Located in Plymouth, Boringdon Hall Hotel has been famously named “the enchanted place on the hill” – and it definitely is. Driving up to the hotel, it was clear to see that this 5* hotel is truly magnificent, from it’s magically imposing nature and detailed history – both of which add to the character of this luxurious building. Let me give you a brief history as I was simply fascinated! This Devonshire manor house hotel became crown property of Henry VIII in 1539, and later became a local favourite of his courtier, the Earl of Southampton. The house then became property of the Parker family in 1750 where it was used as a humble farmhouse until 1920. In 1989, the house was converted into a hotel where it was then destroyed by a fire. In 2011, the Nettleton family purchased Boringdon Hall and turned it into a destination hotel and spa, where it now has been awarded 5 stars and 3 AA Rosettes – and boy does it deserve it!
Upon arrival my bags were taken to my room, and I was greeted by a member of concierge who offered me the most delicious elderflower lemonade and gave me a tour of the building. Shortly after this I was taken to my room which was outstanding! If you love relaxing and spending time by yourself, like me, this hotel is definitely for you. I stayed in the absolutely beautiful Isabella Room, which boasted a gorgeous four-poster bed and a free-standing bath. The most interesting part? A wardrobe in the corner, that has survived two fires and dates back to 1940. The room also contained a vanity table, desk with two comfy armchairs, a full length mirror and a stunning wet room full of delightful ESPA toiletries. Every bedroom has been restored with meticulous effort to reinvent the dramatic architecture that once shaped Boringdon Hall.
Before dinner, I sat in the Great Hall taking in the surroundings with a G&T made with the famous Boringdon Gin paired with a duo of canopes consisting of Salmon Tartar on a Nori Cracker and a Goats Cheese and Beetroot Tart. A pre-amuse bouche later once seated at my table, the starters arrived and they were delicious. I have to say this was one of the best dishes I’ve eaten so far this year – Smoked Potato Gnocchi with Puffed Rice. It was amazing. The flavours were incredible and the different textures complimented the dish perfectly.
Next, the main course arrived and I was in awe. Not only for the detail and effort that had gone into creating this stunning dish, but also the portion sizes! Freshly-caught Halibut, katsu spice, pickled ginger and puffed rice was an absolutely stunning plate of locally-sourced fresh ingredients that caught my taste buds completely by surprise. The halibut was perfectly cooked and moist to cut, the breaded prawns on the side were absolutely mouth-watering and the katsu spice helped to marry everything together perfectly. I also opted to have the Truffle and Parmesan Polenta on the side, which was truly enjoyable. Compliments to the chef were thoroughly deserved and I couldn’t praise Scott enough. I would recommend the Gallery Restaurant time and time again, as it was extremely obvious that the kitchen had so much more to offer.
Last but not least was dessert – an absolute game-changer. The whole restaurant absolutely deserves the 3 AA Rosettes it has been awarded, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Michelin Star was on its way. Not only do the desserts look the part, but they taste it as well. I opted for the Chocolate Orange. On first glance at the menu, this dish gave nothing away so I was more than intrigued to put my trust in the previous dishes I had sampled, and hope that something spectacular was on the way. It was the full package. Rich, chocolate orange mousse encased by an orange jelly served with confit orange sorbet – absolutely outstanding! I imagine this dish would be stunning during the festive season, and I hope to see it appear on a Christmas menu in the future.
Boringdon Hall has an absolutely amazing addition – Gaia Spa. A tranquil haven of simplicity, relaxation and pure bliss. Of all the spa retreats I have been on thus far, this was by far the best with so much to offer! From delightful food in the Spatisserie, body relaxing spa treatments and everything in-between. The Spatisserie served a light lunch menu created to nourish your body, all which could be washed down with a selection of champagne or teas and juices. After resting my mind and body in the relaxation room, I was greeted by a therapist to begin my treatments. I had the signature Gaia Back Ritual followed by the IS Fire and Ice Facial. Both treatments were absolutely superb. We started off the treatments with a sensory experience to determine which oils my body was drawn to. I went in to the treatments wanting to feel relaxed, and surprisingly my body reacted best to the Balancing Oil. Unlike other spas, it was interesting to learn that Gaia Spa has an exclusive range of products following three years of global research to source the right ingredients. The products are split into 3 different categories: Awakening, Balancing, and Calming. The Gaia Back Ritual involved a therapeutic back cleanse using a Clarisonic brush followed by exfoliation with Gaia’s own unique body scrub, before the Gaia mud mask was applied in sweeping motions to detoxify and cleanse. Afterwards the mud was removed with a hot towel, and my back was then massaged with hot stones using the Gaia Balancing Oil. After the Back Ritual was complete, we then began the process for the Fire and Ice Facial. This is a brightening and tightening treatment, to address problematic skin and encourage cell renewal. Words cannot explain how great my skin looked after this – I would 100% recommend!
Refreshed and relaxed, I made my way into the main spa area which completely took my breath away! Out of all the spas I have been to both in the UK and abroad, Gaia Spa is completely faultless! From experience showers, a pore-cleansing crystal salt steam room (my favourite!) and a stunning infinity pool – it is the perfect venue to relax away the day and leave feeling revitalised.
All in all, with superb accommodation, delicious food and a 5* spa experience this is without a doubt Devon’s best spa. I can’t wait to return for another visit and see what else Boringdon Hall has to offer!
Love, Aysh x