Ready to relax? Lower Vineyard House on the South Devon coast pushes all the right buttons, and all in such an artful, tasteful way. Look up tranquility in the dictionary and chances are this will be the definition. At five o-clock, the gentle buzz of the winery and shop next door peter out, leaving you wrapped in silence as thick as Devon cream.
Muted greys and olive greens throughout and views over the orchards and woodland ease along the sense of calm tranquility. Take a vineyard walk on site, then bag a bottle of fine fizz from the winery. Pack some sarnies for the picnic area, or book a table at Circa, the estate eatery, for site-reared beef, organic veg and Brixham seafood.
Cook on the electric oven with induction hobs, eat all together on the big oak table or out in the sunshine with a view of the vineyard. Sleep in tastefully panelled en-suite bedrooms, and burrow down amid the deep duvets and mattress toppers. Pick the easy-access downstairs room for guests with limited mobility.
Lower Vineyard House steals a slice of an acre from the rolling hills of South Devon, sitting within a working vineyard, which you’re welcome to explore, along with the orchards. After shop hours, the picnic area’s all yours, too, so pack a scotch egg or two and indulge in a bottle of English Sauvignon Blanc from the winery.
Outside, Lower Vineyard House is a picture-perfect Devon farmhouse, as welcoming as a steaming soup on a winter’s night. Inside, all is beautifully, cosily modern, with a palette of muted greys and olive greens set against the farmhouse flagstone floors. Grab some fizz from the winery, settle back, chill out, soak up the sense of peace.
Bring your Amazon Prime and Netflix passwords to come together at night and blast your way through box sets on the 50” smart TV, streamed over the 50mbps BT fibre broadband. Load up the logs into the woodburner, then escape with a good read from the full bookcase, or make a night of it with the quiz games and cards.
You’re right next to the winery and shop. So load up on quality Dart Valley wines and artisan produce. Or pop out to Circa, the ethical, seasonal on-site restaurant with menus that include beef carpaccio and smoked mackerel pate. Or cook for yourself on the electric oven with five-burner induction hob.
Keep the fridge full with deliveries from Sainsbury’s and Asda. Shop for meat from Savill’s the butcher, fruit and veg from Annie’s and fish from Boat2Door. Get all eight together around the oak table or eat out on the terrace with views of the vineyard. Accompany your meals with a sparkling elderflower or Pinot Noir Rosé from the estate.
Stoke Gabriel’s one of those Devon villages with an 800-year-old oak tree in the churchyard. But it also comes with two pubs: The Church House Inn and The Castle, which is a top choice for Sunday lunch. Or head to Totnes for West Country rump steak or chicken, ham hock and leek pie at The Royal Seven Stars.
Restaurants? Watch the river life roll by from the terrace at The River Shack in Stoke Gabriel, serving you everything from American-style pancakes to fig and goats’ cheese bruschetta to coffee and cake. Or maybe Emma’s, offering rave reviews for its quality British dishes such as seafood platter, smoked-duck salad, and banoffee pie.
The gentle buzz of the artisan shop and wine store next door gives way to complete silence at five o’clock closing time, leaving you in a tranquil wooded valley that, when paired with mattress protectors and toppers, speeds you to slumberland.
The three upstairs bedrooms are superking, zip-and-link divans giving you family flexibility over your sleeping arrangements.
Bedroom one, the master, comes with its own bathroom and will fit a cot, while bedrooms two and three also have private bathrooms. Downstairs, bedroom four is a king offering a private bathroom and step-free access for those with restricted mobility.