Cream teas and flickering fires

Payhembury in clotted-cream Devon is where bellringers practise on Thursdays and the postie probably stops for a chat. Here, Renard Estate entertain 17 family, stags, hens and dogs among the flagged floors and flickering fires. Raid the honesty bar, play table tennis, catch a flick on the projector. Unwrap the good life.

Contemporary luxury in clotted-cream Devon

Welcome to the heart of clotted-cream Devon. This is Payhembury, where bellringers practise their craft, where the postie probably stops for a chat, and where locals gather for Sunday roast in the Six Bells. Renard Estate sits on the meadowy edge of a farm, visited only by kestrels and holidaymakers like you loath to leave.

What will keep you here? Maybe the three acres of rolling hills, flower-filled meadows and tree-studded landscaping. The silence broken only by the chirping of the birds. The endless entertainment for up to 17. The exposed beams, the contemporary white walls, the flagstone floors and the flickering flames of the log fires.

Get your family, friends, hens, stags and dogs together to gather around the grand piano by day and murder marshmallows around the firepits at night. Raid the honesty bar for drinks. Burn them off in the gym. Eat around the chunky table with the doors open to the courtyard or out on the benches with steak and sausages on the barbie.

Find what’s new on Netflix, stream the wifi, take your friends on at table tennis, catch a flick on the big screen. Wrap the day up wrapped up in 300-count Egyptian cotton. Wake, wash in your own luxury bathroom and plot another assault on the north face of the good life.

Gardens and grounds

If you can’t relax here, you probably can’t relax. Three acres of rolling hills, flower-filled meadows and tree-studded landscaping border the house on two sides. Soak up the silence, rippled only by the snuffle or chirp of wildlife.

Wander the mature borders and terraces. Take a book out to the sheltered outdoor seating area in front of the garden room. Eat your barbied burgers and bangers around the picnic benches beneath the big skies. Light the firepits, skewer your marshmallows and stare at the stars.

Living spacesLiving spacesLiving spacesLiving spaces

Living spaces

You’ve a barn here and two cottages, all bountiful and beautiful and inspired by the best of British boutique, with tactile surfaces, chunky wood, cool stone, exposed beams and big doors, to usher in the outside. Fire up some real flames on the two logburners and get the conversation crackling.

This isn’t a hard party place, more of a font of soft celebration, a place to reboot the soul and reconnect with the meadow-rich nature that smiles at you from every window. It’s a place of upcycled furniture and contemporary chic. Add a melodious backdrop with the Sonos system, or make your own around the grand piano.

Churn the wheels and pound the treadmill in the gym. Take your chums on at table tennis. Break out the board games for the kids. Lift your evenings with a trip or two to the honesty bar (one in each cottage). Have a nosey around Netflix: watch your favourite shows on the snug projector or dig out a DVD.

Stream the wifi, hook up to the iPod station, bury yourself in a book. Get together; slide apart. The barn comes with snug, living area, bar and gym. When you’re rested and recuperated, rejoin the fray in the cottage living areas.

Cooking and dining

The dining table is a hunky chunk of oak that sits between the giant doors of the barn. Open them up onto the meadow at one end and the courtyard at the other. It’ll seat 14 but, with six extra chairs, improvisation should be fine. Alternatively, dine beneath the Devon skies on the two picnic benches with steaks and sausages from the barbie.

Each cottage offers its own kitchen complete with fan-assisted oven and electric hob. There’s a toaster for midnight munchies and a dishwasher for dealing with the dirties. Plunge yourself a proper coffee with the cafetieres. Big event on? Call up our pro chefs and let them loose on the commercial kitchen in the barn.

Stock up on fresh Devon fare at Darts Farm’s excellent deli counter, at The Crusty Cob in Ottery St Mary, and at Veysey’s Butchers. Catch the Cullompton Farmers’ Market on Wednesday and Saturdays and the fresh-fish van every Wednesday. Wash it all down with a glass of the good stuff from Wine World in Honiton.

Enjoy fresh, seasonal produce at The Five Bells in Cullompton, where the Five Bells Burger with chilli jam sounds irresistible. Call in to the Drewe Arms for ribeye steak or beer-battered hake. Try The Pig at Combe with its three walled gardens and 25-mile menu. Or just order up a wood-fired wonder from Blackdown Pizza.


Plenty to choose from here, but all with the same 300-thread count cotton sheets you’ll find in The Dorchester and The Pig and the same loving attention to detail. Sleep in the cottages; sleep in the Barn. Whichever you choose, you’ll sleep log-like in a landscape disturbed only by the gentle swish of the meadow grass.

The Warren sleeps six, the Den four, and the barn will accommodate another seven, in nine bedrooms overall. Bedroom one in the Warren is a superking with en-suite wet room, while bedroom two is a double with en-suite wet room. Both rooms are wheelchair-accessible. En-suite bedroom three offers two singles.

The Den and The Barn each come with two double en-suites and an en-suite kingsize. The Barn adds a mezzanine single with en-suite bathroom that can be used as a spare. Bedrooms come with contemporary navy or sage-green walls, flagged floors and exposed beams.

What people say

What people say

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We loved our weekend at Renard Estate! We came down to Devon with our extended family and the property was a great set up for us across all the buildings. The kids loved the cinema room especially... can't wait to come back. - Charlie
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Owls, wolves and a cathedral

Meet owls and kestrels at Yarak Bird of Prey Centre, or wolves at Wildwood Escot. Up the adrenaline at Crealy Theme Park or bring your buckets and spades for Beer beach. Ride the Blackdown Hills on horseback. See Killerton’s great estate and family home. Head to Exeter for fine shopping and even finer cathedral.