The Grass is Greener…
Our Reward to you
If you travel by train, bus or cycle or perhaps you use all 3 modes of transport to arrive at Northcote Manor we will happily pop a 1/2 bottle of champagne for you to enjoy in your room or in the garden. Now that’s what I call a challenge. Top tip – Follow this link to help plan your journey
Devon is a beautiful place and North Devon is a particular gem. Northcote Manor, tucked away in the Devon hills welcomes the challenge of going green. As an 18th century Manor and former Monastery, tackling damaging environmental issues is a way of paying our respects to former residents.
We pledge to honour our building and grounds. We strive to keep our fruit orchards organic, our bird table full, our rubbish recycled and our indigenous flora & fauna intact. Never shall a guest be blinded by an overzealous light bulb, be smothered by a blanket of cigarette smoke or be inundated with unwanted and unsolicited paper trails. Ron our head gardener has been busy clearing pathways through the Orchards & grounds to encourage more wild plants to flourish. This year we had a wonderful display of bluebells.
I am very much determined that the house and grounds at Northcote are here for many generations to come. As a team we are lucky to be a small part of the history of Northcote Manor and feel privileged to be its custodians. Northcote has been passed to us through a line of determined people who have loved and cherished it through many periods of history.
The monks made their home here and the thick stone walls gave them a sanctuary of calm in which to live and work. They used the grounds to be self-sufficient and maintained the building.
King Henry VIII gave a new lease of life to the hotel by allowing it to become a house in which guests are welcomed and entertained and in which children grew and explored the grounds. This familial history continued through the years until the Manor came to be a hotel in which the tradition of joviality and hospitality continues.
Over the last few years I have taken steps to safeguard the Manor for future generations so that the house and grounds will be here for years to come.
Our position above the Taw valley gives the perfect habitat for many woodland animals and birds. We have water baths for the birds and a resident Roe deer that sits in the clearing opposite the main house. Our orchards have served as a source of food for years and we have many ancient varieties of apples and pears.
|Ann Elizabeth||Allinngton Pippin||Claygate Pearmain|
|Cox’s Pomona||Ecklingville Seedling||Laxton’s Superb|
|Lane’s Prince Albert||Mère de Ménage||Querunden Red|
|Laxton’s Pearmain||Alfriston||Gascoyne’s Scarlet Seedling|
Maintenance of the house and grounds is a huge undertaking and requires much thought and planning. Any item of work needs to be carefully planned so as to be in keeping with the property. We are not a listed building but, we are acutely aware of the unique beauty of the Manor house and have no wish to dilute its splendour. The rooms have been sympathetically decorated and are maintained regularly so that the house never becomes outdated.
Steps have been taken to ensure that the carbon footprint of the house remains as low as possible. It will ultimately be impossible for the hotel to be completely 100% carbon neutral but, by the use of a few canny techniques we can lower the impact it makes on the environment.
- Low energy light bulbs are used throughout where possible
- Water hippos have been installed in all bathrooms to reduce water wastage
- Recycling of glass, paper and plastic is done
- Fat traps are used for safe disposal of kitchen waste
- Wood burners have been installed with flues to maintain the original chimneys, reduce oil usage through the central heating and to provide a safe means of heat for years to come.
- E-mails have replaced paper confirmations
- The website has been developed to reduce the number of brochures and information packs that had been sent out.
- Whenever possible goods, food and beverages are bought locally so as to promote local businesses and reduce food miles.
- Our printer prints our events brochures and main hotel brochures using soya ink instead of chemical based inks and on chlorine free paper.
- The ‘common sense’ rule is applied whereby unnecessary lights are turned off, fires are kept low or not lit depending on how many guests we have, computers are turned off if no one is using them so on.
Food Glorious Food
King Henry VIII once owned Northcote Manor and it is very well documented that savouring a meal was one of his most beloved pastimes. Fastforward a few hundred years and he would not be disappointed with the feast on offer in our restaurant. Whenever possible we lower our food miles by buying local food and ingredients, just as would have happened in the days of old Henry. There will always be exceptions such as caviar and foie gras which have to be sourced from distant shores but, on balance our larder is brimming with local goodness.
We are lucky to have extensive grounds in which we can grow some of our own food, admittedly we could not produce a banquet from our gardens but whenever our ingredients come into season they inevitably find their way into the kitchen and onto our guest’s plates. Blackbery & Apple Crumble is a firm favourite – made by our chefs and grown in our grounds. It goes very nicely with ‘Yearlstone Number 2’ a biscuity muscaty wine produced locally in Crediton. Anne Petch at Heal Farm is another preferred partner supplying a tasty selection of everyday meats and rare breeds only 5 miles away in King’s Nympton.
The New Garden Wing
This has been built next to the old cob walled garden and has magnificent views over the garden including a wonderful magnolia tree. The ethos for these 5 luxurious rooms are to be as ‘green’ as possible. Much care and attention has gone into the development of this build.
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