Win! A two night stay with dinner and champagne at Kentisbury Grange

Designer Karen Gray of Totnes

Designer Karen Gray of Totnes - Credit: Archant

A stunning transformation has seen a Grade II listed property in North Devon become a boutique hotel

Designer Karen Gray of Totnes

Designer Karen Gray of Totnes - Credit: Archant

It used to be a Victorian gentleman’s residence and over the years has seen such diverse uses as a caravan park and a reptile zoo. But now Kentisbury Grange is enjoying a growing reputation as a luxurious boutique hotel with an acclaimed restaurant.

Designer Karen Gray of Totnes

Designer Karen Gray of Totnes - Credit: Archant

In the three months since it opened its doors business has really taken off, says general manager Ivan Curtis.

Designer Karen Gray of Totnes

Designer Karen Gray of Totnes - Credit: Archant

Locals in North Devon are keeping head chef Thomas Carr busy in the Coach House restaurant.

Thomas, who grew up in North Devon and honed his culinary skills as head chef at Nathan Outlaws, has wowed diners with inspired dishes using locally-caught fish and meat reared in North Devon.

And the hotel is getting busier too as glowing reviews on sites like TripAdvisor encourage more visitors to experience the remarkable interior design that Ivan describes as having the “Wow” factor.

He said: “A couple who knew the house of old came in to have a look last week and they couldn’t believe how different it was because they remembered the house when it was a wreck.”

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The challenge of transforming the Grade II listed Victorian property into a luxury boutique hotel and restaurant was taken up by Totnes-based designer Karen Gray.

As well as creating a unique and sensual interior in the hotel building, Karen was asked to transform the former coaching house into a stylishly individual and exciting dining venue that would be unique in North Devon.

In the hotel itself Karen Gray Interiors has created 11 luxurious suites, all featuring wall coverings and fabrics from around the world.

Explaining the design concept Karen said: “From the first moment we spent in the building we felt a strong sense of warmth and tranquillity. This quintessentially British residence also has a distinctly eccentric character and charm. We immediately felt drawn to ideas of adventure and travel, to Europe and the Far East, where exotic lifestyles and beauty captured the imagination and hearts of a Victorian traveller.”

Guests entering the hotel are greeted by a glamorous but quirky interior that boasts an intriguing combination of finishes. In reception a magnificent Verner Panton light leads into a world of sumptuous Asian-inspired Jim Thompson wall coverings.

Eccentric Lee Broom decanter lights beckon guests into an opulent but cosy drawing room with deep sofas and handmade furniture. On the walls are artworks from the 19th and early 20th century.

In the suites fine silks and evocative patterns create a marriage between this beautiful English Grange and the romance of the Far East.

The beds are luxurious and have oversized feature headboards. All the soft furnishings, fitted and occasional furniture were designed and handmade by Karen and her team, specifically for the Grange.

The en-suite bathrooms are a haven of peace and serenity featuring limestone floors and handmade ceramic tiles throughout. Some have Victorian roll top baths and all have underfloor heating and mood lighting.

In the restaurant Karen aimed to capture the comfort and familiarity of the British Gentleman’s club - but also wanted to continue the influence of travel and reflect the glamorous bars of Europe and the rustic charms of wine tasting cellars around the world.

A magnificent walnut and marble bar with copper edged mirrors sets the stage. Elegant and chic fabrics mix with aged oak furniture and Italian iron lighting to create the design scheme, a comfortable but glamorous dining venue.

The team at Kentisbury Grange is now preparing for its first Christmas. It has luxury lodges in the grounds which are fully booked for Christmas already and the hotel is offering packages over Christmas and New Year.

Kentisbury Grange is offering a fantastic two night stay for two to a Devon Life reader.

The amazing prize is a two-night stay with dinner bed and breakfast at the hotel, with a complimentary bottle of champagne to welcome you.

To win this great prize just answer the question below:

The winner will be notified after the closing date of 30 November 2013.

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