Maidencombe,TQ1 4SX ,Torquay
Orestone Manor reopens for the season on 1st Feb Strategically perched on the South Devon hills, Orestone Manor commands fabulous views down to the glittering expanse Lyme Bay over half a mile of open countryside. The house dates from 1809, and was once home to John Callcott Horsley, the designer of the first Christmas card (and whose portrait of his brother-in-law Isambard Kingdom Brunel hangs in the National Portrait Gallery). Orestone is an intimate family-run country house rather than a typical Riviera hotel. With its high ceilings, spacious rooms, Lloyd loom furniture in the palm-fringed conservatory and cosy drawing room warmed in winter by open fires, there is a touch of the Old Colonial, but all the creature comforts are up-to-the-minute. The fourteen generously-sized bedrooms are each decorated with a special theme and most enjoy wonderful sea views. The two AA Rosette-winning dining room serves modern European cuisine that makes full use of local produce and is widely regarded as one of South Devon's finest. Orestone Manor is just 300 yards from the South Devon Heritage Coast footpath, which takes in spectacular scenery as well as access to glorious beaches and coves. The lovely villages and resorts of the English Riviera, Dartmoor, and a plethora of National Trust properties, gardens and historic sites all lie within an hour's drive.