A Devonshire escape to chase away the January blues at stunning Forager

A Devonshire escape to chase away the January blues at stunning Forager

With the magical festive season complete. And waving goodbye to one year and hello to the next, we were determined not to experience any of those January blues – and what better way than a weekend break? 

The sun was shining, the skies were oh-so-blue. It was a delightful Friday just before noon. With a skip in our step, we packed our bags, being sure to include our chunky knits and boots. Excitedly we set off on our adventure to gorgeous Forager near Dartmouth in South Devon, our home for the weekend. 

With the weather on our side, it felt the perfect time to stop off on route and explore Salcombe. With its picturesque harbour resting on the banks of the Kingsbridge estuary, the harbour was alive with boats setting sail. We wandered through the pretty town, taking our time browsing every shop window. Our eyes were drawn to the pinkest shop we have ever seen - Cranch's Sweetshop  - and Devon’s oldest sweet shop. We couldn’t resist a sweet treat, filling a pink and white striped paper bag with our favourite pick n mix. Saving our sweets for the journey, we made our way to Salcombe Harbour Hotel for lunch. As we stepped out on to the terrace, we were greeted with gorgeous panoramic views over the estuary, glistening in the sunlight. It was calm and peaceful, we hit pause on the outside world and relished in the sun-soaked moment.

Continuing our journey to Forager, we made our way in land, taking note of each signpost we passed, rolling countryside from every window. We turned our last corner in to the delightful Devonshire hamlet and home to Forager, our beautiful country cottage, sheltered by the majestic countryside landscape. Home for the weekend!

Pulling into the generous driveway, we discovered plenty of room for parking. We eagerly jumped out of the car and headed straight to the hillside garden and watched the sun set across the rolling countryside, the skies a dreamy rosy hue. We had a peek in the perfectly positioned summer house, designed to kickback in, and get lost in the uninterrupted views. 

Unlocking the front door with anticipation, we stepped through the door. The lights were on low, twinkling through the glass. creating the warmest and most inviting welcome. To the left was the utility room, perfectly located. Making it super easy for us to step out of our coats and boots and store them away. Making our way into the very smart galley kitchen, an aroma of posies and English countryside lingered from the White Company diffusers dotted around, whilst the gorgeous marble quartz worktops and cool black cupboards were filled with all the equipment and utensils needed to cook up a storm for a party of six, along with a wide variety of beautiful glasses, to enjoy your choice of tipple.

We spotted the beautiful sheepskin covered chairs and hastily entered the conservatory through the double doors. On the statement zinc-topped table sat a wonderful and very thoughtful welcome hamper. The Owners have put so much care and thought in to creating the perfect stay. Locally sourced goodies were included in the hamper, a bottle of Pinot Noir from Sharphams vineyard, along with a personalised Dartmouth candle, chocolate, gin and many other delights. We had already decided the conservatory was going to be one of our favourite rooms, with its outlook on to the wonderful garden. 

The downstairs continued to flow, leading us into the living area. One end lay the sitting room with the Rasmussen wood burner, comfy sofas ready for us to cosy up on. The other end the chic snug, giving us boutique feels. From dusky pinks to blues and velvet furnishing, every part of this room oozed sophistication. We couldn’t wait to spend one of our evenings here, next to the fire with its grand fireplace. 

Spoilt for choice with four sumptuous bedrooms, all were full of charm, with white fluffy dressing gowns for extra cosiness. Offering total tranquillity, we chose our rooms and unpacked. Both bathrooms were gorgeous and toasty, offering total luxury with underfloor heating, and lavish White Company toiletries. 

Settling into cottage living for the evening, enjoying the warmth from the Rasmussen, we lit the heavenly Darmouth candle, providing floral notes and a hint of vanilla. We selected a film from one of the many apps on the Smart TV and snuggled up for the evening. 

After a blissful night’s sleep in the most lavish, comfiest beds, we woke to peace and quiet, total serenity. We began our day in the garden with a morning coffee and buttery croissants, taking in the idyllic views over the Devon countryside, as far as the eye could see. A setting so charm you will never want to leave!

Putting on our boots we left Forager, following the footpaths across the fields in to Dittisham. What a delight this village is – thatched cottages of all colours and the sweetest church. We made our way to the jetty home of the eye catching pink Ferry Boat Inn. Once on the ferry, we sat back and soaked up the River Dart scenery, spotting the resident seals. A little voyage taking 30 minutes. 

Dartmouth is a coastal dream. With its charming streets and picturesque views from every spot. We indulged in the coastal landscape, as we made our way to the medieval church of St Petrox and Sugary Cove. Resting our weary legs after lots of exploring, we had to try the well-known Rockfish for their Fish and Chips. They lived up to our expectation! Afternoon was turning to early evening, and we found Joe's Bar , a small and cosy bar with fabulous interior décor, the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine. 

After a day of adventure, we couldn’t wait to spend a restful evening by the fire in the sumptuous snug. Selecting a soothing playlist, we connected to the Soundbar. We took refuge next to the fire and spent the remainder of the evening playing a couple of board games which the owner have so kindly supplied. 

Sunday morning arrived. We woke to a gloriously frosty morning. We decided to savour the moment and ventured back in to Dittisham to catch the sunrise over the beautiful village, with its thatched roofs and cute cottages. Immersing ourselves in the idyllic countryside, a light dusting of frost made everything glisten in the sunlight. 

Being blessed with another gorgeous January day, we chose to head out to the coast, exploring Bigbury on Sea with the infamous Burgh Island. After an easy 40-minute drive, we were looking straight at a stunning sandy beach. The low tide meant we could walk across to the tidal island. There is a huge ‘sea tractor’ that transports you when it’s hightide. The island itself has an Art Deco hotel - the Burgh Island Hotel and one charming pub The Pilchard Inn. The walk over the island gave us the opportunity to appreciate the fabulous views across Bigbury Bay. 

All the sea air and exercise had given us quite the appetite, time to find a local pub serving a Sunday roast. On our hunt we drove through the pretty village of Ashprington which led to the hamlet of Tuckenhay. We couldn’t resist stopping and taking the stepping stones across Bow Creek. The Maltsters Arms is a hidden gem, with fantastic views over the River Dart, and served a delicious roast. The perfect place to spend a Sunday evening - which we did.

Residing to our countryside retreat for the last night, we retreated to our bedrooms, and enjoyed a long and peaceful nights rest. Recharged and ready for our travels home, stopping off in nearby Totnes just before. A place known for its vibrant hight street, it’s home to fantastic and unique independent shops full of charm and character. 

Locking the door once more, it was time for us to bid farewell to our heavenly retreat. Forager offers the most beautiful spot to forget the world. This really is one for the lovers of tranquil moments in a countryside paradise. Or if a coastal escape is what you’re looking for, Forager is perfectly situated to enjoy the best of both worlds. When we find the time to runaway to South Devon again, we have found our piece of heaven to return to. 

Feeling inspired? Gorgeous Forager is a stunning, dog-friendly retreat that sleeps six and lies near Dartmouth in Devon. Just the two of you? Outside peak season, Forager offers a 'just for two' discount of 20%.

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