Twelve new and beautifully appointed bedrooms at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter – Part 1

From the moment that we first looked around Rockbeare Manor with a view to turning it from erstwhile family home, to an exceptional exclusive wedding and events venue, it was clear to see how well this Devon Manor could be transformed to include a collection of stylish guest bedrooms. The Georgian proportions, high ceilings, intricate cornicing, period features, and not forgetting the unbelievable views to the South West, were all features that have added to the overall feel of the twelve beautifully designed bedrooms that have now been created.

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Making each room feel special has been important to us from the start.  The existing features of the house have of course contributed to that.  Huge sash cord windows create such wonderful light throughout and original fireplaces can be found at every turn, showing the character of this 18th Century Devon Manor.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

The design and furnishing of the individual rooms however, has been down to Bristol based Alexandra Cork who has been behind the overall look of the interiors project.  She has worked assiduously to make sure that the quality of the finish and attention to detail has been to the highest standard.

Alexandra’s vision for Rockbeare Manor, which is only 10 minutes from Exeter, was to create elegant luxury; chic, stylish and with a finish that speaks for itself. This has certainly been achieved, and it is befitting of a building that has so much grace.  The furnishings, soft tones and lighting have all been chosen to reflect the charm of the building, but with a luxurious and contemporary edge.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon   Bathroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Next to our Bridal Drawing Room on the first floor, is Room One, a principle room in the house.  It is incredibly spacious, with classic Louis Phillipe style sleigh bed, and a striking feature wall. From the windows, you can see the steeples of Rockbeare and Broadclyst churches, as well as Devon’s largest single-trunk oak tree.  Whilst from the twin sinks in the bathroom there are views of the impressive fountain, South Lawns and private listed parkland.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

One of our two family suites was previously known as the ‘Blue John’ room due to the purple-striped stone used in the feature fireplace, a gem which was beloved by the Romans and sought after in the 18th Century. The views from this first floor room are among the best in the house – almost panoramic.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Every bedroom has a modern, wet room style shower with accompanying bath – some of which are freestanding in the bedroom itself, giving a lavish feel.

Bathroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  

The windows have been dressed in made to measure fabrics from the Grand Palais range using a soft colour palette with a botanical feel, really complimenting the Regency inspired scheme used on the feature walls.  They also frame the views perfectly – which reach up to Haldon Belvedere, Dartmoor and the Cadbury Hills.

  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

We really are over the moon with the overall result and know that these twelve bedrooms will prove a popular addition to every wedding and special event that we host here at Rockbeare Manor.  We welcome the first of our overnight guests today when they attend the wedding of Sarah and Fergus, and will of course be making them very welcome.
The rooms at Rockbeare Manor are reserved for the guests of those hosting a wedding or event at our special Devon venue. For more information please contact the events team on 01392 797 444.

With great thanks to Jess at Perspectives Photography for the beautiful images http://www.perspectivesphotography.co.uk/.

Introducing Ben Upton – Head Chef at Rockbeare Manor

Meet Ben – Head Chef at Rockbeare Manor – Rugby, Fishing and Camping fan and all-round lovely guy!

Ben Upton - Head Chef

 

Where did it all start?

I was 14 and did some work experience in a bakery in Thame. I really enjoyed creating the produce and would have really liked to become a baker, but I received some sound advice from my boss at the time who said that it might be best to develop a wider range of skills.

As soon as I started my formal training at college I knew that I wanted to become a Chef – something just clicked, I loved it.  I have worked at lots of different outside events over the years; Twickenham, Wentworth, Woburn and I was also lucky enough to spend some time at the Savoy.  It was there that I really got to experience a fine dining environment, which really inspired me to progress my career in this industry.    

I have very fond memories of Combe House Hotel in Devon where I worked for over 15 years, culminating in a role as a Sous Chef. I enjoyed every moment. The atmosphere that was created by serving exceptional food in such a grand country house drew people from far and wide.  I was really excited though when the opportunity arose at Rockbeare Manor near Exeter; it’s great to be part of the team in this new phase of it’s life, turning from family home to a wedding and special events venue.  The refurbishment has been completed to such a high standard and in a sensitive way. The house works perfectly as a venue – there are bright spacious areas to chat, dance and chill. I’m really glad to be a part of such a great project.

What do you love most about what you do?

Experimenting and creating food that people find pleasurable to eat which encourages them to go away talking about their experience. Food is always changing and that makes the job so interesting. You are always learning something new and there are always different ideas to explore.

What is your favourite thing to cook?

