The road from Lynton is a great way in, through woods that cling to a hill with the sea below. As for the Old Rectory, it’s a proper small hotel and a very sociable sort of place. Three acres of spectacular gardens wrap around you, and Exmoor deer drink from the pond.
Inside, Huw and Sam continue to lavish love and money in all the right places. Their most recent addition is an orangery with smart sofas and warm colours, then doors onto the garden for afternoon tea in the sun. Interiors are soothing: Farrow & Ball colours, the odd stone wall, a little sitting room, fresh flowers and books everywhere.
Bedrooms are just as good and heaped with treats: digital radios, flat-screen TVs, a balcony here, a leather sofa there. Spin into the restaurant for a set four-course meal: your hosts are fabulous cooks.