In June 2022, Brightham House in Malborough, near Salcombe, was awarded in Visit England’s national awards. Since being crowned AA Unique B&B of the Year three years ago, and winning awards in both the South West England Tourism Excellence Awards and Visit Devon Tourism Awards last year, this is another accolade for the quirky-cool West Country wonder to add to its glowing repertoire.
A member of the Salcombe Tourist Information Centre and a bustling beauty of a luxury bed and breakfast, Brightham House is in An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty between coastline and countryside. Celebrated for its unique Brighton-meets-Devon chilled vibe, Brightham is a luxury escape destination in the heart of the must-visit South Hams region. And it’s no surprise this stylish yet comfortable boutique B&B is in the spotlight again!
The name of the gorgeous guesthouse, a characterful three-storey Victorian-style traditional build offering views across Marlborough village and over the hills to Hope Cove, is a portmanteau of the two places owners Scott Browning and Alistair Veness have called home – formerly Brighton in West Sussex and now South Hams in Devon.
The happy memories of living in both lovely locations – from views of kitsch-rich Brighton pier to the wilds of Dartmoor National Park – inspired Alistair’s design of the individually decorated guestrooms. What’s more, the detailed décor found within this atmospheric boutique B&B is sure to cast magical new memories for all that visit.
From the moment you arrive, the vintage funfair-esque entrance neon lights reveal, “There’s no place like Brightham House”. Go through to the luxe light and airy lounge where you might meet resident dogs and heart-stealers Lola & Poppy. From there, shimmy into The Orangery. A stunning space that’s brimming with plants for tropical tranquillity and provides excellent views to the garden mural.
Venture upstairs and find among the eight rooms (three superior super king, three premier king and two double – three are dog-friendly too) the Pavilion Room, with elegant Art Deco accents. Rewild and retreat to our Dartmoor refuge, inspired by the owners’ VW campervan adventurers in the great outdoors. Get the star treatment by staying in Brighton Rocks, a take on the razzle dazzle of one of the oldest theatres in the country. Or roll up for the Preston Circus Room, channelling big top brilliance that combines playfulness and panache – a show for which Brightham House’s ringmasters have received a standing ovation more than once.
“Amazing, Amazing, Amazing. What more can I say?…
I stayed here with my sisters for a little break and we were welcomed by Scott and Alistair with tea and warmed scones with jam and cream – delicious. We were then shown to our beautiful rooms, all individually designed and themed with immaculate high-quality bedding, towels, bathrobe and slippers. The breakfasts are outstanding with so many choices all freshly cooked by Scott and coffees and teas served by Alistair.
There is the fabulously themed honesty bar to enjoy drinks and a beautiful relaxing courtyard garden with a hot tub to the rear, which we did use and enjoy with of course some prosecco!
Brightham House is in an excellent location, and we enjoyed a walk along the cycle/walking path into Salcombe. Alistair and Scott will happily help and advise on places to visit and how to get there.
I can recommend the “tapas” night held here on a Thursday night with super food, excellent atmosphere and service!” – Denise Horner, Tripadvisor, May 2022.
This year’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence was a grand event held at the Library of Birmingham on 8 June. The awards champion the very best of the country’s tourism industry, celebrating quality, innovation and best practice. Brightham won accolades in the Devon awards and South West regional awards and were automatically entered into the national awards with around 300 other local winners.
Scott, originally from Exeter, and Alistair, who met his partner when living in Brighton, commented on their fantastic win: “We are blown away to win, we can’t believe it. We are extremely proud and over the moon”.
About the pair going from 5-star guesthouse hosts to TV “stars” since their 2019 appearance on 4 Four in a Bed, Alistair continued:
“Filming Four in a Bed was such fun! Not sure we’re going to be superstars, but we do keep popping up on Channel 4. Plus, we feature in a commercial for More4. How funny is that?!”
Brightham House is a home from home yet an escape from the norm where the whimsical wows and the soul sings. With its attention to interior design detail and relaxed homely environment, it’s fair to say that Brightham House’s hosts have a hidden gem that will continue to sparkle in Devon’s treasure-trove for some time.
Since bringing home their first batch of awards, the friendly hosts have made some exciting additions to their Devonshire delight that support their health and wellbeing focus.
The wood-fired hot tub is thoughtfully placed in a serene courtyard garden that will help wash away your stresses while the koi carp pond brings an extra zhuzh of zen. These are joined by a gym that has everything you need for a full workout – including a Peloton Bike, Peloton Tread and multi-gym. The centre, complete with mental health corner for maximum mindfulness, can also be used as a yoga and meditation space.
If you’d like to explore the stunning local area and peddle-power is your thing you’re in luck, as UK-made Synch Super Monkey electric bikes, with a 25–40-mile range, are also available to hire daily.
Teaming up with their local community and living sustainably is another of the pair’s passions and, as well as serving local ales and spirits, chef Scott’s dedicated to using locally sourced food. The meat and eggs for his 5-star breakfasts come from Salcombe Meat Company just five minutes down the road.
Produce used for their legendary seasonal pop-up restaurant, with an Italian tapas taster menu supplied by talented chef Janey Syrett of Feast Kitchens, is regional too.
Guests can experience a Salcombe Gin School Staycation in the comfort of the small but perfectly formed 24-hour guest bar. They even sell Salcombe souvenirs so guests can take a little slice of Brightham House heaven home.
For more places to dine and for things to do in Salcombe, visit www.salcombeinformation.co.uk.
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