Inside the Jolly B&B in Higher Gitcombe
PUBLISHED: 11:10 05 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:54 05 September 2016
Su Carroll finds a warm welcome at a Dartmouth B&B
Jolly by name, jolly by nature. If Paul and Lynnie have tired of the endless puns about their surname, they have the very good grace not to show it. The Jollys offer such a warm welcome that you will believe you are arriving at the home of long-standing, very dear friends rather than paying guests at their luxury, five-star boutique B&B at Higher Gitcombe near Dartmouth.
The couple have worked in the leisure industry for a long time and knew exactly what they wanted from their purpose-built country house on a quiet lane just ten minutes from Dartmouth and 15 from Totnes. They wanted it to be modern, stylish, yet cosy with all the useful technology possible, while still offering a traditional warm welcome. They have created the perfect marriage between style and substance with a beautiful home in lovely grounds and a quiet countryside setting.
Don’t just take my word for it. Paul and Lynnie were triumphant in Channel 4’s Four in a Bed programme last October which pitches four B&B owners against each other to see who offers the best value for money. They won, even though the other B&B owners were incredulous at the lavish breakfast they provided. But as Lynnie said: “We want people to leave Higher Gitcombe better than when they arrived.”
They certainly succeed on that front. A B&B has to get two essential ingredients right – the Bed and the Breakfast. First, to bed! The beautiful, individually designed rooms at Higher Gitcombe are crammed with individual touches – chocolates on the pillows, bowls of sweeties, toiletries – but the star of the show is undoubtedly the Super King Sized bed with Egyptian cotton linen. You don’t just get into bed, you sink into the bed and prepare to drift off to sleep.
Then… breakfast. In Four in a Bed, the other B&B owners were incredulous at the breakfasts on offer. How could they provide such a lavish breakfast and still make a profit?
The food is driven by the Jollys own passion for local food and drink and in this corner of the South Hams they are in the right place to take advantage of the excellent produce on offer.
Organic bacon and sausages come from Riverford Farm Shop, cheeses from Sharpham, organic juices from Luscombe, organic eggs come from local farm, artisan breads from Dartmouth, Totnes and Dartington Food Markets and they understand all about gluten free diets. We were sorry to leave Higher Gitcombe, but Lynnie achieved her ambition of us leaving better than when we arrived. Higher Gitcombe B&B, is at Cornworthy, Totnes. Tel 01803 712990 or visit highergitcombe.co.uk
Discover Dartmouth from Higher Gitcombe B&B. It’s got a great selection of shops, cafes and restaurants on the banks of the River Dart. In August (25-27) there was an excellent park and ride scheme to take you into the busy town for Dartmouth Royal Regatta. As well as sailing events, there were air displays – including the Red Arrows, Spitfire and Hurricane – lots to see on the ground, music performances and spectacular fireworks display.
It’s also great to visit in the autumn (October 21-23) for the brilliant Dartmouth Food Festival with a line-up of food demonstrations from great chefs, local producers and stalls selling all manner of local food and drink.