Located in the picturesque village of Mary Tavy, David and Pat Woodhouse look forward to welcoming you to St. Raphael; a simple and uncluttered shaker styled retreat nestling in the slopes of Western Dartmoor.
Set in half an acre of garden, the self contained annexe that adjoins the main house comprises a very well equipped kitchen/diner, shower room and comfortable lounge/bedroom. Finished to a high standard throughout, St. Raphael is an excellent base from which to explore the unrivalled walking that wild Dartmoor offers, the charming stannary town of Tavistock and any number of nearby National Trust properties.
They encourage guests to make St Raphael a home from home and once settled, few fail to succumb to the air of complete peace and quiet that soon takes hold. In Winter a wood burning stove keeps the cold out and the atmosphere in, whilst in the Summer a riot of colour engulfs each corner of the garden and sets the scene for relaxation.
St. Raphael has now been included in Alastair Sawday's Recommended Places to Stay - Please click here to read their recent mention in the Times (Britain's 20 best hideaway cottages for two).
On arrival guests will be treated to one of Pat's cream teas or cakes and coffee if preferred. The kitchen/diner is light and airy with many shaker features such as the peg rail around the room and the wide limed oak flooring. The open painted plate rack and the simple Belfast style sink and hardwood draining boards contribute to the simple uncluttered look with all you need to enjoy your break.
The windows and door look onto the garden and down to the Cholwell Brook, skirted by a small woodland and south to the river Tavy. Adjoining the kitchen, St Raphael has a well equipped bathroom boasting a large shower with traditional shower valve and pump for a powerful refreshing experience. There is also an unusual square Belfast type basin on a brick plinth and traditional w/c. Light floods in through a window and skylight as warmth wafts up from the underfloor heating.
Besides leading a simple but comfortably self-sufficient existence from the fruits of their land, the Shakers came to be known for their crafts and furniture. Shaker design, with its clean practical lines, is a simple yet happy marriage of form and function.
The self contained annexe adjoining the main house has been finished with the discerning guest's comfort and practicality in mind. The spacious lounge/bedroom has a huge ancient inglenook fireplace with cloam oven and woodburner under a large oak bresumer. The handmade bed in the shaker style was once part of a Victorian gentleman's outfitter's shop counter! French windows open south onto a slate flagstoned veranda - A wonderful place to sit for alfresco meals and enjoy the babbling brook and birdsong from the halfacre garden.
St. Raphael lies at the end of a quiet lane used only by the occasional walker or cyclist. They invite guests to really make the most of the home grown vegetables and soft fruit that flourish in the south facing, walled garden throughout the year. Depending on the season, their own freshly picked rhubarb, new potatoes, lettuce, leeks, carrots, courgettes, parsnips, apples and beetroot all abound.
Artists and photographers may feel inspired to take out easel or camera to capture the many surprising and interesting features and plants. As you explore the furthest boundary of the garden, an unusual feature waiting to catch your eye is the vintage cider press. Now fully operational after restoration by the Woodhouse family this working antique sits so well in this unique setting. Adjacent to the cider press is an ancient Ingot casting stone (now listed); a small but fascinating relic of a vast and unrivalled local history of tin mining in the now beautiful valley.