Huntsham Court: A weekend of fun, frolics and fine-dining at this Devon countryside estate
Words Miriam Carey
This year saw the 150th anniversary of Huntsham Court, a grand Baronial mansion in the Devon countryside. Originally built in 1868, the gothic estate bridges the gap between hotel and country home. Huntsham Court is a private hire mansion. Guests who stay have full reign of the house, can supply their own food and alcohol with no corkage fee, bring their dogs, put their feet on the furniture and relax in every room with no limitations. It is the ultimate home from home.
Things to do
Set in a magnificent five-acre garden within the rolling Devon countryside, there is certainly no shortage of things to do here. If the weather is good, get out and explore the grounds. The estate also makes the perfect base for venturing into the nearby countryside where you can try your hand at bell ringing, archery, shooting or fencing. If the weather is cold and dreary, you may prefer to explore the house. Get lost in a book in the library, thrash out a tune on one of the many organs, or organise a pamper evening and wine tasting.
The estate boasts 35 spacious, comfortable and lavishly decorated bedrooms. These are where the artistic background and penchant for antiques of co-owner Damian Llambias comes across. Loud colour palettes, four-poster beds, free-standing bath tubs, chinoiserie, grand mirrors, and a baby-pink fireplace scream opulence and fun, but at the same time manage to maintain good taste. There is no wifi or TV in the bedrooms which is a great help in switching off from the outside world and encourages guests to venture downstairs
to spend time in the communal areas.
The Ginger Peanut in Bampton is a must-visit during your stay. This gorgeous pub is the sister venue of Huntsham Court and is a gastronomic destination in its own right. We enjoyed starters of deep fried poached duck egg with pancetta, portuguese style pan-fried sardines and beetroot salad with candied walnuts and blue cheese. These were followed by show-stopping mains, including a fillet of sea trout, a rump of lamb and a 28-day, Himalayan salt-aged rib rump of beef.