Combe House at Gittisham - where David and his wife Gill enjoyed a well-deserved rest
The simple splendour of the Elizabethan manor Combe House left an everlasting impression with David and Gill Snelling.
The couple were invited to enjoy its 3,500 acres of tranquil estate at Gittisham, a film location for a Rosamunde Pilcher novel.
The Devonshire couple from Ivybridge were particularly taken with the hospitality offered by their hosts and Combe House owners Ruth and Ken Hunt.
Gill said: "The break was beneficial for both of us. It was a perfect place and the hospitality was marvellous. It did us both the world of good.
Since David's stroke I have noticed a definite improvement in him. He still goes to visit Henry nearly everyday and he is taking him out for short walks again, although nothing too strenuous."
David, a former chef and hotel manager, said: "We were overwhelmed with Combe House. Everything was perfect from the room to the food. Having been trained in the hotel industry I recognise quality and there is no doubt the accommodation and food was absolutely first class.
Although the hotel has a fine reputation in the West Country, I wasn't expecting such a high quality all-round service. It was superb.
The Caroline interior of Combe is the essence of an English Country Home, with treasured antiques, carved oak panelling and 18th Century portraits. Each of the 15 bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, have their own warmth and spacious charm. Many command views across the woods and meadows to the stunning Blackmoor Hills . All of the bedrooms are individually designed with comfortable furnishings and fine antiques.
For all the elegance and grandeur of the house, Ken and Ruth Hunt have created a uniquely informal and relaxed atmosphere. Their team of friendly and caring staff provide attentive yet unobtrusive service to create the warmth and tranquillity of a country family home.
Ken and Ruth have adopted Operation Henry as their chosen charity after losing two close family members to cancer. Ruth said: "I have a high regard for David. Not only is he contemplating a 2,000 km trek across Europe with a mule he still plans to do it once he has fully recovered from a stroke. And he is doing it all in aid of two cancer charities, a cause close to our hearts.
As a paradise for walkers, the countryside surrounding Combe House offers the coastal path from Lyme Regis to Branscombe, or the rugged open spaces of Dartmoor and Exmoor. For further details contact Ken or Ruth Hunt on 01404 540400.