Last weekend we finished off a family holiday exploring South Devon with a stay at Lower Coombe Royal right in the middle of the South Hams. Set in 8 and a half acres of grounds filled with beautiful specimen trees and play areas, this is an amazing spot for a family holiday. When we arrived we were shown around The Royal House, where we were to stay by the lovely Susi Titchener, owner, visionary and creator of very fine organic muesli. We were wowed by a hamper stuffed full of local organic produce from apple juice to lemon drizzle cake, made just down the road. Every visitor receives this bountiful gift when they arrive and in the summer months, this is accompanied by a basket full of organic fruit and veg from a local farm.
The house itself was perfect, beautifully decorated with organic fabrics from Vanessa Arbuthnott and reclaimed furniture. As far as the children were concerned the best room in the house was the huge playroom, packed full of toys that Susi’s children have outgrown. Many a happy hour was spent playing games, putting on plays in the puppet theatre and thrashing their dad at table football. Floor to ceiling windows looked out over the grounds and a stream fed pond that often hosts kingfisher and many other birds.
Upstairs in the three bedrooms (1 huge double, 1 twin with incredible antique beds and 1 with a bunk bed and single) had been made up for our arrival with organic linens and feather duvets, which ensured a magical night’s sleep. Lower Coombe Royal has its own range of natural toiletries available in the sumptuous bathrooms and Earth Friendly Baby products were provided in the family bathroom. Other touches included natural cleaning products, an impressive recycling system and a well stocked log pile for the fire.
We were so comfortable and happy there is was difficult to tear ourselves away but we did manage once or twice and have these recommendations for other things to do in the area (besides exploring the grounds and discovering secret paths, hidden play areas and clusters of snowdrops).
BEST PLACE FOR LUNCH
Cranks, at nearby Dartington Cider Press offers all the old favourites including homity pie and a good range of vegan and gluten-free meals too. We were inspired by the daily changing salads that come with every meal and of course, needed to have a nose around the shops and studio afterwards to admire beautiful jewellery, glassware and ceramics. One of the shops – My Time – is packed with an impressive array of natural beauty brands including Dr Hauschka and Neal’s Yard.
BEST PLACE FOR A WALK
Dartmoor is an incredible place for a family walk – the 368 acres of moorland are criss-crossed with paths and many will take you to rugged tors and past ancient megalithic sites. We discovered a bronze age stone circle and watched the sunset from atop a massive tor. It was quite awesome.
BEST FOR SUPPLIES
The market town of Kingsbridge is packed with independents, which will hopefully survive the introduction of massive multinational behemoth moving in on the outskirts of town. We got together a delicious supper sourced from deli, Mangetout; fishmonger, Catch of the Day; wine merchants, Red and White and the friendly greengrocers at the bottom of the hill.
We have to go back because there is so much more to discover that we didn’t get a chance to on this trip. And there’s still some availability at Lower Coombe Royal this spring so…
Welcome to the new blog from the Green Parent office. Here we'll talk about what's going on in the small and quite leafy headquarters of the UK's leading green lifestyle magazine. We'll share news that interests us and talk about green issues and natural parenting. We'll share advice and information from our own experiences of living a green lifestyle. And we'll even tell you what we are reading, eating, drinking and thinking. Hope you get plenty of food for thought here.