We like to think that all our guests feel well looked after when they come to Kitley House Hotel. When Gilly and David Girling from Colyford in East Devon came to stay, after winning a two-night fine dining break in a competition in partnership with Devon Life magazine, they left us in no doubt at all that they had enjoyed our hospitality.

They were greeted on arrival by General Manager Adam Hughes with a bottle of bubbly and told us they felt treated royally, writing in our Visitors’ Book that Kitley’s staff are the hotel’s “greatest asset”.

Gilly discovered she’d won the stay in early April and duly contacted us to book her break, timed to coincide with our seasonal spring Fine Wine & Dining Evening. It was the first time we’d seated all our diners together around one big, convivial table for the event – a five-course fine dining menu with perfectly paired wine courtesy of St Austell Brewery.

Gilly told us, ”David and I really enjoyed the concept of everyone dining together because it broke the ice and we all chatted, which made for a relaxing and interesting evening of conversation. The dinner with tasting wines was wonderful with generous full-sized glasses. As we were staying the night, we were able to really make the most of it. I can’t remember the last time I had a hang-over, but I did have a slight headache in the morning! A walk in Kitley’s lovely grounds soon put me to rights.”

Gilly described the whole experience as “a real treat’ for her and her husband. It was glorious weather the afternoon they arrived, so they were able to take full advantage of the terrace, sunbathing under the wisteria with views of the Yealm estuary. The following day they ventured out to explore Dartmoor.

Gilly said, “The receptionist made us laugh when we arrived by telling us we were booked into the bridal suite. We married in 1971! The whole experience was absolutely wonderful. We came back to earth with a thud afterwards as our stay was followed by two days of looking after our young grandchildren!”

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