“Refined cooking in historic Tudor house” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
Five miles from Plymouth and close to Dartmoor National Park, 16th-century manor house Boringdon Hall was once given to the Earl of Southampton by none other than Henry VIII. Nowadays, it’s a luxurious country house hotel, full of charm and elegance although it doesn’t take much for you to imagine the doors swinging open and Henry VIII striding in, accompanied by the sound of buglers. Intimate and elegant Àclèaf is the ultimate fine dining restaurant, with tables looking out over the Great Hall. It’s all aged beams and period features, with an atmosphere that gives a sense of occasion without being overly formal. There’s an unstuffy elegance about the setting, but it has a nicely balanced ambience that’s enough to make a dining occasion feel special with plenty of chat at the tables. Attention to detail starts as soon as the bread arrives – excellent pain de campaign and oat-crusted rolls served with Normandy butter and whipped Wagyu beef fat butter. Before the main events, snacks of fennel salami, bouillabaisse studded with red mullet and shiitake mushroom and game doughnuts prepare the tastebuds for what’s to come. The seasonally led menus showcase the stylishly inventive cuisine, where creative yet simple combinations can be seen in dishes such as starter of sole, velouté and fermented grape – a great re-working of a classic pairing, updated for the 21st century – or perhaps beetroot paired with rosehip and elder. It could be followed by a precisely cooked piece of turbot with yuzu and langoustine, or confidently prepared Highland Wagyu beef with beetroot and pepper. Raspberry with pistachio and white chocolate makes for a stunning finish. The vegetarian and vegan options are equally enticing and might include such innovative flavour pairings as celeriac, walnut and caviar or Jerusalem artichoke, celery and goats’ curd.
Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
Credit cards accepted
- Seats: 40
- Private dining available
- Assist dogs welcome
- Closed: Monday, Tuesday
- Wines under £30: 24
- Wines over £30: 39
- Wines by the glass: 11
- Cuisine style: Modern French
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
With magnificent coastlines, two historic cities and the world-famous Dartmoor National Park, Devon sums up all that is best about the British landscape. For centuries it has been a fashionable and much loved holiday destination – especially south Devon’s glorious English Riviera.
Close to the English Riviera lies Dartmoor, one of the south-west’s most spectacular landscapes. The National Park, which contains Dartmoor, covers 365 square miles and includes many fascinating geological features – isolated granite tors and two summits exceeding 2,000 feet among them.
Not surprisingly, in Dartmoor the walking opportunities are enormous. Cycling in the two National Parks is also extremely popular and there is a good choice of off-road routes taking you to the heart of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Devon’s towns and cities offer stimulating alternatives to the rigours of the countryside.
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