Luxury in Devon

Cider House Journal

Cider House Shepherd Huts - the build has begun!!


Work has now started on our 2 pairs of bespoke shepherds huts.

We wanted to recreate the experience of our rooms but in a secluded coppice with breathtaking views of the Abbey and Estate giving guests the opportunity to experience something really special, something that had not been done before and so began the creation of the #bestshepherdshutsever

We fell in love with the craftsmanship of the Blackdown Shepherd Huts, they really do standout for their quality and that is exactly what we wanted, but no matter how we juggled the interior we just could not fit everything into one of their 18ft huts that we wanted - in all fairness given we wanted a permanent double bed, woodburner, large roll top bath - not one you would have to make a dash in the rain to get to, but likewise could open the window next to it and feel you were bringing the outside in, a kitchen - complete with oven, fridge and hob, dining area etc and still feel you had space to relax..... So we succumbed and bought 2 to join together!!

So this is the front one of each pair - we just couldn't fit everything into one and we didn't want to move away from the traditional dimensions - they are beautifully crafted by Blackdown Shepherd Huts and attention to detail is absolutely their trade mark, as is offering a bespoke service - although I think we may be reaching exciting new realms even for them!

Looking closely you will see there will be a skylight over the bed - we don't have any light pollution where we are and the stars are simply stunning - guests will be able to lie in bed and watch them - how fabulously romantic!!

So who is our market? Anyone who is looking for something unique and special, who wants to spoil a loved one, get away from it all, switch off (literally - whilst mobile reception is good and we have USB charging points and LED lights, main electric and wi-fi these will not have ), those who have a love of the great outdoors - we chose their fabulous secluded positions for their breath taking views - this is what they look down on!

And whilst guests will need to be aware that their fabulously, indulgent, bolt hole lies a 10minute walk from the car - panic not, not only we will have wellies on loan for those who may require them but to take guests and their belongings both up for check in and back down at check out we are rather excited to introduce our new ex-military Supacat! Having retired from it's missile launching career, in light of its super-low impact on the land it makes it the perfect choice, that and the fact that it is AMAZING FUN to ride in!!

The Cider House Shepherd Huts experience is going to be one like no other! Bookings will open in the next few weeks- why not sign up on our website to keep in touch with how the build is progressing and most importantly the launch of our bookings! Especially if you are looking for the perfect retreat, escape, unique, luxious and fun holiday for any reason, a Birthday, an Anniversary, a Proposal, a Honeymoon or for no other reason than you want to indulge, have fun and get back to nature - Cider House is raising the bar, get ready to experience #thebestshepherdshutsever !!

To be or not to be - a Bed and Breakfast....


Having rather enjoyed the star studded tribute to Shakespeare's 400th anniversary, particularly the "To be or not to be" tribute, whilst I appreciate it is a somewhat tenuous link, all the same I felt it gave me an opportunity to aknowledge the lovely lady to whom I spoke recently. Having booked to stay with us - clearly a lady of exceptional taste, style and appreciation - as part of her travels around the South West, I was asked for recommendations of onward places to stay.

I love unique retreats, boutique hotels (although I have never quite liked the word boutique- personally I prefer stylish) idyllic boltholes and the like and as we are relatively new in our venture - we are 2yrs on from the renovation - but with huge motivation to offer an exceptional experience to every guest, we are only to aware that holding true to your brand whilst being aware of similar offerings is important - well that is the reasoning I offer my husband when he finds me scanning through some of the fabulous places to stay, dropping overt hints about necessary research tends to fall on deaf ears! I digress, the point being I recommended a number of the list of places we have much admired and aspired to, when evolving Cider House - Cornwall is where I grew up and as such I am always delighted to talk with enthusiasm to guests about an onward journey in that direction, in fairness I am always delighted to talk about most things..... In no particular order I mentioned 3 from my list, to be met with "Yes, they do sound lovely but they sound as if they are small hotels (they were) and not Bed and Breakfasts - we specifically choose to stay in Bed and Breakfasts for the unique experience they offer." - there are many fabulous such places West of ourselves and I was able to suggest a number, but what she had said really resonated with me. We love Cider House - we really love it and feel blessed to live here, we loved it even through the build when we were devoid of hot water and heating and due to sporadic electrics went to bed with head torches on, it always has had such a special feel about it, we often refer to Cider House as a "home which loves to be lived in" but when we thought about our marketing and branding, for some reason the term Bed and Breakfast seemed to jar with us, perhaps due to outdated associations of a Bed and Breakfast establishments offering a less luxurious experience, more practical and functional, than spoiling and indulgent and as such our eye was often drawn to the small hotels, as for us, this conjured up something more in keeping with that we were creating.

But, we are not a hotel, we do not have a restaurant - although we are currently juggling with potential options for a supper hamper, watch this space! - we don't have a spa - although again, hold on to your hats as we may be able to create a treat or two in that department too - what we offer is our beautiful home for guests to enjoy; stylish, indulgent bedrooms, aga cooked, home grown and reared breakfasts but most of all attention to detail in every aspect and a genuine love of what we do - we meet amazing people, from all walks of life and continuously give credit to the fact that Cider House offers the most wonderful filter - it brings us lovely guests!

Being set at the heart of a National Trust Estate, in award winning gardens, with 700acres on the doorstep to roam and enjoy, a Grade I Abbey to explore and Dartmoor and the beach within striking distance, we love where we live and take huge pleasure enabling our guests to enjoy it too. In our view, we could not offer the level of attention to detail, the personal touch nor, - selfishly- would we gain the enjoyment of it, if we were a hotel, as all of that would be diluted. We are enormously proud and feel blessed to live the life we do, owning a Bed and Breakfast - a rather luxurious and stylish one! - not a small hotel, that is our brand and as we look back through our guest book it underpins the highs and praise of every review. And so we choose "to be" rather than "not to be" a B&B!

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