Luxury East Devon guesthouse and restaurant retreat set for spring 2021 opening

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 November 2020 | UPDATED: 10:46 16 November 2020

The late Georgian vicarage has been praised for its tranquil location and idyllic views over the Devon countryside. Photo: George Chesterton

The late Georgian vicarage has been praised for its tranquil location and idyllic views over the Devon countryside. Photo: George Chesterton

Archant

Couple return to family home with plans to convert it into food and experienced-based venue

The menus will showcase the exceptional meat, fish and poultry they have on their immediate doorstep. Photo: Glebe HouseThe menus will showcase the exceptional meat, fish and poultry they have on their immediate doorstep. Photo: Glebe House

Plans have been unveiled for a new guesthouse, restaurant and 15-acre smallholding retreat which will open in East Devon in the sprint of 2021.

Six years ago, Hugo and Olive Guest had the idea to turn Glebe House - the family home and formerly family-run B&B - into a food and experience-based guest house.

Having spent many a summer holiday in Italy, the pair were inspired by the Italian concept of agroturismo to return to their roots and create their very own smallholding in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty.

In March 2020, the family made the decision to move down with their three-month-old baby, Rufus, to renovate this beautiful home into accommodation that offers five rooms plus an annexe, a restaurant celebrating local produce and a small farm with a select number of livestock and a polytunnel.

An illustration of what one of the bedrooms at Glebe House will look like. Photo: Studio AlexandraAn illustration of what one of the bedrooms at Glebe House will look like. Photo: Studio Alexandra

Retraining as a chef, Hugo has now worked at renowned London restaurants such as The Marksman and Robin Gill’s Sorella. He will be creating a menu that celebrates the bounty of local ingredients on their doorstep with a nod to their beloved Italian cuisine.

Nestled in the East Devon countryside, the restaurant at Glebe House will offer a regularly changing, fixed menu each one designed according to the season’s bounty and highlighting the exceptional meat, fish and poultry they have on their immediate doorstep. Local producers include Haye Farm Devon for organic pork, fruit and vegetables and Beer fisheries for sustainably caught fresh fish from the Lyme Bay Reserve.

Example dishes will include an indulgent salt haddock and egg yolk raviolo with leeks and roasted bone butter sauce; delicate agnolotti filled with a smoked potato mousseline with potato skin broth; côte de boeuf, heritage tomatoes and anchovy; grilled artichoke hearts, sorrel and aioli; preserved and marinated English sardines caught off the Devon coast; and Musquee De Provence pumpkin, ewe’s curd and a sort of pumpkin seed XO. Desserts include strawberry and elderflower custard tart, Amalfi lemon tart and apple pie with vanilla ice cream and norcino caramel.

For anything the surrounding hills can’t provide, the team will also be relying on their very own polytunnel, growing vegetables and edible flowers for the kitchen. The land will be home to a small selection of rare breed livestock, including chickens, cows and British Lop pigs, free to roam around their 1.5 acre woodland.

The late Georgian vicarage has been run as a B&B by Hugo’s parents since 1980, praised for its tranquil location and idyllic views over the Devon countryside. Now, with this new generation, the house is being lovingly renovated to include a 30-cover restaurant and five bedrooms plus an annexe. Amenities such as the tennis court and swimming pool will be open for the summer months while the on-site bakery and charcuterie room will host workshops and cookery classes for guests and visitors alike.

With its large windows and glass garden room, the guest house lends itself perfectly to a gallery space where many of Hugo and Olive’s favourite local artists’ work will be showcased and available to purchase - including some of Olive’s own abstract, botanical and landscape oil paintings.

The team at Studio Alexandra is overseeing the design that will accentuate the natural features of the house. A liberal use of colour and pattern will be used throughout, inspired by a recent family visit to The Bloomsbury Group’s home of Charleston, ensuring that each room will be just as homely and inviting as the next.

The restaurant at Glebe House will offer a regularly changing, fixed menu. Photo: Glebe HouseThe restaurant at Glebe House will offer a regularly changing, fixed menu. Photo: Glebe House

Already, in their first month of renovation, the team has unearthed many surprises from the old walls such as a hidden fireplace in one of the bedrooms and some natural sound insulation made from straw and sawdust from when the house was first built.

The smallholding is situated three miles from the South West Coast Path National Trail in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Guests will be able to take advantage of the numerous walking routes in the area along dramatic cliffs and the World Heritage site of the Jurassic Coast. The idyllic beaches provide picturesque locations for picnics and days out, surrounded by stunning countryside as well as many places of historical interest.

Bookings have now gone live on the Glebe House website, where you can keep up to date with the latest developments or follow them at @glebehousedevon

Join our Facebook group to keep up to date with the latest news, events and people in Devon

Latest from the Devon Life