I still have a passion for cooking bread with lots of different flavours, and if not at work I’ll do this with my children at home, teaching them about where food comes from and how it is made. However, you cannot beat pan-fried trout especially if you’ve caught it yourself. I do enjoy cooking most types of seafood and fish…linguine packed full of local seafood or sea bass fillets with sauce vierge. Alternatively, you can’t beat a rare fillet steak served with a rich red wine reduction and wild mushroom beignet.

Who are your inspirations?

Tom Kerridge cooks my kind of food, and I also think that Phil Howard at The Square is fantastic – the attention to detail his dishes have is second to none and his cookbook is one that I use at home a lot. 

And of course my gran who was a fantastic cook – eating was an event and she made the best treacle tart!

How do you spend your down-time?

My favourite day out is spent on the beach with family – normally involving a spot of sea fishing for mackerel which I’ll then barbecue on the beach. I also love course fishing, and more recently I’ve been trying fly fishing too. I love visiting the amazing coastlines that Devon and the South West has to offer – so I’ll often go camping with friends and family where we enjoy lots of outdoor eating, long dog walks and relaxed evenings.

Where would you go for dinner?

I have been to many of the great restaurants over the years, Pied à Terre was one of the best, but the restaurant that I would recommend to anyone is Rick Steins seafood restaurant in Padstow.  The whole experience was superb – the ambience, the service, the food – it was a complete package whilst feeling relaxed and welcoming.  Locally, we’ll visit the Otter pub and sit by the river while the kids have a paddle and we have a bite to eat. It’s really family friendly.

What trends do you see?

Eating out is becoming much more relaxed and sociable.  There has been a big shift in our clients choosing sharing foods and platters instead of more formal three course meals and I think this is going to continue for a while still. I’ve noticed people taking more of an interest in where their food is sourced as well – they care about how ethically produced the menu is and that’s really important.  It’s something that I feel really strongly about and so at Rockbeare Manor our focus isn’t on the cost of our produce, it’s on the quality, where it comes from (the more local the better) and the flavours we can create with it.  We cook from scratch – everything that we possibly can, to make sure that the guest experience is the best it can possibly be.

 

 

Introducing Aimée: Director at Rockbeare Manor, Devon Wedding and Events Venue

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Andrew Carveth and Aimée Spencer. Co-Directors at Rockbeare Manor.

 

Hi, my name is Andrew Carveth and I head up the company which is proud to have brought Rockbeare Manor to life as a venue for weddings and special events in Devon.

Over the coming weeks I would like to personally introduce the dedicated team that work with me, all of whom do a fantastic job ensuring that our guests have an unforgettable experience here at Rockbeare Manor, whether it be a wedding, charity event or formal dinner.

One very key member of our team is a bit shy about introducing herself…her name is Aimée Spencer, a Co-Director of the company, who joined us to develop the business and lead the team at Rockbeare Manor.

Aimée was introduced to me just over two years ago by a mutual friend, who knew we were looking to establish an events business in Devon. Aimée has lived in Devon for five years, but for the last 15 years has gained great experience in hospitality and events, culminating in a role as an Account Director for a London-based events company, responsible for their venues in Surrey and west London, where she organised many weddings and corporate events.

Aimée joined us originally in Somerset, working with me at our other venues Coombe Lodge (www.coombelodge.co.uk ) and Priston Mill (www.pristonmill.co.uk ). She impressed us all with her hard work, determination and sense of style and very quickly established herself as a valued and trusted manager with strong values and integrity, equally with clients as well as our own team.

 At Rockbeare Manor, she has been involved with the designs and plans for the development of the venue, and was tasked with the creation of the website and brochure, as well as continually working with our clients, and looking after the marketing of the venue.  She is also the voice behind all our social media and blog posts (apart from this one!).

Aimée has extremely high standards, and naturally goes the extra mile to look after guests as individuals. She goes above and beyond for all her clients, and will demonstrate the same care for each and every one of their chosen guests too, while they relax and have fun!

Aimée loves meeting new people, and showing them around the house, of which she is very proud. She really likes to find out how potential clients would like things to be, and has a great talent in bringing these requests to life, always happy to explain how it could look and why it will be  a success.

She loves flowers and chocolate – the sweeter the better! – as well as her husband Simon, her girls, aged five and two, and her springer spaniel Charlie. She also likes shopping, and an occasional glass (or two) of wine!

Rockbeare Manor is looking great, and it is loved by those that visit us here. I know that is in no small way down to the dedication of Aimée and her team, and I feel very lucky to be a part of its ongoing success.

Andrew Carveth. Director – PM Hospitality Limited.