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A Royal Staycation: Bovey Castle Part 2

What better excuse is there for dressing up like a Princess than staying in a castle? Getting all dressed up in one of my favourite sparkly dress I was ready to join my fellow bloggers at The Great Western, the fine dining restaurant at Bovey Castle, for dinner.

First a photoshoot and that beautiful staircase was the ideal place for Aftab, Emma, Binny and I to get the perfect group shot.

Named after Great Western Rail, previous owners of Bovey Castle, the fine dining restaurant has been awarded three rosettes by the AA.
The dining room is gorgeous!! An art deco dream, perfect for bloggers looking for a glam night out. Though the restaurant prides itself on being welcoming and unpretentious – our waitress was lovely and truly treated us like princesses.
Seeing one of Aftab’s favourite champagnes on the menu, we ordered a bottle of bubbles between us as the table was filled with delicious canapés.
Gorgeous little cones of steak tartare…

Artichoke arancini…

And deliciously decadent salmon mousse balls.

Two mini loaves of bread were placed or the table and a perfect ball of salted butter.

It was easy for me to choose a starter and I loved my cured trout that was revealed from under a glass cloche with a cloud of fragrant mist.  
Emma was also very happy with her choice of juicy scallops with oyster emulsion, onions, clams and little twigs of samphire.

Aftab and Binny weren’t quite so taken with the starter choices on the menu so the chef whipped up a fresh beetroot and goats cheese salad to please their palates. The head chef at Bovey Castle is Mark Budd who has worked at some of the best luxury hotels in the UK including The Dorchester and The Ritz. A Devon-local he’s passionate about the produce such as the local game, lamb, Exmoor beef and seafood from Devon Coves. His passion for keeping ingredients local has led him to create his own herb garden for growing produce to include in his dishes.

Aftab and Binny decided to share one of the signature dishes on the menu, the most amazing beef Wellington that was hand-carved at the table.  
The rather epic portion was also served with bubble and squeak croquettes and truffle cauliflower gratin. It could have actually easily served three people! 
Emma loved her rosette if Devon lamb with wild garlic and English peas while my fillet of Cornish Turbot with shellfish cannelloni and artichoke nage was utterly faultless. 
We loved the presentation of these pre-dessert tasters…

And tucked into a couple of dessert between us including a rum baba with pineapple rings and a delicious melting chocolate fondant. Super happy with our incredible meal, we headed back to my room for a night of drinking games elegant and witty conversation…

Breakfast was back down in the main restaurant and after breakfast we concocted the perfect plan to explore the estate with ease.
Piling into one of the hotel’s golf carts was quite literally the best way to explore the grounds.

With Aftab and Emma taking turns behind the wheel and Binny and I holding on for dear life at the back…we went for a trundle around the vast expanse of hotel grounds.
Watching out for flying balls over head…

We found the perfect vantage point to see the castle’s facade, sitting majestically on the hill top.

There’s plenty so do around the castle, side from golf, there’s horseriding, falconry and off roading…or if you just want to relax there’s the Elan Spa with an indoor pool and gym. But little did we know we were about to have an off road adventure of our own…

Heading down a path that was *slightly* off the beaten track we ended up in quite a muddy area…this was to much for our delicate golf buggys and the wheels got stuck in the earth leaving us unable to move! It was time to get out and push! But with a good dose of team work, Aftab striking the ignition and Binny, Emma and I lifting the car…we managed to free it from it’s muddy prison and we were back on our way!
We headed back up to the top of the hill, just in time for lunch which was once again at the Great Western restaurant.
A vibrant butternut squash pasta from Binny and Aftab.

A light squid salad for me…

And chicken goujons for Emma.

Aftab even got to order his favourite dessert, creme brulée just before we left. Our taxi had arrived to take us back to the station so it was with heavy hearts a that we said goodbye to beautiful Bovey Castle…hanging up our princess crowns to go back to our real life in London. Bovey Castle will remain an incredible memory for me and I’m so happy that I got to experience it with such amazing friends.