Sea Trout Inn
TEL: 01803 762274
FAX: 01803 762506 „
I have been a visitor to the Sea Trout Inn for many years and have just returned from my usual September stay there. I have to say that this particular visit was made very special by the new owners. A lovely young couple have taken over who are making noticeable changes. They have built a new team in a relatively short time who are all well informed , friendly and willing to go that extra mile to make our stay extra special. We ate in the restuarant nightly and the food this time was exceptional. Andrew, the new head chef has devised a very good menu. I can particulary recommend the venison casserole or the brisket pot roast. My wife had slow roast belly pork and sea trout which looked like art on a plate. Samantha and Jason informed me of a planned refurbishment which will bring back some sparkle to some of the tired furnishings. We cannot wait until our next visit.
Periodically I have a small job, which necessitates staying overnight in South Devon. I am fortunate that I have my overnight accomodation paid for. I don't know about you, but if I am away for the odd night, I tend to plump for the local Travelodge, or similar! I had not done the job for quite a long time, and in the meantime became involved with my significant other who, coincidentally, lives in Devon, quite near Dartington, where I was working. As I get an allowance for the hotel, it seemed sensible to use it. Now, whilst there is nothing wrong with the Travelodge, it is not the ideal place for a romantic tryst. So, thanks to the wonders of the world wide web, I set off to find somewhere a little bit nicer, but without being stupidly expensive. I was very pleasantly surprised to find the Sea Trout Inn at Staverton. Do excuse me, whilst I wax lyrical about this marvellous and not outrageously priced, little hostelry! The Sea Trout Inn is a small inn, comprising accomodation, restaurants , lovely gardens and bars. It is in the Dart Valley, only moments walk from the river Dart, and is in a peaceful and rural location. It is an olde worlde pub, white, low ceilinged with beams. On arriving there is a spacious car park in which you can unload and safely leave your car without too many worries, unlike the Travelodge! The Inn has 10 bedrooms, a mixture of doubles and singles. They also have a special double bedroom with a four poster bed with French windows opening onto the garden. The rooms are homely and designed in a cottage style. It is all a little bit chintzy, but I thought that was in keeping with the age of the place, and was rather nice. Each room is en-suite and immaculately clean. They have armchairs, dressing tables and plenty of storage space in the wardrobes. There are also tea and coffee making facilities, a colour television and direct dial telephones in every room. We had a very pleasant, ordinary room overlooking the garden. We were provided with an inordinate quantity of towels and the usual smelly bathroom bits and bobs. These were particularly nice, as they were in rather sweet little plastic bottles rather than those horrid sachets, which I have such difficulty opening! Has anyone noticed how foul shampoo tastes when you inadvertently bite off too large a segment and get a mouthful?! The room had a peaceful atmosphere and felt very homely. We immediately felt at ease with our surroundings. In the room, had we needed them, were many leaflets with information on things to do locally, and nice walks etc. When we arrived at the hotel we were immediately greeted at reception, by a very pleasant and polite young lady who checked us in. I was impressed that other than the usual offer of morning newspapers we were given fresh milk for our room. This was much nicer than having homogenised milk in our tea, not that we had much as it happened! We had booked a table for dinner, although we could have opted for a snack at the bar. There are two parts to the restaurant, one is an airy conservatory and the other a slightly more formal affair, with starched white linen, sparkling glass and silver cutlery. We opted for the formal area. I thought to myself that it would probably go way over my expenses budget!! It didn't! The menu was varied, and featured a lot of local produce. The Sea Trout Inn prides itself on using locally farmed poultry, sausages and bacon. It even uses some local cheeses and as you would expect, the ubiquitous Devon clotted cream. We both chose scampi and had very large glasses of an exceedingly tasty and aromatic red wine. We finished off with coffee. The meal was superb and cost us £20 including the drinks. The portions were very generous, too. The restaurant was lovely. There were many paintings on the wall, which John was itching to go and look at, but there w ere people eating in front of most of them, so he couldn't. Don't you think that is inconsiderate of them?! Some of the paintings were by local artists, some of Dartmoor and some of animals, especially fish. There were also some stuffed fish in cases around the place. It seemed that at least some of the paintings were for sale, but as I said, we couldn't really get a close look. The restaurant is open on Monday to Saturday evenings, and for lunch on Sundays. There is a choice of a la carte or two or three course set meals. Vegetarians are well provided for, with some nice choices and a bit of variety. Dogs are allowed to stay with you in the hotel, but they are not allowed, understandably, in the restaurant. The hotel is at pains to point out that if your canine creates chaos, you pick up the bill! The prices are not at all bad. A double room will cost you £32-37 per person per night bed and breakfast, depending on the season. If you want the four poster you have to pay a supplement of £4. Well that isn't going to break the bank! A single room is £45-49.50 pp pn b&b, according to the season. There is a discount for short stays and a special weekly rate and children sharing their parents room cost £10. They are not too keen to book single Saturdays, although we managed to get one by booking at short notice. The reasoning behind this is that they get mostly long weekend bookings. I suppose you can see why they are not so keen to tie up the middle night! We will try booking late next time again and hope for the best. If it doesn't work I suppose it will be back to the Travelodge! If you are interested in dinner, bed and breakfast, you can book at their special rate, provided that you stay for a minimum of two nights. The cost is £45-52 for a double room, there again, per person per night. The bar was also very good, it had a roaring log fire and an extremely fine cellar of real ales, if that is your thing. It is certainly mine! After we had eaten we went for a moonlit stroll - romantic, or what? It was as well the night was clear, as there is no lighting, as you would expect in a little hamlet. It was peaceful with hardly any cars, so that we could safely swagger all over the road and took great delight in doing so whilst gazing skywards at the stars. I am not saying what happened next on the grounds that I might incriminate myself! Suffice to say, we spent a very comfortable night. It was nice to have armchairs in the room, so that we could sit and chat for a while. You aren't getting any more than that! Breakfast was a wonderful affair, there was a choice of full English, continental breakfast, kippers, ham and cheese, and toast all made from local organic produce, as before. It even told you in the menu from which farm you could purchase their magnificent sausages. Before your cooked breakfast there is a choice of fresh fruit salad and cereals with orange juice. You can have unlimited tea and coffee. I thoroughly enjoyed breakfast, it was a very civilised affair. The inn is set in lovely countryside, with super walks. If you are into trains, there is an old steam train line very close by, with all the old carriages in a siding, which you can look at. Staverton also has an old church which is very attractive. We really enjoyed our walk and the peaceful ambience of the place. It was wonderful for recharging the batteries. We both adored the place and had a wonderful stay there. Staverton is close to Dartington and Totnes, and can easily be accessed from the A38 Devon Expressway, from where it is signposted. If you want to combine it with a bit of shopping, Plymouth anmd Exeter are both about half an hour away. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel for a night away or romantic weekend. Our total bill for one nights dinner, bed and breakfast, all drinks and a moring paper w as £90. For a slightly more special night away we thought it was good value for money. After all, this was a quality inn, not a mass produced roadside motel! Don't just trust our recommendation, though! You will find that the Sea Trout Inn is Egon Ronay recommended and it is also in the Good Pub Guide. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed. We can't wait for a replay!