Adventures In Wonderland: Glazebrook House, Devon
“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland
When life hands you lemons, leave London behind and head for the countryside for some respite...
Then make lemonade.
In the heart of Dartmoor National Park in South Brent, set in beautifully secluded grounds, you will find a luxury boutique hotel like no other. Inspired by the stories of Alice in Wonderland, Glazebrook House offers guests a truly unique experience bursting with style, sophistication and oodles of personality. With 8 themed bedrooms including the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, Glazebrook House breathes life into the characters of Lewis Carroll through exquisite design and gorgeous detailing.
Through the grand stone entrance illuminated by magnificent chandeliers is where you enter Glazebrook's Wonderland; a warm, enchanting environment filled with delightful surprises. At the heart of the house, the large, open reception area creates a remarkable first impression: quirky wall art lives in harmony with cozy leather sofas, while an aeroplane wing resides as the reception desk and a flamingo statue stands proudly as the doorman. But beyond the eccentric interior, there's an overwhelming feeling of comfort and familiarity that is wholly befitting.
With sun beaming through the double windows, the king-sized bed lined entirely with sheepskin takes centre stage. Above the headboard, two giant playing cards smile pleasantly over towards the doorway. Opposite the bed hanging above an gorgeous fireplace is an ultra-modern 3D TV with two plush armchairs, perfectly positioned for ultimate couch-potato comfort. Next to the window is a beautiful contemporary desk worthy of Lewis Carroll himself, which cradles an in-room iPad (and of course, WiFi is available in all rooms). Inside the giant oak wardrobe to the left of the bed is a vast amount of storage space for all your fabulous fashion, a hairdryer, two deluxe robes and a selection of complimentary drinks and snacks.
Next to the wardrobe is the bathroom, complete with a free-standing bath tub, a spacious walk-in shower, underfloor heating and matching marble sinks topped with The White Company toiletries. Complementing the contemporary bathroom design, the Wonderland theming continues with giant letters hanging pride of place above a marble table where a message-in-a-bottle-style ornament sits thoughtfully.
Although style is prevalent in every corner of the White Rabbit, there is no sense of superiority - just of good ol' fashioned fun executed to the highest level of sophistication and solely for the enjoyment of those over the age of 16.
After indulging in the luxury interiors, we headed downstairs to the bar in search of some alcoholic accompaniments. An intimate lounge dotted with more cozy leather sofas, the bar is the ideal environment to get acquainted with the drinks menu while enjoying the beautiful gardens. An extensive variety of wines, champagnes, beers, spirits and cocktails are available to please all palates. Being a gin fiend, I ordered the Apple Blossom cocktail - a light, refreshing mix of gin, elderflower and apple juice - while Tom ordered a beer (typical man) before heading into the restaurant.
With a menu designed by Master Chef winner Anton Piotrowski and his talented team, we couldn't wait to taste the culinary delights. Glazebrook House offers two menus; à la carte and an 8-course tasting menu. Opting for the à la carte menu, our feast began with amuse bouches, I nibbled on fish bonbons while Tom devoured the beef and mustard croquettes. Palettes awakened by these modest mouthfuls of heaven, we awaited our starters.
I chose the native lobster with Marie Rose bavarois, red pepper ketchup and tomato gel while Tom tucked into the courgette soup. Served in a martini glass, my lobster dish looked every bit as fabulous as it tasted.
After two delectable dishes, our hopes were tremendously high for our main courses. I was served my seaweed baked stone bass with shellfish, lemon gnocchi and sauce vierge while Tom dined on a trio of pork with sage hash brown, chorizo jam and curried apple. With lots of elements and complementing flavours, the stone bass was flaky and cooked to perfection while the lemon gnocchi stole my heart. A very impressive fish dish perfect for a fish lover like me.
With bursting bellies, we perused dessert menu but my decision was made immediately. The waitress kindly waited for our mains to settle before the salted caramel fondant with peanut brittle ice-cream was delivered to our table. Quite honestly, it was one of the best desserts that I've ever had the pleasure of tasting (although I am slightly biased towards salted caramel). Unfortunately for him, Tom could only manage a latte but being a dedicated foodie, I soldiered on through my dessert until it was an ambrosial memory then plodded back upstairs to the White Rabbit with an enormous, satisfied smile on my face.
Feeling refreshed after a blissful night's sleep, we made our way downstairs for breakfast. With coffee and green tea on order, I wandered over to the continental buffet where I prepared a bowl of fresh berries topped with greek yoghurt and choose to admire (rather than gorge) on the the pastries.
Soon, our hot breakfasts arrived; smoked salmon and scrambled egg on a homemade bellini for me and eggs Benedict for Tom. Within minutes, our plates were clean. The smoked salmon dish was so perfect, I could've eaten two! Soft, buttery scrambled egg accompanied the finest smoked salmon while the bellini base made it all the more interesting. Fat, dumb and happy, we bimbled back upstairs to gather our belongings and check out.
Reflecting on our evening of pure unadulterated pleasure, we said goodbye to Glazebrook House. The wonderful ambience, the faultless service, the creature comforts, the distinct personality and the mouth-watering food are simply a few of the reasons to visit this impressive establishment. Our experience was infallible and much more muchier than we could ever have imagined and we can't wait to return to Wonderland.
Where is your next trip taking you?