast, as we were so keen to just eat it and to be honest, this post and my phone are already pretty photo heavy of the hotel. The breakfast was good, although we did have to wait for them to refill things a bit, so we ended up eating some of it and then the rest when it was topped up.
We opted for the cooked breakfast, there were also a lot of other options such as pastries and fruit available. There were plenty of juices ready and it didn’t take long for our tea to be delivered to our table. I suspect the slight slowness of the food in the morning was due to there being a lot of people, due to the wedding party.
It wasn’t a huge wait though and the staff were all really helpful, plus I can think of a whole lot of worse places to be waiting than in that gorgeous dining room!
We had an outstanding stay at The Moorland Garden Hotel and I would most definitely stay there again, preferably child free again – I love them really.