I am 110% biased about this place– if you do go along and for any reason don’t like it, please don’t tell me or I might cry or send you gone-off kippers in the post.
Back in the writing days of yonder, I was sent (with Mr B, bonus) to a tiny village called Chilington in Devon on an assignment about sea scavenging. This was a highpoint for me as I usually ended up with the dregs none of the editorial team wanted – previous form included a dodgy hotel in Newquay in a room 3cm squared, sleeping with my iPod turned up to drown out the screaming hen do banshees hurtling down the corridors all night.
The sea scavenging details are now hazy, all my memory will allow is that, desperate to catch something other than a piece of seaweed, we used one of our shoes as a 'net' in a rockpool and thought we were one-up when we nabbed a crab the size of petit pois, only to discover the women next to us had somehow imprisoned 5 crabs which were so big they could have served all the diners in your nearest Loch Fyne.
The Whitehouse hadn’t long opened when we first stayed and we immediately fell in love with its charm, décor and the amazing fresh Devon food. The gorgeous Georgian house has been renovated impeccably - it has 6 bedrooms, each with a smidgen of luxury, thoughtfully decked out with beds so comfy you have to forklifted out of them. And for techfanatics, there’s SKY, iPod docks and a Nespresso machine – which George Clooney has given his seal of approval. The piece de resistance is room 6 which has a bathroom bigger than our house – two huge rain showers each, two sinks and a bedroom-cum-lounge that I could happily rent out all year round.
Downstairs there’s a cosy snug room with sofas to lounge by the fire that’s always lit in the winter (and marshmallows on the mantle for toasting). The restaurant seats about 20 in total but the owner is pretty laid back about where you choose to dine and we were able to sit outside the snug area in a little romantic table for two.
The whole place has an intimate feel that other boutique hotels aim for but fall short of the mark. You’re left in peace without the obligatory enforced socialising that often puts me off a B&B and the bar is open pretty much 24/7 for whenever you fancy a tipple.
In fact, we loved the place so much that when Mr B popped the question a year later, we knew we immediately where we wanted to to be wed.
We were married on 18th December 2011 on a clear winter’s day and had exclusive hire of the entire house for the weekend -ie, total run of the place to create as many memories en masse with our favourite people for 48 hours straight. Our family dined with us the evening before the wedding in the smaller cinema room and on Sunday we became Mr & Mrs in the snug room, witnessed by 40 of our nearest and dearest. The food was a hit – gorgeous tapas starters, fresh sea bass and chocolate ganache – and from the amount of giant grins our photographer captured on the day, I’d say we made the right choice (both each other and the venue).
We’ve only made it back once so far – I was seven months pregnant, the size of a house and a totally unglam urine infection did not make for a relaxing anniversary but we shall return soon, minus ailments and slightly-less-rotund-tum. This getaway is one to ideally sink into minus kiddywinks though - you want to be selfishly sumptuous without having to locate wet wipes every five seconds and read That's Not My Monster/Egg/Giraffe for the 400th time, so save up some proper babysitting points and make a weekend of it.
Rooms start from £190 per night.
Additional images © mrandmrssmith.com telegraph.co.uk cooplaces.co.uk