The Telegraph: Hotel Review - Coombeshead Farm
Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick, Cornwall: Hotel Review
by Natalie Millar-Partridge
9 out of 10 - Telegraph expert rating
This restored dairy farm is the joint venture from chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield, English-born chef/proprietor of The Spotted Pig in New York. Both wanted to get back to the roots of food and hospitality and the result is this relaxed communal dining farmhouse bed and breakfast.
Location 9 / 10
Located close to the Devon/Cornwall border, Coombeshead Farm sits in the charming village of Lewannick, between Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor. It's the ideal base to explore the surrounding countryside; take one of the recommended circular walks through acres of woodland, home to ancient trees or wander into the village with its traditional pub. Visit the Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and National Trust houses – Lanhydrock and Cotehele are both within within an hour drive.
It's also situated just off the A30, five miles from Launceston, meaning a 40-minute drive will take you to both Cornwall’s north and south coastlines. Exeter and Liskeard rail-stations, Newquay and Exeter airport are all a 45-minute drive away.
Style & character 9 / 10
Coombeshead started life as a dairy farm on the original Trelaske estate built in 1748; in 2016 it became a guesthouse under the ownership of chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield, who have since added a restaurant and a bakery. It's designed to feel like a lovely home-from-home, with an eclectic mix of interior furnishings, most of which are secondhand, found at auction houses or sourced from local producers. There are recycled wool blankets from Atlantic Blankets, handmade crockery by local potters and sheepskin rugs from a nearby sheepskin tannery, which still employs traditional methods.
The reading room showcases an interesting collection of books and an honesty bar stocked with local spirits and homemade tinctures. There is also a wine cellar and pickling room with a host of ferments, hams, kombucha and homemade vinegar.
Service & facilities 9 / 10
Guests are invited to treat the peaceful space as their own – relax, walk and eat delicious food, and possible learn something new too. There are no televisions and phone signal is questionable, allowing time to read, talk and enjoy the space, whether curling up in the light-filled living room, sampling a gin from the honesty bar or exploring the bountiful grounds.
The onsite bakery produces wholesale sourdough loaves, made from British organic stoneground grains, and gardens and polytunnel outside flourish with produce. There are also Hungarian mangalitsa pigs, Hebridean sheep, free-roaming chickens, and five active bee colonies.
Expect freshly made iced tea and handmade cookies on arrival and pre-dinner snacks before supper in the barn. The Coombeshead team, are friendly and well-educated on the farm's growing, rearing, processing and preserving processes.
Rooms 9 / 10
There are five double en-suite bedrooms – either kings or super-kings – and one adult-sized adjoining bunkroom that sleeps up to 12 guests. Décor is minimal, with nice touches such as freshly picked flowers and a complimentary tray of homemade sloe gin or brandy and clotted cream fudge. Expect large comfy beds, with soft patterned quilts, hand-dyed cushions, denim slippers at the base, and outsized mirrors on the walls.
Bathrooms are light-filled with large walk-in rain showers (room one has the addition of a bath), vintage cotton-gowns, and handmade toiletries, including soap made with pig's lard, lavender, mint and poppy seeds.
Food & drink 9 / 10
With an emphasis on sustainability and zero-waste, Tom and his team go the extra mile to ensure little distance exists between the origins of the ingredients and your plate. As much as possible is grown and reared on the farm, and for the rest the team works closely with a small network of farmers and growers.
Evenings begin with pre-dinner-snacks and drinks in the farmhouse, before dining in the barn with its large wood-fired oven, exposed beams and dried hops. There is one set menu, which starts with a bread course and follows with more courses based upon what is available, allowing for flexibility depending on what comes into the kitchen. Tom’s Sunday-lunch is a must. Seasonal plates include pickled ramson and cabbage, mettwurst, preserved garlic scapes, curds and nettle, watercress soup and Silver Applewood duck and asparagus, followed by sea buckthorn tart and green Turkish rhubarb sorbet.
Breakfast takes place around a large table in the dining-room; sourdough porridge-loaf and Guernsey butter, bircher museli, apple and rhubarb-compote, honey and buckwheat granola, followed by; house-cured belly-pork-bacon, hogs-pudding-sausage, scrambled eggs and rye-bread.
Value for money 9 / 10
Double-rooms are £180 Thursday and Sunday; and £190 Friday and Saturday. Breakfast included. Dinner is £65 per person; Sunday lunch is £35 per person. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
As this is a Georgian farmhouse, there is no disabled access at the moment, but three new bedrooms are due to open in May 2020 – one being fully accessible.
Coombeshead Farm is adults-only, but children are welcome for Sunday lunch, where small portions can be arranged.