Hygge is that Danish word that means cosy wellness. It brings to mind log fires, chunky sweaters and good company. Or a crisp white with warm sun in summer. Whatever the season, there’s plenty of it at Barcroft Retreat, more Dartmoor and Devon than Denmark. Absorb the views, huddle in the hot tub, embrace the people who matter.
Follow the high hedges to a country estate as English as gin-and-tonic on a summer lawn. When just the ice remains clinking in your glass, pull on your cossie and dive into the Barcroft Estate’s shared indoor or outdoor pools, get your whites on and enjoy some tennis, or turn up the heat on the hygge in the shared steam room.
Summon up some sounds on the Sonos. Socialise and soak up the views as you serve supper. Open up the bi-fold doors onto the wraparound balcony. Catch a family film in the open-plan spaces of the light, contemporary, oak-frame living area while the flame from the log-burner licks at the evening air. Grab some hygge, hug, huddle, be happy.
Bring your cossie, cos the shared outdoor pool’s heated to a toasty temperature. The private hot tub’s even hotter. So pile in at night with a glass of Prosecco and stare at nature’s glinting ceiling lights.
Explore the 14 acres of rolling Devonshire hillside. Kick a ball around the lawns. Bat a few backwards and forwards on the shared tennis court. Get out onto the terrace and sear some steaks on the coal barbecue. Live your life outdoors beneath soaring skies with the valley views played out below.
Live it large in the big living spaces at Barcroft Retreat. It all begins in the big porch with generous storage for coats and muddy wellies. Then follow the Fired Earth Limestone floor into the open-plan, vaulted wonder of the contemporary oak-framed living area. Grab a coffee from the pod machine and point your eyes at the views.
Up on the first floor, the living area comes with windows onto a world of green grandeur. The grounds give way to the rolling hills of the South Hams. Open up the bi-fold doors, get out onto the wraparound oak balcony, breathe the clean air and be a part of the Dartmoor escarpment.
Back inside, settled down among the Jane Churchill fabrics, the bleached-wood heated floors and the Farrow and Ball paints in a secluded space that’s high, light and airy. Spread out on the comfy sofas, light the Morso log-burner, get some Spotify going on the Sonos system, or fire up a family film on the giant TV.
Keep the kids entertained in the 30-degree-heated, three-foot-deep shared indoor pool warmed by ambient air, or in the shared soft-cushion indoor playroom with rocking horse, balls and play shapes. Head to the toy shed for buckets, spades, windbreaks, crabbing lines, body boards, tennis racquets and balls.
Lift your head from the steaming stew to take in the view through the vaulted windows across the rolling hills of the Hams. Open the bi-fold doors and let the rural air and the light come flooding in. Socialise as you stir, with the people who matter in the open-plan living area. Eat around the solid oak table for ten in the same space.
It’s all made easy with granite worktops, Fisher Paykel ovens and hobs, and Miele appliances. There’s a microwave, a dishwasher to pile your plates in, and a Dualit toaster for attacks of the evening munchies. Alternatively, head out to the terrace to eat steaks and salad off the barbie in the south-coast sunshine.
For foodies, the south west packs plenty of great seasonal food and drink. The villages and markets are alive with artisan wine and cheese makers, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, delis, farm shops and farmers’ markets. And restaurants, cafes and waterside inns offer everything from Michelin-star dining to hearty beach-shack fare.
The Rockfish Grill overlooks the sailing boats and the super-yachts on the Dart. Peel some prawns heaped with garlic butter. The Ferryboat Inn is distinctively pink with awesome views, real ales, a yachtie clientele and a family-friendly menu. Or try a taste of 30s glamour at Burgh Island Hotel, an iconic Devon landmark on its own tidal island.
Four bedrooms sleep eight plus two infants. Whisking you off to the land of nod are the crispest of white linen, white fluffy towels, Villeroy and Boch toiletries and Grohe showers. Oak flooring, Farrow and Ball paints, and Holy Keeling interior design provide delightful detail.
Bedroom one on the ground floor is a light and spacious en-suite that continues the oak-framed character of the main living area. There’s a luxury, accessible en-suite carefully designed to offer the less able-bodied easy access without any compromise on the designer touches in the other bathrooms. Borrow a wheelchair, shower tool and ramp from the estate to make your stay even more comfortable.
Bedroom two is the spacious master, with a superking bed offering plenty of storage and room for a cot. A spacious designer en-suite bathroom comes with large shower, WC, basin and heated towel rail. Views from the bathroom take in the private garden and fields beyond.
Bedroom three is a double that doubles as a twin. It gets sole use of the main bathroom directly opposite, the finest on the whole estate. Wash your cares away in the Ashton and Bentley designer bath. Bedroom four is a characterful superking with en-suite shower and room for a cot. Enjoy instant access to the hot tub and terrace.
Barcroft Retreat has so much to do for children of all ages. For the babies there are the cots and high chairs, and for the toddlers there is heaps to enjoy too. Best of all is the shared soft play area with it’s colourful ball pit and the toy shed which is jam packed with games the little ones will love.
The older kids are spoilt for choice. Splash around in the pool, win a game, set and match on the shared tennis court, play horse at the basketball hoop, or run around on the adventure playground.
There’s a pool table and loads of fun stuff for children of all ages in the shared games room, from toddlers to teenagers. Just the place for the kids to hang out or Mums and Dads to let off steam.