Over the Bank Holiday Weekend (Sunday – Wednesday to be exact) my boyfriend and I took the long drive from Cheshire to Devon. The boyfriend had booked us into Fleur’s Retreat in Stanford. About 20 miles from Exeter, situated in the rolling hills of Devon, we spent three nights in the field of a family home.
At the bottom of the field, tucked away is the beautifully furnished pod with the essentials; bed, storage, cooking utensils and everything you need to start the fire. There is a table with a couple of benches for you to enjoy the food you’ve made on the fire or gas stove provided. In the corner is a little hut which houses the compost loo, which indeed was an experience. Inside the pod are some blankets and board games, which led to many a game of Scrabble… yes we really are about 55 (and I won the ‘Scrabble Championship’ as I had named it). The ‘Poison Shed’ at the top of the hill, next to where you park your car has a kitchen with a seating area and all of the essentials (hob, toaster, microwave etc) and a bathroom with toilet and shower. These facilities are really good, and I like how it’s separate from the pod, but jeeez that hill definitely made up for the fact I couldn’t get to the gym!
On arrival we were greeted by Bea (the owner and mother of Fleur, whom the pod is named after) who had left us a bottle of Cava and some cheeses. We were then left to settle in and wait for the lovely dinner Bea had cooked for us. Before our arrival Bea had sent over a menu of lovely meals she was able to cook for us; at a charge of £20. As we’d spent a fair few hours travelling down we decided to take her up on this offer, and went for the chicken, chips and salad – it was lovely and well worth the money.
On Bank Holiday Monday we took a 45 minute drive to Powderham castle. The reviews online were really good so we had high hopes! We usually like to have a snoop around ourselves, but we couldn’t enter the castle unless we took a guided tour. This was included in the £10 (£11.50 for adults) admission fee, so after a walk around the grounds we only had a 5 minute wait for the next tour. I would 100% recommend this tour, the lady who took us round was really fun and engaging, and super knowledgeable! It’s was also really interesting to find that the family are actually moving back in soon – so it will be a working castle again!
After the tour we took a trip to the gift shop where I bought some fudge, yum! We then headed to the animals, which was again included in the price. The animal area was really good, with loads of chickens, horses, goats etc. My favourite was this tortoise who was roaming around munching on grass! The child in me wanted to plant a sunflower seed so I donned the watering can and took my little pot home.
On the way back to the pod we stopped at Mill on the Exe for some food and a drink. I went with a local cider brewed in Devon and cajun fried chicken with chips. It was absolutely gorgeous – definitely the best chicken I’ve ever had! The views were amazing too – if you drive past, get yourself in there.
On Tuesday we decided to take a drive to Dartmoor, and I’m so glad we did! The Sat Nav took us through some of the thinnest and windiest roads I’ve ever seen but when we arrived it was breathtaking. We spent a while taking in the views (whilst dodging the Dartmoor ponies and sheep!) and stopped off for an ice-cream.
Tuesday night we stopped off for a quick meal at a local pub and then back to the pod to toast marshmallows by the fire, in prep for the long drive ahead the following day.
If you are looking for a few nights relaxing away from it all, Fleurs Retreat is perfect. It’s £90 a night for the pod and is an amazing experience. I’d definitely look into a glamping experience again… but maybe not one on such a huge hill! I also shared my trip on Instagram, so come over and say hey!
Where is your favourite place to go in the UK? We are thinking York next!
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