The Little Fox Hotel is a 14th century farmhouse-turned-hotel located on 8 acres of private grounds. Guests can enjoy exquisite views of Dartmoor and easy access to beautiful Devonshire and Cornish coastline, sandy beaches and attractions such as The Eden Project and Adrenaline Quarry.
With a selection of en-suite, twin and family rooms, The Little Fox provides a homely base to explore the infamous South West of England.
The Little Fox is reached via a tree-lined descending driveway that charms before even stepping foot inside the property. We are greeted in reception by the owner, who, while checking us in, explains that the hotel is something of a labour of love, having been through several incarnations – first as a farmhouse, then a guesthouse – and now finally, Little Fox Hotel.
Quaint touches such as hand-painted driftwood signs alluding to time at the beach and learning to “Live. Laugh. Love” give the hotel a homely feel and there is a very convincing gas fire in the dining room that adds to the relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere.
Our room is an ensuite four-poster affair with exposed stonework and a window that looks out on a patchwork of greenery and a vast, rather overcast sky. I feel my shoulders drop some of their London tension as I notice almost a complete absence of manmade sound and begin to relax into the peaceful setting. The bed is supremely comfortable and warm, the towels good quality and enveloping. I sleep soundlessly and dreamlessly, wake up feeling refreshed and luxuriate a while, propped up on lofty pillows with a cup of tea from the kettle in our room, taking in the carpet of greenery that surrounds us. The only thing that tempts me out of bed is the idea of the homecooked Cornish breakfast that awaits.
Breakfast starts off with help-yourself juice, fresh coffee and fruit and yoghurt but the star of the show is the cooked-to-order Cornish breakfast with local sausage, bacon and eggs served with beans and grilled tomato. No tepid, congealed bain-marie eggs here; everything arrives piping hot and tasting fresh and moreish.
The Little Fox Hotel has its own onsite restaurant, Aspects, serving up local homecooked fare all day and evening; we pop in for lunch (halloumi sandwiches and fries) to fuel us for our afternoon of beach wandering. The halloumi is combined with a flavoursome tomato-based sauce that is hearty and warming on a cold Cornish day and is accompanied with the classic fries and salad combo. Perfectly satisfying, although it could have benefitted from a more robust farmhouse style bread to really elevate it from good to excellent. Aspects serves up local ales, and a good selection of wines.
Patrons have the choice of sitting at laid tables or relaxing on the more informal sofas. There’s a sizeable terrace at one end of the restaurant which would be the perfect spot for coffee or afternoon tea to make the most of the resplendent views on a warmer day.
Who goes there:
Hard to say as we visit off-season and share the dining room with just one other pair, but the proprietor tells us that come summer-holiday time, the hotel is fully booked with families and couples exploring Cornwall and Devon.
Out and about:
Aside from the gorgeous coastline that is begging to be rambled and the many nearby family-friendly beaches – including the rugged, expansive and amusingly named ‘Portwrinkle’ beach which makes for a thrilling constitutional, sun or not – there are other local attractions such as The Eden Project (less than an hour’s drive away) and Adrenaline Quarry, a family-owned adventure park.
The best bit?
The peacefulness of the surroundings, the comfortable bed, and the friendliness of the staff.
The worst bit?
It was noticeably chilly in our room when we arrived, but we were a little early and it had warmed up by the time we went to bed.